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  Computer Dictionary : DSL
 

Welcome to the eComputer Bay's Computer Dictionary - the free online dictionary of computer and technology terms. The goal of the Computer Dictionary is to not just define computer terms, but explain them as well.

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Computer Term

1. DSL

Stands for "Digital Subscriber Line." It is medium for transferring data over regular phone lines and can be used to connect to the Internet. However, like a cable modem, a DSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, even though the wires it uses are copper like a typical phone line.

An asymmetric DSL (ADSL) connection allows download speeds of up to about 1.5 megabits (not megabytes) per second, and upload speeds of 128 kilobits per second. That is why it is called ADSL and not just DSL (because of the asymmetric speeds). There is also a "Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line" (SDSL) which is similar to ADSL, but allows data transfer speeds of 384 Kilobits per second in both directions. Theoretically, this type of connection allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second. The difficult part in establishing an DSL circuit is that it must be configured to connect two specific locations, unlike a regular phone line or cable modem. DSL is often seen as the new, better alternative to the older ISDN standard.

2. DSLAM

Stands for "Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer." A DSLAM is a device used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to route incoming DSL connections to the Internet. Since a "multiplexer" combines multiple signals into one, a DSLAM combines a group of subscribers' connections into one aggregate Internet connection.

For example, a DSL access multiplier may receive signals from all the DSL modems in a certain neighborhood and patch them through to the Internet backbone. The DSLAM processes each incoming connection and may limit the bandwidth of certain DSL lines. Most DSL service providers use multiple DSLAMs to help route incoming and outgoing traffic in the most efficient way possible.



 
 



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