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ADSL vs. VDSL — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 11, 2024
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) offers internet over copper phone lines with slower speeds than VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line).
ADSL vs. VDSL — What's the Difference?

Difference Between ADSL and VDSL


Key Differences

ADSL, standing for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is an older type of broadband technology that provides internet access by leveraging existing copper telephone lines. VDSL, or Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line, is a newer and faster broadband service that also uses copper telephone lines but delivers significantly higher speeds.
ADSL is widely known for its asymmetric speed, meaning it has faster download speeds compared to upload speeds, which suits average home internet usage. VDSL offers much higher data rates in both directions, which is beneficial for activities that require higher upload speeds, such as video conferencing.
The typical speed range for ADSL connections is from around 1 Mbps to 24 Mbps for downloads, and up to 3.3 Mbps for uploads, dependent on the distance from the local exchange. VDSL can offer speeds up to 70 Mbps for downloads and up to 10 Mbps for uploads, with VDSL2 potentially reaching 200 Mbps under ideal conditions.
ADSL is sufficient for basic internet usage like browsing and streaming videos on one or two devices, but VDSL is more suitable for households with multiple devices and for users who need to download or upload large files frequently.
In terms of availability, ADSL has a wider reach as it can be used over longer distances from the exchange, making it more common in rural areas. VDSL's performance degrades over distance more quickly than ADSL, so it's generally available in urban or suburban areas closer to the network infrastructure.

Comparison Chart


Up to 24 Mbps download, 3.3 Mbps upload.
Up to 70 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload.


Older broadband over copper lines.
Newer, faster broadband over copper lines.


Asymmetric speeds; slower uploads.
Higher, more balanced upload speeds.


Longer reach from the exchange.
Performance degrades with distance.


Basic browsing and video streaming.
Multiple devices, heavy uploading/downloading.

Compare with Definitions


Widely available and uses a standard phone line for data transmission.
ADSL is the only broadband option available in my remote location.


A high-speed DSL broadband connection providing faster speeds than ADSL.
I upgraded to VDSL to enjoy higher internet speeds.


Typically offers stable connectivity for everyday web activities.
My ADSL service is reliable for browsing and streaming music.


Suitable for HD video streaming, online gaming, and large file transfers.
VDSL handles all my gaming and streaming without any lag.


Provides faster download speeds than upload speeds.
With ADSL, I can download movies quickly, but uploading files takes longer.


Works over copper lines but optimal within short distances from the exchange.
Since I live close to the exchange, I get the maximum speed from my VDSL.


A type of DSL broadband internet connection using existing phone lines.
I have an ADSL connection which is suitable for my basic internet needs.


Often paired with fiber in hybrid deployments to extend high-speed access.
My internet provider uses a fiber/VDSL hybrid to deliver fast broadband.


Requires a filter to separate voice and internet data on the same line.
I had to install an ADSL filter to use my phone and internet simultaneously.


Offers more balanced upload and download speeds for intensive internet use.
My VDSL connection makes it easy to upload videos quickly.

Common Curiosities

Is VDSL better than ADSL for online gaming?

Yes, VDSL's higher speeds and better balance of upload and download make it better for gaming.

Can I use my existing telephone line for VDSL?

Yes, VDSL uses the same copper telephone lines as ADSL but requires closer proximity to the provider's exchange for optimal speeds.

Will my ADSL modem work with VDSL?

No, you'll need a VDSL-compatible modem as the technology is different.

What is the key difference in speed between ADSL and VDSL?

VDSL offers significantly higher speeds than ADSL, especially for uploads.

Can I use ADSL for video conferencing?

Yes, but VDSL would provide a smoother experience with its higher upload speeds.

Is there a significant price difference between ADSL and VDSL?

VDSL is typically more expensive than ADSL due to its higher speeds and newer technology.

Does VDSL require professional installation?

It may require professional installation, especially if there's no existing compatible infrastructure.

What does ADSL stand for?

ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.

What equipment do I need for VDSL?

You'll need a VDSL-compatible modem and potentially a technician to set it up.

Are ADSL and VDSL affected by weather?

Like all copper line services, they can be affected by severe weather conditions, but generally, they are quite reliable.

Can I still use my landline with VDSL?

Yes, you can use your landline phone with VDSL, similar to ADSL.

How far can I be from the exchange to use ADSL effectively?

ADSL can be effective over several kilometers from the exchange, with speed decreasing over distance.

Is VDSL available in rural areas?

VDSL is less likely to be available in rural areas due to its dependency on shorter distances to the exchange.

Do both ADSL and VDSL support Wi-Fi?

Yes, both can support Wi-Fi through a compatible wireless router.

Will upgrading to VDSL improve my internet stability?

VDSL may improve stability, but it also depends on factors like the quality of your line and the distance from the exchange.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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