In case digital technology nomenclature is getting you stumped, help is at hand! ADSL simply means Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and was initially developed to support home internet users who download more frequently than they upload data. The ‘A’ in ADSL is also sometimes used to denote ‘Asynchronous’, as in not going at the same speed rates. Again, this is in reference to greater downloading needs as compared to uploading. Think of downloading as receiving an email and uploading as sending an email; you will realize that you spend more time in downloading content, movies, music, pictures, etc, than is sending out content.
This type of DSL technology provides greater bandwidth and high-speed transmission over copper wires that are already laid for telephone services, thus making ADSL a cheap option for internet connections to homes.
ADSL uses ‘always on’ connectivity and is the commonest type of DSL connectivity offered by internet service providers that utilize telephone wires for offering internet services. To get ADSL to work over your telephone lines, a special filter known as ‘microfilter’ needs to be installed to make it possible for both the ADSL and regular voice services to be used at the same time. It’s installed at the point on the phone line just before the ADSL modem and the telephone, such that both are connected to the microfilter.
In this way, you can access high speeds of up to 6Mbps, but usually receive download speeds of about 2Mbps and uploading speeds of 512Kbps – which is usually sufficient for home use. Furthermore, ADSL is a type of broadband internet connection that can only be used over short distances of less than 4km or so from the central exchange to your home or office. While there are different ways in which you can access internet, such as through ADSL, cables, fiber-optics, mobile broadband, wireless technology, 3G, 4G, LTE, etc, ADSL stands out as it uses fixed telephone copper wire connections between the exchange and your home.
You might be wondering whether it was really necessary to make the DSL connection to be asymmetrical (ADSL); however, you should realize that it’s always better to utilize a good thing to the maximum. Since more ‘lanes’ are being used on one side of the ‘road’ than on the other side, similarly, it makes more sense to make greater provisions for downloading speeds than uploading speeds.
….For the few that do upload more, they still need to download heavily to collect content before uploading!