ADSL2+ Internet: Everything you need to know

07 December 2016

ADSL2+, often shortened to as just ADSL, refers to the most basic type of broadband connection available in Australia, where internet is delivered over the same copper-wiring used for your home phone. If you're home hasn't been connected to the NBN yet, there's a good choice that ADSL2+ is your go-to internet technology for now.

How fast is ADSL2+?

ADSL2+'s maximum theoretical speeds are 24Mbps for download, and 1Mbps for upload. Your actual internet speeds will be determined by how far your home is from your local exchange (the building where your suburb is connected to the wider internet) and the state of the copper-wiring running down your street.

As a rule of thumb, you can live as far as 1km from your local exchange before you start to notice speed degradation. If you live further than 3km from your exchange, you'll quite possibly get speeds under 10Mbps.

If you want to see how far your house is from your local exchange, take a look at TPG's coverage map.

The number of other services in your area and electrical interference from outside sources can also affect your ADSL2+ internet speeds.

ADSL2+ is typically only available in well populated areas. In cases where ADSL2+ isn't available, you may be restricted to ADSL1 speeds, which max out at 8Mbps down.

What equipment do I need for an ADSL2+ internet connection?

If you sign up for an ADSL2+ internet connection, you'll use your phone line and ADSL2+ modem router to connect to the internet. If you sign up for a 24-month internet contract, your telco will almost certainly include a compatible modem with your plan.

You'll use a standard RJ11 phone cable to connect your modem to the phone socket. Almost every single modem router includes one of these in the box. ADSL2+ modem routers also require a dedicated power source, so you'll need a spare electrical outlet.

How is ADSL2+ different to Naked DSL?

Naked DSL uses the same core technologies as ADSL2+, but without a telephone service. This means you don't need to pay line rental as a separate charge. While this can save you money, Naked DSL plans - in general - are a little more expensive than ADSL2+ plans, as your provider is still paying line rental for your connection.

How is ADSL2+ different to NBN?

Australia's National Broadband Network is designed to ultimately replace ADSL2+ internet connections. It will be faster, more reliable, and cost about the same for a basic connection.

The same copper-wiring used for ADSL2+ will still be used in some parts of the National Broadband Network, as part of the Fibre-to-the-Node technology type. In other cases, such as with Fibre-to-the-Premise, copper will be replaced entirely and ultimately, decommissioned.

For more information about the NBN, take a look at our extensive National Broadband Network super guide.

Technicians with cat5 network cables image from ShutterStock.

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