Asymmetric Link

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Description

"Many links between servers, and the early modems, used symmetric links. With a symmetric link the speed of data moving to your system is the same as the speed of data moving away from your system. As new high speed modems were developed to service the growing demand for the Internet links became asymmetric. For example, on a 56kilo-Baud modem, data downloads to you at 56kBaud. But your upload speed is restricted to around 28 to 33kBaud. This is because it is assume you will always download far more than you upload. The system therefore devotes more of the bandwidth of the link to download than upload. But with the development of more powerful computing, and peer-to-peer links, asymmetric connections are highly restrictive. The new broadband systems, such as ADSL, are also asymmetric. This has implications for how people can use the new broadband systems. Effectively the design of the systems assumes that everyone is a data consumer rather than a data producer or sharer. For those who wish to have a symmetric connection the readily available option is ISDN, or a faster leased line. But these connections are assumed to be primarily a tool for business, and so are far more expansive than other broadband links." (http://www.internetrights.org.uk/glossary.shtml)