Understanding the difference between fiber vs cable internet – which one is better?
Difference between Fiber vs Cable Internet and DSL
The internet is no longer the same old things it used to be. Users need to choose between various providers present, provided they have more than one provider in their area (as some countries have a minimal array of ISPs).
Moreover, users and customers alike also need to choose which technology they should use for their internet needs as well as internet privileges and rights for remote control too (i.e. Digital TV). The commonly available sources are Cable, DSL, Satellite and Fiber-Optics.
Almost all countries of the world provide these technologies across television and internet. However, we should understand that keeping track of the differences between these technologies is not an easy job. It is a process which requires time and effort to understand them.
DSL and satellite internet services have extensive availability, but they can hardly be able to compete with the quality and speed cable and fiber optics internet connections provide. To be honest, the differences between cable and fiber optics is subtly different. Yet, technology experts would love to help customers understand the difference between fiber vs cable internet.
In short, a lot of tech enthusiasts give Fiber optics internet more favorable views (and reviews). They call it much faster, more reliable and also, a costly option. On the other hand, cable internet is slow but it supports faster speeds and is extensively available.
We will now have a very good look at fiber vs cable internet, their pros and cons, and which one would be a better option.
What is fiber vs cable internet? Understanding the real difference between both
The primary difference between both fiber vs cable internet can be determined by the way they transmit data and information.
For starters, fiber-optics technology utilizes small and flexible strands of glass for transmitting information in the form of light.
These glass strands are wrapped in a bundle and are then protected with a protective plastic layer. They help make fiber optics internet run quicker, clearer and provide them the ability to travel large distances.
Moreover, these cables carry more data than a copper cables’ bundle of the same diameter.
In traditional cable internet, data is transmitted via electric signals (aka electricity). It utilizes coaxial cables for transmitting data. In those cables, a copper core is present. It is insulated with aluminum, a copper shield, and an external plastic layer.
However, cable internet is quite susceptible to weather conditions and events (like a blizzard, storms, a cold wave and the like). Also, electromagnetic interference can cause problems with electrical signals in cable internet.
Comparison of quality – how fast is cable vs fiber internet?
Due to differences in the way these two technologies transmit internet signals, there is a difference of speed and quality in both cable and fiber optics internet networks.
Fiber Optics Internet Networks
Fiber-optic internet networks and service providers usually offer top-notch internet signals. They are quicker as fiber optics provides speeds from 250 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps.
It also takes users less than ten seconds to download a movie with a duration of two hours using a speed of 1,000 Mbps in comparison to ten minutes it takes on a connection of 20 Mbps.
Such internet speeds outpace the average American household internet speed i.e. 72 Mbps. Moreover, fiber optic internet service providers offer symmetrical speeds when it comes to uploads and downloads. This phenomenon indicates that uploading and downloading information is hence easy.
Such a phenomenon is quite unique and appeals nicely to most internet users. Those who are constantly uploading data and information (especially video conferencing or multiplayer gaming), such a structure can save users a considerable amount of time, and reduce lags.
Most cable internet networks usually offer customers downloading speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to above 200 Mbps. Yet upload speeds are a small fraction of these figures. Higher speed internet plans are most likely to appeal to residential customers as per market research.
It is true that lower speed capabilities offered by cable internet providers can easily cater to small sized households and those who seldom use the internet.
However, one of the biggest drawbacks of cable internet is that the bandwidth is shared with other users nearby (i.e. the neighborhood). Speeds are adversely impacted down at peak hours especially when the whole neighborhood is using the same cable internet. Also, it is an unreliable internet network technology susceptible to numerous external factors.
Is Cable internet more commonly available compared to Fiber Optics?
When comparing the availability of cable internet with fiber optics, the results are surprising. As per the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States, approximately 14% of American households can access fiber optics speeds of 1,000 Mbps or above.
Cable internet is available to 88% of American households, but the speeds are at least 25 Mbps. It means that the average American consumer can find more cable internet service providers in comparison to fiber optics internet service providers.
It may come as a surprise to many about why Fiber optics internet is not commonly available in the United States. A reason for such is that manufacturing fiber technology is a long and expensive process. Moreover, it was determined that Google Fiber’s early nationwide expansion plan cost the company almost USD$ 7,000 per household.
If a company like Verizon would be able to provide Fiber optics service in a typical American neighborhood, then customers can easily obtain fiber optics internet.
Businesses and organizations alike can easily obtain a fiber internet connection (as a private, secure, and reliable network option). They can purchase Direct Internet Access (DIA) fiber and obtain a dedicated connection built for their respective workplaces. However, homeowners aren’t that lucky at the moment but may obtain fiber optics connections in the near future.
Which one is best suited for customers? – fiber vs cable internet internet?
Cable technology offers top-notch entertainment for a lot of people. It has top timer internet speeds which can support a complete household. Also, people who wish to bundle their services for limiting internet expenses can go ahead with Cable internet.
In terms of Television streaming, Fiber optics provides limited options. Internet service providers providing Fiber optics services will usually contract TV streaming services from other providers. For the best deals in bundles and television streaming, Cable internet service is a much better option.
The speed fiber optics internet offers is something each user needs right now but it should be understood that this technology is future proof. With advancements in technology being made, HD streaming is now available in 4K and 8K, requiring more data and speed for proper functioning.]
Online gaming enthusiasts need to upload videos in real time when playing games. The slightest drop in internet speeds ruins their session. If fiber optics internet becomes available to residential customers, then they will utilize it to the max.