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The Difference Between ADSL and SDSL Broadband

Published on 28 February 13
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ADSL broadband is the most common type of connectivity used by consumers across the UK. But you may also have heard about SDSL services, which are often advertised as being more appropriate for businesses.

The subtle difference in the acronyms masks a major difference between how these two broadband connections operate, so if you are new to the market and want to pick the right package, this discussion of the things which distinguish ADSL and SDSL services might be helpful.
The Difference Between ADSL and SDSL Broadband - Image 1

ADSL stands for asymmetric digital subscriber line, with the first word indicating the fact that the connection is biased towards one particular direction for data transfer.

In most cases this means an ADSL line will support high-speed downloads, while leaving upload speeds at the lower end of the spectrum. This makes ADSL ideal for residential users, who will generally be accessing the internet to stream video, download files and browse websites. For these activities, a fast download speed is important.

Conversely, residential users will rarely need to harness high-speed uploads, because there are relatively few circumstances in which this will be useful.

With SDSL you are getting a symmetric digital subscriber line, which indicates that both download and upload speeds are largely identical to one another.

While this may mean that download speeds on SDSL are slower than they would be if you chose an ADSL package, the dramatic increase in upload speed offered by this type of connection will help to even the odds.

SDSL is better for businesses because it gives them the opportunity to run data-intensive services internally and not find that they are limited by the upload speed available to them.

For example, with SDSL you could run a server on site, to which external access is granted via a VPN. With a fast upload speed, staff accessing it remotely will find that they can work efficiently and effectively even if they are out of the office.

You might also choose SDSL if you want to implement other platforms that require a good chunk of bandwidth in both directions. This could include VoIP for voice communications and even video capabilities so that you can indulge in full A/V conferencing.
Package Considerations

While some businesses will find that an ADSL service is the best fit for their current operations, others will come to the conclusion that SDSL might be the better way to go.

In general you will find that broadband packages designed for residential users are not particularly appropriate for enterprises, often because they lack the same degree of choice and flexibility. This means that you should try to seek out a business-specific bundle when picking a new service plan, even if the prices and marketing of standard domestic broadband are quite appealing.

In this instance, businesses need to assess their own requirements so that they can establish whether or not an SDSL broadband deal would be a good fit. You should look not only at what usage you need in the short term, but also at how things might change in the long term.

If you do not have an internal server for hosted services at the moment, but might acquire one in the future, then factoring this into the decision-making process will increase the chances of your selecting an excellent broadband solution.

Since provider contracts tend to require that you commit for an extended period if you want the best price, it makes sense to choose wisely and with an eye on future expansion. And now that you are armed with information about SDSL and ADSL, you should be well positioned to make your choice.

This article is supplied by Jamie Garner who works for Daisy Group - a leading independent provider of business broadband solutions.
This blog is listed under Networks & IT Infrastructure and Telecommunications Community

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