Understanding Verizon DSL vs Verizon FiOS

Jul 12, 2013 dsl, fiber optics, home network, 2 Comments
Verizon DSL vs Verizon FiOS


Verizon DSL vs Verizon FiOS is a comparison many people consider when they see one or the other. The two types of High Speed Internet are available from Verizon. Both of these services provide High Speed Internet through a different connection type than what is offered by a broadband connection through coaxial cables from a cable company.

If you are trying to make a decision that involves choosing between the two services, it is important to understand the differences between the two, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each service.

How DSL Works

DSL stands for digital subscriber line, and it allows for a High Speed Internet connection where the signal is transmitted across the copper wires of a traditional telephone line. This service has several benefits, in that it is faster than the original dial-up connections where a computer would “dial-in” to a server or other computer, and is usually cheaper than cable or fiber-optic connections. Since DSL uses the existing telephone line, telephone companies can offer to “bundle” telephone service with High Speed Internet, which can decrease the cost to the consumer.

Downsides to DSL

The downside is that the signal can become degraded as the distance from the telephone office and the user’s computer increases. There are also some limitations in the speed of transmission due to the type of wire that is used, and bad weather that causes downed trees and telephone lines can also affect service and reception. Also, if you have DSL and multiple people in your home that connect to the internet at the same time and use multiple devices, it can slow down the transmission speed as well.

How FiOS Works

Verizon Fiber opticsFiOS stands for fiber optic service, and it allows for a High Speed Internet connection where the signal is transmitted across fiber-optic cables. The signal is transmitted literally at the speed of light, so it is much faster than dial-up, DSL, and even most broadband connections, and there is no reduction in speed of transmission regardless of how great of distance there is between the location where the signal originates and the location of where it is received, or even if multiple users and devices access the internet at the same time and location. FiOS is usually more expensive than DSL or cable, but many phone companies offer bundled services which can bring the cost down.

Downsides to Fiber-Optic Systems

There are a few drawbacks to High Speed Internet via fiber-optic cables. The biggest drawback is that it is only available in a limited area, as it is quite expensive to install the fiber optic cable, and it cannot be run across telephone poles, it must be installed underground, and care must be used to ensure that the possibility of the cable bending is minimized. Often times when fiber optic is run across great distances, or connects to multiple large fiber optic networks, the chance of the cable becoming bent when it is installed is increased. If the cable does bend, it can cause the signal of light to bleed into other closely installed fiber optic cables, slow down transmission or interrupt the signal. Issues such as unstable or shifting ground, such as from seismic activity, can also affect FiOS for this reason.

Which is Better For You: Verizon DSL vs Verizon FiOS?

The main factor to consider when trying to choose between Verizon DSL and Verizon FiOS is whether or not your area is wired for fiber optic service, and if the area has been hooked up to a fiber-optic network. This can be difficult to determine, as it is possible for one side of the same street to have fiber optic cable and the other side to not have it installed. Verizon and other providers are working to expand their fiber optic networks, so if you are interested in this type of service, you will want to frequently check with your provider for updates on Verizon FiOS coverage areas.

The second and third factors that you will want to consider when choosing between the two is how much speed do you really need, and cost. FiOS is faster, but more expensive than DSL, but you may be able to bring the expense down by bundling your services. These are the current transmission speeds and rates offered by Verizon for their DSL and FiOS services.

Verizon FiOS Bundles

It is possible to get just Verizon FiOS without television services, but you will save by bundling internet, telephone and tv service. With a two year contract, Verizon FiOS offers bundles that begin at $79.99 a month for the first year plus taxes, equipment charges and fees. This option includes home telephone service with unlimited domestic calls, FiOS Internet 15/5 Mbps, and FiOS TV Select HD that comes with 150-plus channels with 30-plus in HD. There are two additional bundles that change either the number of tv channels for option two for $89.99 a month before additional charges, or that increase the internet speed to 50/25 Mbps, for $99.99 a month before additional charges. Rates increase during the second year of the contract for all of these plans.

Current Verizon DSL Bundles

You can get just DSL with Verizon, without TV, but it must at least be bundled with their telephone service. They also offer a bundled service where TV is provided by Direct TV. The cheapest plan is around $20 a month for a year, with a one year contract included and home phone service required. It offers internet connection speeds of .5 to 1 Mbps. There are several additional bundles after this, but you can get their fastest DSL speed of 1.1 to 15 Mbps and unlimited domestic calling through Verizon Freedom Essentials for a great price. There are several bundles that offer TV service as well, but to add DIRECTV with 205+ Channels to their fastest DSL speed and unlimited calling is close to $75 a month for one year, plus additional taxes and fees.


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Lyn Brooks

Lyn Brooks is a diverse freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the electronics industry. Her articles have appeared in Digital Landing, Stack Media, and various Yahoo! channels. The current focus of her writing is in the areas of tech, personal finance and travel. Brooks is also working on a series of novels in the science fiction genre with an expected publication date in 2014.

2 Comments

  • Nemo Divinare

    Thank you. This article helped me decide to switch from DSL to FiOS.

    • Lyn Brooks

      Hi Nemo, thank you for your kind words. I am glad that you found my article helpful. Please let me know if you have any additional feedback.

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