Enter your zip code below to find DSL internet providers near you and at your address. DSL is a waning type of internet technology and might not be available in your area. Check out all types of TV and Internet plans available near you here.
DSL by Zip Code
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What is DSL service?
DSL service runs through a DSL modem that connects to a traditional phone line. It is typically cheaper and slower than services like fiber or cable internet. Upload speeds in particular can be an issue for modern homes. Download speeds vary a great deal within a single neighborhood, because the service is highly dependent on distance.
Because most homes were already wired with phone jacks and wires connecting them to phone companies, this service was easy to retrofit as service became more widely available in the late 80s. As the internet has grown, providers have struggled to squeeze every bit of speed they can out of an older copper line. There are many types of DSL connections, the definitions of which we don't bore you with right now. What you need to know is that speeds can reach 100 Mbps or be 1 Mbps or less. Most homes should aim for about 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. Tech-heavy households may need more, and browsing-only households less. Make sure to check on both download speeds (commonly advertised) and upload speeds (much harder to find) before purchasing DSL internet for your home.
Early DSL service would compete with home phone lines, causing drama in homes where landlines were used as the primary way to talk to family and neighbors. Gone are the days where this is an issue. Not only do most people use cell phones now, but the internet signal can be used with the phone at the same time.
Who are the primary DSL providers?
The largest DSL providers have traditionally been AT&T, Verizon, Centurylink, and Windstream. As the internet has evolved it had become harder and harder to compete and provide acceptable service with pure DSL: service where the little copper phone line goes all the way to the provider's node. As a result, many telecommunications companies are phasing out DSL in favor of fiber optic service or “mixed fiber” service.
Mixed fiber/DSL service allows users to continue using DSL, but with faster speeds. The idea is to bring fiber closer to the home, such as to a box in your neighborhood, but avoid the costly affair of running fiber all the way to your home (sometimes digging in your yard in the process). When you have mixed fiber, you'll know mostly because you are being sold “fiber” TV or internet, but with maximum plans going up to 100 Mbps or less. Because consumers find this all confusing, many providers market mixed fiber service as fiber, even though the connection to your home is DSL. This isn't deceptive per se, but it does make it harder for customers to tell exactly what they're getting until they've tried it out.
Where is DSL available?
DSL could be available anywhere with a landline, and most homes have some kind of DSL service.
It's a mixed bag, but in general there are two kinds of states with coverage: states with urban populations that have not migrated to fiber, and cities with less densely packed residential areas.
Should I get DSL?
It definitely depends on what you're looking for. If cost is your #1 priority, it might be fine. Just keep the following in mind before you buy:
- Upload speeds can be quite slow. If you want to do video calls, make sure you have 1.5 Mbps of upload speed at least, and more for group calls. Video calls will be better 3 Mbps or more. Upload speeds are rarely displayed (we do show them), but in many cases you'll need to ask directly.
- Even if TV service is offered in a bundle, it might be best to bundle or purchase DISH or DIRECTV separately to avoid overloading your line with the TV video signal. This is especially true if your upload speeds are under 25 Mbps.
- Test your service once installed to make sure you're getting something at or similar to what you paid for.
- Consider fiber or cable, especially if slow internet frustrates you.