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What are the differences between ADSL and fiber optic connections? Which is faster?

What are the differences between ADSL and fiber optic connections? Which is faster?

Who doesn’t have internet, today, at home? It doesn’t matter if you are an adult, young or child; someone in your family has hired a network connection service so you can be reading this; What we don’t know is what type it is. There are obvious differences between ADSL connections and fiber optics, which are the main methods of obtaining line to the network we currently have.

Do you want to know which one is better? Surely. More and better speeds are offered to connect and we all want to have the best of the best, the latest, the latest and what benefits most.

If this is your case, we imagine that yes, read on; You will discover what is the functioning of ADSL and fiber optic , how is its connection, its installation and, in short, what is the best option to hire and have fast and quality internet.

How does fiber optic work and how is it installed?

estructura de un cable de fibra optica

On fiber optic, which is the quintessential method of internet provisioning today due to the absence of limitations and the consequent satisfaction of the user’s current needs, we have:

What is fiber optics?

Optical fiber is a wiring that allows the transmission of light thanks to its manipulation inside the cable . It includes special terminations in this, which are what enable the transmission.

These fibers have:

  • A dielectric center l, a conductive filament of electricity.
  • A drain wire . This is responsible for draining moisture, so that the filaments do not perceive it.
  • Fibers . They are made of multiprocessed plastic or silicon and are the means of transmitting information through reflection and refraction phenomena.
  • Loose Buffers . It is a cover for fibers that protects them while preventing light rays from dispersing.
  • Mylar . A thin polyester insulator.
  • Flame retardant tape . As its name makes us think, it is a protective insulator against heat.
  • Kevlar threads . They give consistency to the whole and protect it by making it more fire resistant and more flexible.
  • Tearing threads . They provide extra consistency.
  • Sheath . It is the outer part of the set, which covers all parts and provides even more consistency.

How does it work?

We have already seen that what it does is transmit light, which occurs through two physical phenomena:

  • Refraction : The waves change direction when changing media.
  • Reflection : The waves will change direction but this once towards its point of origin.

These are the basic principles of operation. Even so, there are two methods that differentiate the type of fiber. These are:

  • Single mode : The fiber includes a single beam of light (laser) that is transmitted up to 300 km.
  • Multimode : There are several light beams (LI diodes) within the same short propagation cable.

Essential aspects of your installation

  • The installation is delicate since the fibers are fragile, much more than any other type of wiring. For this reason, among many other things, care should be taken to not exceed the radius of curvature indicated by each manufacturer.
  • Fibers will not be installed in containment systems or in copper cable ducts and there are no loops in the containment.
  • A high degree of cleanliness of the parts and of the entire installation area is required.
  • There are different techniques for terminating the connectors , which the professional will have to consider based on various factors.
  • The speed of the Fiber is always the maximum that the operator offers in the area. The installer is responsible for covering it so that you receive exactly the contracted and not less.


There are many positive things fiber offers us:

  • We have a great variety of companies that offer it. The proliferation of new operators in recent years goes hand in hand with the fiber offer because it is simply the quintessential modern product. These do not get wet with ADSL and go directly to offer fiber, so that we have many options .
  • The contracted speed is real . All the wiring installed reaches the maximum speed of the company in the area and it is the operator who the layer depending on what you have hired, offering you just that.
  • In addition, this is very high . We start from 50 Mb and arrive, in some places, at 1 Gb.
  • In addition, the usual thing is to run into symmetric service , that is, they offer us speeds of identical rise and fall. This can be an advantage for many and an extra who do not want to pay others because it is not usual to use it but, of course, for us it is a positive thing.


The negative of the optical fiber goes through:

  • A lower geographical coverage due, logically, to its shorter time. This means that we still find points of the territory where it is not available. However, it should be noted that its expansion is considerable, multiplying daily and being more and more operators that offer it as the standard service. Thus, in a very short time it will be more extended than the ADSL.
  • The different fiber products go through very different speeds, so that the prices are also (although, of course , we are paying for something we enjoy, what less!). The problem of this comes when we hire more or, as we have said before, when we are paying a symmetrical rise that we will never use.
  • Another problem of some fiber companies is that they do not include a landline Not needing the telephone line, many operators do not even give you the option of having a landline already at home.

