Smackdown: Who is Faster? CenturyLink DSL vs. Comcast Internet

The discussion is not really Comcast vs. Century Link but DOCSIS vs. DSL. Cable companies use Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification as the Internet signaling specification, and phone companies have used some form of Digital Subscriber Line. Cable is always faster, until we finally all get FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) that we have been promised since Judge Green broke up the Bells in 1982.

Right now, cable is always going to provide faster speeds, and almost always is a better value.

The top speed for Century Link offers on DSL is 12 megabits per second, but most offers top out at 7 mb/sec.  And that is the download speed, which covers visiting web sites and media streaming FROM the Internet.  Upload speeds are almost always capped at 1 or 2 mb/sec.  If you never transfer large files from your office TO the Internet (web site publishing or photo sharing for example) you may never miss the difference. Plus speed will vary depending on your physical distance from the CLink point of presence, like the telephone Central Office or a more local DSLAM (DSL Access Module).

Comcast on the other hand has Down/Up speeds that start at 16/3 (already faster than DSL), and rise to 50/10, 75/15, and 100/20.

If all you do is surf and read email, almost any speed is fast enough.  But if you start using cloud services like hosted backup, hosted VOIP phone service, hosted MS Exchange email, to do a lot of file transferring and sharing via Google Docs, DropBox, or SkyDrive, you will start to see the difference in how long it takes for those kinds of transfers to complete.

As far as Customer Service goes, The best Customer Service department is the one I never need to call because everything is flawless.  I have heard both companies extolled for their service excellence and vilified for their hideously poor service.  After that, in my experience, service is variable depending on who you get when you call today, and how much they really know about their product.

At the end of the day, all that matters is that you get the connection you need at the price you want to pay with as little service trouble as possible. 


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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