Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line – which basically refers to broadband through a telephone line.
Unlike dial-up, which uses the phone line to make a connection, ADSL actually works alongside the frequencies used for voice telephone calling, therefore allowing you to continue to make phone calls while using the internet. It enables faster data transmission through a single connection, but allows users to download data and make voice calls at the same time.
The distinguishing factor of ADSL is that the flow of data is greater in one direction than it is in the other – hence the name ‘asymmetric’. This is why download speeds are far greater than upload speeds. Consequently, ADSL broadband is usually marketed towards passive internet customers who rely on downloads but have little emphasis on uploads. The top speeds for downloads are usually 8Mb, and the top speeds for uploads are usually below 1Mb.
ADSL broadband is widely available in the UK – with coverage accessible for more than 99% of the UK population. As such, the majority of homes in the UK have ADSL connections.
Thanks to a different type of software, ADSL2 connections offer faster speeds than standard ADSL broadband.
ADSL2 and ADSL2+ use the same cabling and exchange infrastructure as a regular ADSL connection. However, the software that makes the technology possible allows for greater amounts of data to be transmitted, which means that it can reach speeds of up to three times those of regular ADSL — 24Mbps download and 1Mbps upload.
As with ADSL connections, the distance of your house from the telephone exchange and the quality of the copper wiring can have a significant effect on the speeds you are able to get.
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