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How Does DSL Internet Work?

Ever wondered how DSL Internet works? Read the below article to get a clear idea of how this type of Internet access connects your business to the Web!

Conventional telephone services connect your residential or small business telephone to the telephone company's offices by means of copper wires. These twisted pairs enable you to exchange voice data with the person on the other side of the line. This type of data transmission is referred to as analog.

A sound input mechanism or device, such as a telephone handset, converts the acoustic signal of your voice and converts it into an electrical stream that is the equivalent in terms of pitch and volume. Since the telephone company is already geared for analog signal transmission, it is an excellent way of transferring information between your house or business and the telephone company. This, however, is also the exact reason why you need a modem to connect to the Internet. The modem translates received analogue signals and converts these into digital information.

Analog signal transmission only uses a fraction of the potential capacity for transferring information. Therefore the maximum information in the form of data that can be transferred via an analog modem is limited to about 56Kbps - which is far less than is possible when using a DSL Internet connection. The problem with analog data transmission for accessing the Internet is that the data needs to be converted from digital data to analog form by your phone company, before your Dial-up modem gets to convert it back to digital data! The result is sluggish downstream connectivity - a cause of much frustration as the Internet's content becomes even more broadband focused.

With necessity being the mother of invention, the introduction of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line Internet Access), an Internet access technology that does not convert the digital data to analog, but rather brings data to your computer - directly and in digital format. This Internet technology platform also allows the phone company to use a far wider bandwidth for getting the data to your computer, and the signal can be separated so that some of the bandwidth can still carry an analog signal. This has the great advantage of allowing DSL users to use their telephone for calls, while simultaneously surfing the Internet at speeds that are significantly higher than Dial-up Internet connectivity.

What is a DSL Splitter?

DSL splitters are frequency filters that separate high frequency data and low frequency voice signals, which are transmitted simultaneously. Most DSL Internet access technologies used to require the use of a splitter, as this device is used to separate the data stream into a high and a low frequency stream. A splitter is generally installed by the phone company providing the DSL access service, yet a new branch of this technology means that you could perhaps also opt for splitterless DSL, where the splitting is done remotely from the phone company's offices.

These splitterless DSL access are branded as DSL Lite, Universal ADSL or even G-Lite DSL, and is available as standard. Despite replacing splitters, some of these may still require the installation of a small filter device next to office devices that share the splitterless DSL line.

DSL, "DSL Lite," G-Lite, or Universal ADSL, and has recently been made a standard. G-Lite eliminates the need for a splitter, but still does require the installation of a small filter device next to every office device (telephone, fax, or modem) sharing the G-Lite line.

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Confused about all the new terminology?

Internet service provider (ISP) - An organization offering and providing Internet access to the public using computer servers connected directly to the Internet.

glossary of terms