What is the ADSL connection and how does it work?

El ADSL aprovecha la instalacion telefonica

As for ADSL, we can check, reading the following points, that little or nothing have to do with respect to the previous one, its installation being different, the way in which the connection is made possible … This has been the method used shortly after the internet standardized to connect to it ; At present it is still used but it is increasingly obsolete.

What is ADSL?

The ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a technology that enables internet connection using the traditional telephone line , which It was devised from the discovery of the division of the line into two sections. This is achieved through the transmission of digital information analogically, using, for this, a symmetric pair copper cable.

How does it work?

What is done is connect to the network from the telephone line using broadband , which is the main improvement over the predecessor technology, whose connection was dial-up. It will be a router that modulates the signals with the data in a high frequency band.

With the use of a filter, distortions of the signals are avoided by separating the latter from the telephone signal once they have been modulated. Thus, three communication channels are working on a single cable . One of them serves to enable the downloading of information, another is used to send such data and the latter makes it possible for telephone communication to take place.

This line turns out to be asymmetric , that is, it is capable of allowing a download volume greater than what is the upload, something logical considering the user’s consumption trend, which uses the network to download much more than to load.

Essential aspects of your installation

  • The installation is really simple since it occurs with the telephone line installation itself; in fact, the same wiring is used.
  • Line is pulled from the company’s external network to the home.
  • A PTR may be required strong>, which is the network termination point, something that most of us have at home because we have already had other connections but, if it is not available, it must be installed to separate the internal and external network. In addition to determining the network section that is considered to be the operator, it is useful to know in which connection the faults are located.
  • A main rosette and a router that will be connected directly to it must be placed. Li >


The positive of this type of connection includes:

  • Due to the years that it has been used as a standard in internet communication, we have an immense network of ADSL cabling, which reaches 90% of the national territory, so that It is really difficult to reach a point where we do not have this option to hire.
  • Although the comparison with the fiber does not yield spectacular data, the ADSL is much cheaper than the higher fiber bundles of GB, being also a tad cheaper than its optical equivalent, so, if you do not need the benefits offered by the fiber, the ADSL comes out more profitable.
  • You will always be able to enjoy a landline . When a telephone line is needed, you will always have the option to connect it and enjoy the rates offered by companies, which, today, are usually zero cost for all landlines and with free minutes to mobile phones as well as the use of bonuses, which can save us a pinch on the rate of our mobile phone.
  • The installation is simple , as it also happens to be the repair.


As counterpoints we have:

  • A measured speed . ADSL is usually hired up to 30 Mb.
  • In addition, this is a maximum speed , which is reduced depending on the distance at which our home is found with respect to the switchboard that provides the service; The further, the worse the speed we will have. In this way, the contracted speed will never be the one we have real .

Differences between ADSL and Fiber Optic; Which is better to hire?

Now that we’ve seen what they are, how they work and what pros and cons have ADSL and fiber optic, it’s time to make a comparison and a final reflection on quality and which one is better or more convenient in certain cases.

First, v we will be a summary table that will tell us how both options behave based on a series of aspects that, in the end, are the ones that interest the user. This is just a summary of the advantages and disadvantages that we have already seen in the previous points.

Comparative table: ADSL vs Fiber optic

* If you are viewing the web from your smartphone, slide the table to the right to see all the data p>

In this way, we can verify that each one is better in some aspects. However, the optical fiber has a clear advantage over ADSL because its cons will disappear quickly , so that this will become better in terms of speed and quality and equally economical and available.

At the moment, ADSL may be a better option if the following occurs:

  • You don’t need much speed .
  • Upload speed is not something that interests you .
  • You need to cut expenses to the maximum (there is no excessive difference).
  • You are close enough to the facilities of the provider, so that you make sure enjoying enough speed.

For everything else, it is clear that fiber optic is the service par excellence , always recommended.

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