Things You Should Know Before Getting DSL!

DSL is rapidly making its in-roads in Pakistani market and seeing this trend it is safe to predict this technology will surely reach to rural areas in a very short span of time. In Pakistan, DSL connection is offered on the same existing telephone line usually.

So next time you opt for a DSL connection for your home or place of work, do not forget to raise a few important questions/issues which will not only enhance your level of understanding but also help you utilize the facility more efficiently and effectively. These questions pertain to telephone line health status as [SNR] margins, upload and download bandwidth operated on the same line.

DSL connection TIPS:

  • Wikipedia has classified Best SNR margins into different categories. It is of prime importance to check SNR margin on the direct line without using DSL connection divider or usually called (splitter). The wikipedia classification is as under
    • 6dB or below is bad and will experience no sync or intermittent sync problems
    • 7dB-10dB is fair but does not leave much room for variances in conditions
    • 11dB-20dB is good with no sync problems
    • 20dB-28dB is excellent
    • 29dB or above is outstanding (source : Wikipedia)

It is pertinent to mention here that, as overall bandwidth increases, connection Signal to Noise ratio decreases. A customer that upgrades from 1.5 to 6.0 Mbps will typically see a corresponding decrease in the Signal to Noise ratio. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

(Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_margin)

  • Cable joints weaken the signal and results in weak DSL speed and weak SNR margins. It is unlikely that you will enjoy a good DSL connection if two or more than two extensions are fixed on one telephone line. Try to cut off extensions in this regard.
  • A new cable from DP is recommended if a telephone connection has more than one joint. It will enhance the signal strength and SNR margins.
  • Local lineman can instantly troubleshoot and get you out of the fiasco. Go for this simple solution instead of lodging a complaint on help line (1218) and waiting for the things to be done. However lineman should be taken good care of as they fully realize their importance and may show attitude every now and then. They may be extremely helpful to you the moment you acknowledged their importance and exchange a few pleasantries.
  • If you got into DSL bus without any signal strength problem, then installation is half solved. Now after DSL installation check SNR margins on modem, router, and wireless router any medium device that you may be using at that for DSL. (Your ISP’s installation guys can help you in checking these values)
  • When you are done, go to the site www.speedtest.net and check download and upload speed from server nearby your location. If it shows worthy bandwidth, there you are indulging in high speed broadband connection!
  • DSL connection gives you an opportunity to bifurcate your connections as per your requirement. In simple words you may adjust connection as per your domestic needs. For example you can limit download speed to 50 or 60 kbps and remaining may be dedicated for audio / video online streaming and browsing choices. The usual downloading speed you may get on 1Mbps DSL connection is in range of 70 kbps to 135 kbps (variable) depend on the bandwidth channel and downloading server.
  • Google for DSL speed statistics software, this will give you complete trend of your DSL speed variations and even could make you able to decide the best time of downloading on unlimited connections especially.
  • Checking of Best Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) for DSL connection is always beneficial for users. Ask your installation team for checking the same, if possible.
  • Enhancing DSL speed depends on number of factors like TCP receive window size, Maximum Segment Size (MSS), Time to Live (TTL) etc. One may go for these factors but at one’s own risk.

So the gist of the matter is that DSL is fast acquiring the status of indispensability in our daily lives. Although technology driven people are already aware of its many facets, it is high time common people bridge the information gap and familiarize with this technology as the speed is much higher than a regular modem while using DSL connection.