4G vs ADSL2: Speed Showdown
ADSL2 and 4G are two of the most commonly employed high-speed Internet delivery systems. Although both are known for their relatively high level of performance when compared to conventional connection types like dial-up, 4G is chiefly engineered as a mobile Internet access service while ADSL2 is more suitable for home use.
4G is a wireless Internet protocol that uses a series of signal towers to provide reliable coverage for a network of mobile phones and other Internet-capable devices across a national network, delivering average speeds of 8-10Mbps. 4G is compatible with its predecessor 3G, which is simultaneously the source of its most significant advantage and drawback.
While a 4G connection’s integration with 3G technology does provide a more complete network of coverage by switching to the more stable but lower quality 3G protocol in areas of low signal coverage, the speeds provided by a 3G connection are only sufficient for basic operations such as email and light web browsing.
More complex pages as well as advanced features like media streaming, online gaming and video chatting are difficult or impossible to use over a 3G connection, and so 4G coverage as a whole is somewhat limited for use as a main connection method.
What is ADSL2?
ADSL2+and its variants, ADSL2+ and ADSL2++ are all evolutions of the original Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line that uses a network of copper wire to deliver data from source to destination. ADSL2 can deliver average speeds of 15-18Mbps by combining multiple phone lines into a single bonded line that provides a connection twice as fast as its predecessor, but the limitations of copper wire mean that the signal can degrade over longer distances, leading to lower speed as the user is located further from the processing hub.
An Added Advantage
The speed advantage that an ADSL connection can enjoy becomes more pronounced when factoring in latency, or the time that a connection takes to process data. While an ADSL connection is constantly active as long as the wires are undisturbed, 4G connections also automatically shift down into 3G coverage when inactive to conserve the available bandwidth in a given area, leading to a delay before the signal can return to full strength so the data can be delivered with maximum efficiency.
The fastest broadband connection for your network depends significantly on your location, but both 4G and ADSL2 present objective strengths and weaknesses when it comes to speed at the end user level. An iiNet ADSL connection can provide a substantially faster connection to users well within its effective coverage range, but the portability of a 4G connection makes it a superior option in some scenarios.
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