Fiber Internet vs. Cable vs. DSL

Canada has a lot of internet service providers and you will find it hard to pick the right one. When looking for the best Canadian ISP, you need to know the differences between fiber, DSL, and cable – the fastest and the most reliable.

This guide will help you make an informed decision.


DSL is short for Digital Subscriber Line and is a technology that uses copper lines to deliver fast internet access.

You will find DSL in both rural and urban areas but the further you are from the main line, the weaker the signal will be and therefore, you will get slower speeds.

Maximum speeds you can get from a DSL connection is 6Mbps download and 640Kbps upload. This type of connection is ideal for light internet users.

Cable Internet

This type of internet connection makes use of existing cable lines (TV coaxial cables) to support broadband connections.

Cable internet is prevalent in urban areas. Unlike DSL, those further away from the source do not get weaker signals or low browsing speeds.

Cable is faster and more reliable than DSL – maximum download speeds for cable can go up to 100Mbps.

The only negative about this type of connection is that you have to share it with other users and this affects performance.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic internet is a type of connection that is carried by modulated light through optic cables. Fiber cables are hair thin but are more reliable for carrying information over long distances.

Fiber is more reliable than DSL and Cable and even works during a power outage.

With fiber internet, you can get download speeds between 10Mbps to 10Gbps. Fiber is dedicated not shared with other internet users.

Fiber internet offers symmetrical connections, this means that download and upload speeds are the same.

With fiber internet, you get unlimited bandwidth, no data or speed caps. This is the only type of connection where the ISP guarantees top performance and uptime.

The only downside to fiber internet is the cost.

The Final Word

Choosing an internet connection depends on what you want to do with the internet. If you are a light user, a DSL connection is good for you. If you’re looking for speed and stability, then you should choose between cable and fiber. However, fiber trumps them all.