How to Use a DSL Filter?

Let’s describe a situation. You’re home, chilling in the evening after a long day. You really want to do something fun, and you feel ready to enjoy a nice movie or to play your gaming console. But guess what: your movie sometimes pauses, your game has a nasty delay.

How to Use a DSL Filter?

Basically, your connection is shitty, and you can’t find a logical reason. Your anger makes you think on your Internet provider, not in the sweetest terms, and your rage escalates to evil thoughts on your life. Even some conspiracy theories related the political interest in the development of your city. 

Sounds familiar? Well, we have some news for you: it is not always as bad as it looks. We want to something about this small huge problems, and because of that, we are going to talk in this article about some little device that maybe you don’t know or you just hear about it for the first time: the DSL Filter.  We strongly believe that there is a chance that this little friend can bring you back the faith in humankind. 

What is a DSL Filter? 

Usually, users underestimate the importance of DSL filters, that have a crucial role in saving you some headaches. If like most of the people, you get your Internet service through Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), you want to be sure that your connection speed is the best possible. For that, you have to take into account that DSL is coming to your place using the old but immortal phone line, with several signals travelling and using the same boat of your Internet connection. 

A DSL filter is no more than a small analog low-pass filter that you install between a telephone or a modem and the line that provides you with the signal. The DSL filter mission is to stop interference between those devices and a digital subscriber line (DSL) connected to the same line. DSL filters have two phone jacks in both edges: one for a phone or other device connection, and the other one that plugs into the wall.  

There are many devices which a DSL filter can come handy. We are talking about old stuff like fax machines, telephones or even answering machines. But we can mention as well cable boxes, satellite TV receivers, DVRs, TiVos, security systems and even automatic water meters. 

How to use a DSL Filter 

First of all and just in case if we were not 100% easy to follow in the first part of this article: you don’t have to connect a DSL modem to a DSL filter. That first incoming signal has to arrive clear and without devices interfering, to avoid connectivity issues. Nevertheless, you will have to follow a procedure that we are going to explain further in this article. 

As we said, with other devices what DSL filters does is to organize the incoming signal, to create an order that avoids interference between them.  When devices are connected and working with DSL filters, incoming signals have separated ways  to work and don’t interfere with each other. If you do this procedure any time is necessary, you will be able to use those devices and the Internet at the same time, with the Internet speed not affected by that.  

What is going to happen next, is that the filters will organize the phone line similar to a highway. The lower frequency lane is going to stay open for phone calls and same low-speed data, to keep free the higher frequency lane for high-speed data such as the Internet connection. 

How to install a DSL Filter 

If at this point you still have a mild confusion about what you can do and what you can’t, don’t worry. You will see that installing a DSL filter is an easy and smooth procedure that you can do when you are setting up your Internet or even after that.  

First and foremost, you have two choose between two different kinds of filters. There are Single-Port Filters that connect a single device, such as a phone, to a wall jack. Using one of these, you have to unplug the existing phone cable from the wall jack, and then plug a single-port filter into the wall jack. Finally, connect the phone cable into the filter’s port. 

As we said, you shouldn’t connect your DSL modem to a filter. Considering this, you need a dual-port filter to connect your modem and a second device, like a telephone, to the same wall jack. Firstly, unplug your existing phone cable from the wall jack, and then plug a dual-port filter into it. Connect the phone cable of the device, sharing this jack to the port labelled as “phone.” Finally, plug the data cable from your modem into the filter port labelled “DSL.” 

DSL Filter effects on the Internet 

The incoming signals to the phone line will interact with the DSL filters, in a way that expected effect of making sure that the signals don’t cross paths with each other. It is crucial to know that this process doesn’t look on incoming content from the Internet, which means that unwanted content will not be filtered out. If what you want is, for example, content protection for your children from unwanted Internet content, you have to look out for free or low-cost parental control systems available online. 

Regarding Internet speed, your DSL filters will keep data and voice signals separated in the line so that neither signal interferes with the other. The result is that your download and upload speed will be maximized, due to maximized bandwidth dedicated to the Internet for this purposes. 

DSL Filter pros and cons 

We know that at this point, everything sounds great. And in fact, we have some clear benefits coming from connections made with DSL Filter. The thing is you have to know that there is some downside to take into account before you proceed to make the changes described in this article. 

The most significant improvement is that after you cut out the mentioned interferences that come from other devices, your DSL speed will be objectively faster, resulting in a faster DSL Internet connection. This advantage comes with the free use of the other devices connected to the phone line, that will have no more incidence in Internet speeds. In fact, some DSL Internet providers include a DSL filter in the setup package of their services.  

Still, using several devices connected to a single phone line might need additional DSL filters for each device. If you are in this case scenario, probably it will be a good idea to call for professional assistance to be sure that things are done correctly, and you are not wasting your money in filters with no reason. The tricky part of a multiple filter context is one some of them fails. It is not easy to exactly know what link in the chain is blundering.  

What to do if a DSL Filter is faulty 

We know that at this point, everything sounds great. And in fact, we have some clear benefits coming from connections made with DSL Filter. The thing is you have to know that there is some downside to take into account before you proceed to make the changes described in this article. 

The most significant improvement is that after you cut out the mentioned interferences that come from other devices, your DSL speed will be objectively faster, resulting in a faster DSL Internet connection. This advantage comes with the free use of the other devices connected to the phone line, that will have no more incidence in Internet speeds. In fact, some DSL Internet providers include a DSL filter in the setup package of their services.  

Still, using several devices connected to a single phone line might need additional DSL filters for each device. If you are in this case scenario, probably it will be a good idea to call for professional assistance to be sure that things are done correctly, and you are not wasting with no reason your money in filters. The tricky part of a multiple filter context is one some of them fails. It is not easy to exactly know what link in the chain is blundering.  

Final thoughts on DSL Filter 

Like using DSL Filter, there is a lot more than people usually knows to improve the performance of your internet connections and devices that connects to the phone line in general. We know that there are several issues with companies related to poor connections in some specific areas of a city or a country, but sometimes you can do more than you think to make things better. 

If you find this information interesting and helpful, try to investigate more about tools and techniques to improve your digital devices. You will be amazed by the excellent information and tutorials you can find on the Internet related to this. 

Try from time to time to deal with all these little details that can make your life easier. Maybe you don’t notice significant changes with one small thing isolated. But when you sum many of these procedures, you can be sure that you will have a user experience way better than you have now, just like when you buy new stuff.