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Comparing DSL to 56k modemsThe famous CNN online home page, without any graphics or adverts loaded, is currently 69k (69 x 1024 characters) big. To transfer this on my 56k modem takes about 13 seconds, and then add more time for my fetch request to reach CNN, their servers to respond, and the time to come back, and then even more time to request, start, and complete loading all the images. No wonder www is thought to stand for World Wide Wait!
In comparison, on a 416k SDSL link, www.cnn.com can load in about 2-4 seconds, and that includes all the images. On a 7.4mbs ADSL link it is even faster, although the limiting factor then becomes speed of the browser and computer, so the perceptual difference between 416k and 7.4mbs is slight. These numbers give you some feel for data rates.
The other thing to consider is latency. A modem adds a latency (ping time) of between 50ms and 250ms depending on how big the data packet is. A DSL modem is more in the order of 7ms, and the rest is up to the quality of the internet. With a latency of 7ms, and 40-70ms for packets of real data, internet resources feel almost as quick as if they were on your local machine, and high speed interactive internet games are free from juddering, freezes, hops, and the infamous quake POD (ping of death).
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