Difference Between Dialup and Broadband Connection

Internet access plays a major role in personal life and business environments. Accessing the Internet can be done using various modes like broadband, dialup, or Wi-Fi connection. Choosing the right method of connectivity depends on user requirements, cost factors, data transmission rates, etc. As the resources loaded into the websites or cloud server increases day by day, connecting to the Internet becomes mandatory, and using an existing telephone line dialup connection can be initiated. A broadband connection is used the majority by residential users and business users as they do not require regular dialup connections for data transmission and also provide an efficient data transfer rate which gained popularity among internet users.


Dialup connection requires a telephonic line to connect to an Internet service provider that in turn connects to the Internet using an analog modem. This plain old modem is connected to both ends which works through Public Switched Telephone Network. Conversion of digital to analog signals and vice versa are done with computers connected to both ends of the network, where each computer needs a modem connection. When larger files are transmitted using a dialup connection, the conversion of computer codes from analog to digital takes a longer time thereby reducing the transmission speed. The data transfer rate is 56Kb per second through the modern modems which are currently in use.

Initial setup with the existing telephone lines is a major advantage as users do not require any additional cable connections but it delivers less performance with slow data transfer speed. The major drawback of this system is when it is used in households, users cannot make regular telephone calls during Internet usage, and when the receiver is misplaced after calls the connectivity to the network gets lost.

The user has to pay for internet usage and the telephonic charges each month and the telephone company calculates the bill based on the usage time of the customer for Internet access but fewer charges when compared with broadband services.


The broadband connection uses a modem that synchronizes with Digital Subscriber Access Multiplexer. This connection remains on until the user unplugs from DSL or the cable and it has no connection to regular telephone lines. So, users can access the internet and can make calls at the same time and no interruption is made to each other. It is well known for providing high throughput, speed, and better performance when downloading or uploading any large files. DSL connection that runs through the wires translates the network data at 5Mpbs.

Once a broadband connection is setup in the user environment a unique IP address is assigned and it will remain the same until the user requests to change it as the connection is always on, the user does not need to initiate a call to the corresponding ISP system to access the Internet services. An initial broadband connection is supported to speed up to 256Kbps and updated versions support a minimum of 100Mbps and maximum speed varies as per the Internet service provided chosen by the user.

A broadband connection is available through wired modes such as coaxial cables, optic fiber cables, and wireless modes such as Wi-Fi, and satellite communications so they are not limited to PSTN services alone.

The table below defines the major differences between dialup and broadband connection −

Basis of difference




The dialup connection uses Public Switched Telephone Network to access the internet sources.

The broadband connection provides internet using telephone and modem but not interrupted to one another.

Transmission form

The modem used in dialup connection transmits analog data.

Digital transmission is done by the modems


Each time user needs to initiate a call to the internet service provider to access the network connection.

Connection once established remains on with the IP address assigned to each user.


It offers services only to the device where the connection is set up.

Mostly used in wireless and LAN connections so many devices can access the Internet in a single time.


Modern dialup modems support up to 56Kbps

Broadband connections offer a minimum of 256Kbps and a maximum depending upon the service providers.


Installation cost is less as existing telephone lines are used for internet access.

Expensive than a dial-up connection.


Monthly charges are calculated for telephone calls and internet usage.

Charges are calculated as per data used by the customer with a higher speed.


Provides less performance in terms of loading a page. Downloading and uploading larger files takes a longer time.

Offers high speed reliable connection with higher data transfer rates.


It is available in all areas where telephone cables are installed.

It is not available in rural areas.


Dialup and broadband connections both function to deliver internet access through telephone and modem devices. So, choosing one connection among the two depends on the user`s requirements. If a user wants to check e-mails, and visits a few websites in a day then the dialup connection is sufficient, whereas for downloading large files that have high media content, and frequent visits to websites then broadband connection offers better speed and performance that satisfies the user’s request.

Updated on: 17-May-2023


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