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What is ADSL broadband?

ADSL, or “asymmetric digital subscriber line” is a type of broadband that is provided over a home telephone landline. ADSL works in conjunction with the phone line frequencies so that you can make phone calls on the landline whilst you are using your broadband (unlike if you were using a dial-up connection).

Two important factors to take into account when considering ADSL which is sometimes just called standard broadband, is that download speeds are significantly greater than the upload speeds, hence the name “asymmetric”.

The second factor is that the speed of your ADSL connection will be largely dictated by the distance you are located from your nearest applicable telephone exchange. The further you are away from the telephone exchange the slower your download speed will be.

There are a wide variety of speed checkers available which are available on the websites of the broadband providers so by entering your postcode you should be given an estimate of the download speed you’ll receive at your location.


Should I get a standard ADSL broadband package?

If you decide to opt for standard ADSL you will not receive the download or upload speed of fibre or cable broadband. ADSL technology runs over copper telephone lines and is not as advanced as fibre optics and the maximum speeds are considerably slower using ADSL.

That said, ADSL is reliable and the fact that the speeds are slower means the price is lower than you would pay for fibre broadband.

Most broadband deals are unlimited usage, so the main consideration is whether you are on a tight budget, and whether for instance an average 10 Mbps download speed would be suitable in comparison to an average download speed of 60 Mbps+.

If you are an infrequent light user of the Internet, do not stream content or use many devices to connect to the Internet then ADSL should work out just fine for you. Alternatively, larger households with more data hungry devices might find that a faster broadband connection would be better.


Can I get ADSL broadband?

The good news is that the coverage for ADSL broadband is extremely wide throughout the UK – around 99% coverage – therefore, it is extremely likely that you will be able to get ADSL at your location.

All the major broadband providers offer cheap standard broadband packages with landline bundles (notably apart from Virgin Media that do not use the same technology) so you should have a wide choice of providers to choose from.

Use our broadband availability postcode checker to see which companies offer standard ADSL to your location. On our deals table you can use filters to show deals within a certain price range, contract length or specific provider so you can get the most relevant deal to your requirements.