Difference Between DSL Modem and Cable Modem

Technology and the internet have taken human-kind through a different period. From connections to wired and now wireless connections, the modes of connection have changed.


IT Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to technology

1 / 5

While making the text bold in Word, what do you need to do first?

2 / 5

Which of these is not a social media platform?

3 / 5

What does the acronym RAM stand for ?

4 / 5

Which two websites offer free e-mail services?

5 / 5

Who founded MicroSoft ?

Your score is


Two such modems of the modern world are DSL modem and cable modem.

DSL Modem vs Cable Modem

The difference between DSL Modem and Cable Modem is that while the DSL modem is connected to the phone line that is unique for each house, the cable modem is connected to the TV set up box.

DSL modem vs Cable modem

The DSL modem is connected directly to the telephone line. Though the speed provided by this service is low, it is enough for lower data streaming and an average family.

The added advantage is the stability of the network even if a large number of people connect to the same modem.

The cable modem is connected to the TV setup box. This provides reliable high-speed data.

The pros of the cable modem include the fact that even if the distance between the device and modem increases the connection remains stable.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDSL ModemCable Modem
ConnectionConnected to the telephone lineConnected to the tv cable
SpeedHas a speed only up to 400 MBPSHas a speed up to 10GB
UseUsed for lower data speeds like videos, movies etcUsed for higher data needs like video gaming streaming
StabilityIs more stable because the landline is uniqueIs not stable because a large region uses the same signal
DistanceThe further you are from the connection, lower speedAs long as you are within the cable region, the connection is not affected


What is DSL Modem?

The DSL modem is connected to telephone lines. Therefore the connection is made through phone services.

Since the telephone line is unique for each house, the connection is also unique for each house. This assures stability. 

The devices have individual connections. So even if the actual speed of the DSL modem is slow(only 400 MBPS), it wouldn’t be affected by the number of devices connected to the modem.

The DSL modem, therefore, has a reliable connection.

The DSL modem is connected to the telephone line makes the distance between the modem and the connected device important. The greater the distance, the connection becomes worse.

They are usually used in places that have low data requirements like watching videos, downloading movies etc.

dsl modem

What is Cable Modem?

The cable modems are connected to the TV set-up box. This assures high-speed internet, approximately 10 GB.

So this is used in large scale data usage like in business or companies. This is also used for gaming.

Though the cost of a cable modem is higher than DSL modem, this difference in the price is only due to the high speed provided by this modem.

Since it covers a large range, the region covered by the TV cable will be covered by the internet cable modem as well. This means that the distance would not affect the connection received by the devices.

But the number of devices connected to the modem can make a difference in the speed of the internet received. The more number of devices that are connected, the lesser is the speed of the internet.

This is because the speed of the data is dependent on the scale of connections made.

Cable modems were once very popular but due to the added advantage of the price and the reliability of the DSL modem, it is slowly in decline.

cable modems

Main Differences Between DSL Modem and Cable Modem

  1. The key difference of DSL modem and cable modem lies in their connection. While the DSL modem is connected to the telephone line, the cable modem is connected to the TV cable set-up box.
  2. Due to the difference in connections, one can also observe the difference in the speed of the internet. The cable modem has a high speed of up to 10 GB but DSL modem, on the other hand, has only a speed of up to 400 MBPS.
  3. The difference in the speed of the two modems gives rise to the difference in the need for them. The high speed of the cable modem ensures stability in connection and can be used for high data requirements like continuous gaming or business works. But DSL modem is used for videos, downloading movies and other activities with low data requirement.
  4. The reliability of the modem depends on stability. Since each telephone line is unique to a house, the DSL modem is more stable because only the people within the range use the modem. But in the case of cable modem, it has a large range the people of the region would be using the same connection. Therefore at peak hours, the speed of the internet will be affected.
  5. Distance plays an important role in the DSL modem because only if the connected device is within the telephonic range, the network would be strong. As the distance increases, the speed decreases. But the cable modem is not affected by this distance.
Difference Between DSL Modem and Cable Modem


  1. https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/REST_a_00070
  2. https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257/aer.91.2.302
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️