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Fiber vs. Cable Internet - Which One Is a Better Option?
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Fiber vs. Cable Internet - Which One Is a Better Option?
12/20/2021
Everyone and everything is connected with the internet. Demand for consistent, reliable, and fast-paced internet has grown exponentially; more so due to the recent pandemic.

In today’s evolving world of hi-tech gadgets and information superhighways, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been redefined; both by millennials as well as Generation-Z. The catalyst for this change in mindsets is attributed to the Internet, and perhaps rightly so. From online academia to work-related meetings, binge-watching movie sessions to online gaming – everyone and everything is connected with the internet. Demand for consistent, reliable, and fast-paced internet has grown exponentially; more so due to the recent pandemic.

Different activities on the web require different internet speeds. For example, a webpage will load with even the bare minimum of available internet speed but in order to download an HD movie or a torrent file, you need to have top-notch internet speed, otherwise, it will take you hours to complete your task. The difference between various internet speeds offered by internet service providers in your area depends on the type of internet option(s) they are providing. There are several types of internet options being marketed by service providers such as DSL, Cable, Fiber, Wireless, and Satellite, etc. We will be discussing and comparing the following two in today’s post:

  1. Fiber Internet
  2. Cable Internet

What is Fiber Internet?

Fiber Internet, also known as Fiber Optics is a comparatively newer technology that provides ultra-fast connectivity speeds. The technology makes use of fiber optic cables to transmit data through light signals. This in turn allows users to experience download speed up to 940 Mbps.

 Currently, there are two types of fiber being used to transmit data:

  1. Direct Internet Access (DIA) fiber
  2. Broadband fiber-optic network (FTTN, FTTC, FTTP, FTTH, etc.)

    Direct Internet Access fiber or D.I.A is typically used by large firms and organizations with an uninterrupted need for the Internet whereas Broadband Fiber-Optics network is used for providing internet facility to consumers in residential areas. Since Fiber Optic is a new technology, it is advisable to check for its availability in your area before selecting a service provider because fiber internet services are limited to certain areas of the US.

    What is Cable Internet?

    Cable internet works on more or less the same design principles as the cable used for TV. It makes use of a coaxial cable to supply data in an internet connection which comprises of a coaxial cable (coax) made up of a core of copper with insulation of aluminum. Cable Internet typically offers speeds of up to 500 Mbps for downloading and 50 Mbps for uploading but can go higher depending on the internet service provider and quality of equipment used. Since Cable Internet is a relatively traditional method of internet connectivity, it is widely available across the US.

    Pros and Cons of Fiber and Cable Internet

    For the fast and the Furious, Fiber Internet provides ultra-fast internet speeds enabling great internet quality and connectivity which is comparatively superior to that of cable internet. Through fiber internet, you can easily indulge in extended gaming sessions, experience faster downloads, enjoy uninterrupted streaming, and never have to worry about lagging and buffering issues. Not only this, Fiber internet is a great choice for multi-user (large) households.

    In terms of installation and maintenance, Cable Internet is easily installable as the process is rather simple, unlike fiber internet that requires an extensive process of installation from skilled technicians.

    If you are looking for a bundle deal where TV and Internet can come hand in hand, then almost all Cable Internet providers all offer cable TV service as well. This can save you a lot of dough and help you maintain your budget deficit as they offer bundled services.  All you need to do is check if your nearest internet service provider offers such bundle packages and deals which they usually do.

    Reliability is yet another major factor that differentiates between these two types of internet options. People usually perceive fiber internet to be more reliable as compared to cable internet since cable gets affected due to rain, electricity outages, etc. This is not the issue in the case of fiber optic internet. Fiber technology uses small, flexible strands of glass to transmit information. Since glass is not a conductor of electricity, there is no hindrance in the transmission of data through fiber optics.

    Fiber optic internet does not lag at peak hours which is a downside of cable internet. Cable internet tends to lag whenever the internet usage is high.

    From a monetary standpoint, Cable Internet is cheaper than fiber internet. Fiber makes use of newer technology, hence all costs associated with it end up making it a little pricey as compared to cable internet. Additional charges for installation and activation is an additional dent in your wallet if you opt for fiber optic internet. Cable internet on the other hand is not costly as it’s just similar to getting a cable connection for TV. Also, the probability of getting discounts with cable internet is higher than that of fiber optic internet. 

    Conclusion

    Comparatively speaking, fiber internet comes across as a better option in terms of “value” than cable internet. Even though cable offers economical internet plans, it cannot match speed and agility in terms of uploading and downloading data. If you are still indecisive as to which option to pursue and a fiber optic service provider is easily available in your vicinity, you should definitely go for it.


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