What is ADSL?

NBN has taken Australia by storm over the last decade, with the nation-wide broadband network preaching more consistent internet connection to households. But in areas where a fixed-line NBN connection isn’t yet available, there are still homes connected to legacy ADSL broadband.

ADSL launched in 1999, and was the first-choice for internet users in Australia for years. Like many of the other tech acronyms, ADSL’s true purpose can be a bit confusing. So leave the stress-work to Canstar Blue, as we uncover exactly what ADSL is, and what an ADSL plan entails. 

What is ADSL?

Simply put, ADSL is the most fundamental form of internet connection, however it is now considered to be the most out-of-date. As our reliance on strong, consistent internet has been heightened, the relic of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line broadband has become a thing of the past. 

At its core, it transmits data through a copper line using a pre-existing phone line, however the phone system and ADSL internet can act simultaneously, and you don’t need to use your phone line. The reason for the use of “asymmetric” in its name is due to its need to be unbalanced in its upload/download figures – the download line needs more capacity than the upload line. 

What are the ADSL connection types?

There are three levels of ADSL connections: ADSL1, ADSL2, and ADSL2+. ADSL2+ is the best in this case, meaning quicker and more reliable, while ADSL1 is the most outdated and slow. Generally, there will only be one version of ADSL available to customers, depending on where you live. 

What is the speed of ADSL?

ADSL speeds are incredibly easy to gauge, with Google even implanting its own speed test tool, which can be found by simply typing “internet speed test”. Generally, ADSL speeds cap out at about 24 Mbps, however speeds are usually around the 8-10 Mbps mark. The further your device is from the telephone exchange, the slower speeds will be, so if you’re having issues with speeds this may be the culprit. 

How do I get an ADSL connection?

Although ADSL has been largely phased out in Australia, plans are still able to be purchased from selected providers. Fortunately, Canstar Blue offers a wealth of comparison tools , however if you’re looking to purchase as soon as possible, this can be done through any telco providers website (provided they still offer ADSL plans). Telcos currently offering ADSL include Telstra, Nextalk, and Inspired Broadband, although other options may be available in your area.

What is the alternative to ADSL?

NBN is the clear and most effective alternative to ADSL internet plans. It received a government-funded roll-out, and overall it now works much more effectively than ADSL. Signing up to an NBN plan is quick and easy, with no additional costs for the modem or set-up. An NBN connection will essentially ensure that you’re paying less, and getting more. 

The following table shows a selection of sponsored unlimited data Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50), and Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) Plans

The following table shows a selection of published unlimited Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost (excluding discounts), from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) Plans

The table below shows a selection of published unlimited Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100) plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, and then by alphabetical order of provider. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Is ADSL worth it?

Unfortunately the golden days of ADSL have come and gone, with NBN the new first preference for many households. While some people still opt for the vintage ADSL option, it no longer seems to be worth it. Its high cost, low speeds, and low range have made it essentially redundant, as far better options are out there. If you’re considering an ADSL plan due to issues with the NBN, first consider if your current NBN is right for you, before making the switch to ADSL.

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