DIFFERENCES between ADSL vs Fiber Optic  Which is better? ▷ 2020

Who does not have internet, today, at home? It does not matter if you are an adult, a youth or a 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 that we currently have.

Do you want to know which one is better? Surely. Every time more and better speeds are offered to connect us and we all want to have the best of the best, the latest, the newest and the most beneficial.

If this is your case, which we imagine so, keep reading; you will discover what is the operation of ADSL and optical fiber, how is your connection, its installation and, ultimately, what is the best option to hire and have fast and quality internet.

How does fiber optics work and how is it installed?

structure of a fiber optic cable

Regarding fiber optics, which is the current internet provisioning method par excellence due to the absence of limitations and the consequent satisfaction of current user needs, we have:

What is fiber optics?

Optical fiber is a wiring that allows the transmission of light thanks to its manipulation within the cable. It includes special terminations in it, which are what make transmission possible.

These fibers have:

  • A dielectric centersl, an electrically conductive filament.
  • 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 transmission of information, through reflection and refraction phenomena.
  • Loose Buffers. It is a covering for the fibers that protects them while preventing light rays from scattering.
  • Mylar. A fine polyester insulator.
  • Flame tape. As its name makes us think, it is a protective insulation against heat.
  • Kevlar threads. They give consistency to the whole and protect it, making it more resistant to fire and more flexible.
  • Tear threads. They provide an 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 medium.
  • Reflection: The waves are going to change direction but this time towards their 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: 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 cable with a short propagation distance.

Essential aspects of your installation

  • Installation is delicate since the fibers are fragile, much more than any other type of cabling. For this reason, among many other things, the do not exceed the radius of curvature indicated by each manufacturer.
  • Fibers shall not be installed in containment systems or in conduits with copper cable nor are there loops in the containment.
  • It requires a high degree of cleanliness of the parts and the entire installation area.
  • It has different techniques for termination of connectors, which the professional will have to consider based on various factors.
  • The fiber speed is always the maximum that the operator offers in the area. The installer takes care of covering it so that you receive exactly what was contracted and no less.


There are many positive things that fiber offers us:

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


The negative of fiber optics goes through:

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

What is the ADSL connection and how does it work?

The ADSL takes advantage of the telephone installation

As for ADSL, we can see, reading the following points, that they have little or nothing to do with the previous one, its installation being different, the way in which the connection is made possible … This has been the method used since shortly after the internet was standardized to connect to it; It is still used today but is becoming increasingly disused.

What is ADSL?

The ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a technology that makes it possible to connect to the internet using the traditional telephone line, which was devised from the discovery of the division of the line into two sections. This is achieved by transmitting digital information analogically, using, for this, a copper cable with symmetrical pairs.

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.

Using a filter prevents distortions of the signals separating the latter from the telephone signal once they have already been modulated. So, three communication channels are being worked on in a single cable. One of them is used to make it possible to download the information, another is used to send said data and the last one makes it possible for the telephone communication to take place.

This line turns out to be asymmetricalIn other words, it is capable of allowing a download volume greater than the upload volume, something logical considering the user’s consumption trend, who uses the network to download much more than to upload.

Installation essentials

  • Installation is really easy since it occurs with the installation of the telephone line; in fact, the same wiring is used.
  • Line is pulled from the company’s outside network to the home.
  • A PTR may be required, which is the network termination point, something that most of us have at home because we already have other connections but, if not, 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 serves to know in which connection the faults are located.
  • A main rosette will have to be placed and a router that will be connected directly to it.


The positives of this type of connection include:

  • Due to the years that it has been used as a standard in internet communication, we have a huge network of ADSL cabling, which reaches 90% of the national territory, so it is really difficult to reach a point where we do not have this option to contract.
  • Although the comparison with fiber does not yield spectacular data, ADSL is much cheaper than the highest GB fiber packages, being, in addition, a tad cheaper than its optical equivalent, so that, if you do not need the benefits offered by fiber, ADSL is more profitable.
  • You will always be able to enjoy a landline. As a phone line is needed, you will always have the option of connecting it and enjoying the rates offered by companies, which, today, are usually zero cost for all landlines and with a gift of free minutes to mobile phones as well as the use of vouchers, which can save us a pinch on our mobile phone rate.
  • Installation is simple, just as repair turns out to be.


As counterpoints we have:

  • A measured speed. The ADSL is contracted, in general, up to 30 Mb.
  • Further, this is a maximum speed, which decreases depending on the distance our home is from the switchboard that supplies the service; the further, the worse speed we will have. In this way, the contracted speed will never be what we have real.

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

Now that we have seen what ADSL and fiber optics are, how they work and what are the pros and cons, it is time to do a comparison and a final reflection on quality and which is better or more convenient in certain cases.

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

Comparison table: ADSL vs Fiber optics


Contracted speed
minor major

Speed ​​obtained
Royal Decrease

It’s not possible

Cheaper More expensive

Variety of offers
minor major

Geographic availability
Major Minor

minor major

Installation and repair
Simple Difficult

Yes no always

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

In this way, we can verify that each one is better in both aspects. But nevertheless, fiber optics has a very clear advantage over ADSL because its cons will quickly disappear, so that it will become better in terms of speed and quality and just as cheap and available.

For now, ADSL may be a better option if the following occurs:

  • You don’t need a lot of speed.
  • Upload speed is not something that interests you.
  • You need to cut expenses to the maximum (there is not an excessive difference either).
  • You are close enough to the facilities from the provider, so that you make sure you enjoy a sufficient speed.

For all the rest, It is clear that fiber optics is the service par excellence, always recommended.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

You may be interested:

Rate this post

Leave a Comment