fiber vs adsl

Fiber or ADSL? Which technology is better?

Why is fiber faster than ADSL? And above all, what about choosing between fiber or ADSL when you have a choice?

The answers may not be obvious, and we explain why below.

Fiber or ADSL: a story of throughput above all

We could spend hours explaining technically what makes ADSL different from the fiber. But the easiest way to find out which fiber or ADSL is the best is to launch an Internet speed test. The speed exceeds 110 Mb/s on a fiber connection, its lower limit, i.e., a download speed of about 12.5 Mb/s. A download can go up to 1 Gb/s (or 125 MB/s in the download).

On the ADSL side, it all depends on your location. With luck, you can get a maximum of around 80 Mb/s (or 10 Mb/s in the download), because its line must be eligible for VDSL2 technology and therefore be close (less than 3.5 km) to a DSLAM (among other constraints). The user is content with a “simple” ADSL connection without VDSL technology with a maximum speed of 20 Mb/s (or 2.5 Mb/s in the download), which is now considered very weak.

What is the advantage of fiber over ADSL?

Attenuation is a defect that does not concern the fiber – or much less – since the signal strength is reflected on a glass or plastic surface inside a cable. The attenuation is almost non-existent and, above all, the data transmission speed is much faster.

The advantage of fiber over ADSL is, of course, its speed, wherever you are. However, it has one major flaw today: it requires the line to be built to the user’s home (this is called FTTH fiber, or Fiber to the Home). In other words, it is necessary for a technician to come to your home to drill through your walls or floors and physically pull it to your Internet box. It is not always possible or, at least, not still possible quickly.

Is it better to use ADSL or FTTLA fiber?

But regarding the download, it is often much faster (up to 10 or 20 times) than a traditional ADSL line. While waiting for very high-speed connections to become widespread throughout France, it very often happens that different operators only offer ADSL or FTTLA fiber offers, without any other alternative. In this case, there is no hesitation, regarding throughput, it is the FTTLA fiber that should be used. The subscription sometimes costs a few more euros, but it is to have a much higher performance.