In this article, we will discuss fiber versus cable internet. These days the internet plays a primary role in our lives. Until ten years ago, if you did not have an internet connection at home, you might seem just not interested in social media and web surfing.But today, the internet is an obligatory need for all.
- 1) What Is Fiber vs Cable Internet
- 2) Cable Based Networks
- 3) Fiber Optic-Based Networks
- 4) Fiber Versus Cable Internet
- 5) 16 Advantages of Fiber Optics Over Cables
- 6) Fiber vs Cable Internet for Gaming
- 7) FAQ
- 8) 1- Is optical fiber internet faster than cable internet?
- 9) 2- Is fiber internet expensive?
- 10) 3- is fiber or cable internet better?
- 11) 4-what are cable internet types?
- 12) 5- Why don’t the telephone and internet interfere in cable internets like ADSL and VDSL?
- 13) 6- Why is optical fiber preferable to copper cable?
- 14) 7- fiber vs cable internet for business
- 15) 8- What other uses does fiber optics have?
- 16) 9- what is fiber cable internet speed – fiber versus cable internet?
Optical telecommunications is one of the most important data transmission means due to its wider bandwidth than copper cables and less latency than satellite telecommunications.
Many people take advantage of fiber optic internet, and some are still using cable internet. Both have their specific weakness and advantages.
Through this article’s information, you will be able to decide which one is proper for you in terms of speed, reliability, cost, structure, availability, etc.
Your connection will impact the quality of your online experience and directly impact the services you provide for your customers on your website.
The main characteristic of choosing an internet service for typical internet users is just high speed. But there is much more in this concern.
If you want to make the best decision about fiber versus cable internet, there is no way except having useful information about these two common internet access.
Especially if you want to develop your business via the internet, you must invest enough time to make the best choice that is reliable, meets your needs, and be affordable.
What Is Fiber vs Cable Internet
Data is transmitted in computer and telecommunication networks through three different medias: copper wire, wireless media, and fiber optics. The wireless network is highly efficient in satellite telecommunications, but it is unprotected.
Wireless media is extremely sensitive to noise and is so noisy that even wind and rain noises affect it.
Copper cable and Optical fibers are two communication channels widely used in data communication networks.
Choosing the right type between coaxial cable vs. fiber optic internet is a must for network administrators. For example, temperature as an external and uncontrollable factor can affect the performance severely.
Cable Based Networks
Cables provide better performance than wireless media in data transferring. That’s why different types of copper wire cables have been being used widely in connecting computer devices.
This issue makes the cable a great choice that can be used to connect computer devices in a local network or internet network. Cables are copper wires with various models and types with their weaknesses and advantages.
Copper metal is relatively soft and conducts heat and electricity very well. It has the second grade in the most conductive metals (after silver).
This electrical property makes it an excellent choice for data transferring in internet networks.
The main weakness of this system is resistance.
When communication signals cross through the copper channel, they get weak.
The signal attenuation through the copper medium will lead to speed limitations and make it hard to transfer data signals for long distances.
Types of Copper Cables
Network administrators use two kinds of copper cables for data communication, including:
- Twisted Pair cables: most widely used for computer network data transmitting.
- Coaxial cables or coax: coax cable has a copper core insulated with aluminum and a copper shield with an outer plastic layer. They can supply an internet network.
Fiber Optic-Based Networks
Fiber optics are thin strands of glass that can carry pulses of light.
The light that can contain the desired information that we want to send across far distance.
Fiber internet versus cable: What is fiber optic?
As mentioned, Optical fibers are long, thin strands made of clear, pure glass that are as thick as a human hair!
Optical cables consist of a large gathering of these strands used to transmit optical signals over long distances.
Of course, this is not their whole usage. They are also used for medical photography and technical examinations in mechanical engineering.
Fiber optic channel
Light beams passed From origin to destination will be sent to a device that can change light pulse into electrical signals that are easy for computers to read and process.
So as you can guess, we need two crucial devices on two sides of a fiber optic communication system that can convert light pulse and electrical signals into each other:
- The transmitter: converts the electronic pulses into light pulses to transmit through the optical fiber cable.
- The receiver: it decodes the light pulses into a digital signal.
One of this media’s strengths in fiber versus cable internet comparison is that optical fiber channels are immune to radio frequency interference signals.
these channels transmit a high amount of data at high speed in the presence of electromagnetic interference.
Fiber Versus Cable Internet
fiber cable internet speed is higher than cable internet. It delivers faster and more consistent data speed even in peak usage times than most ISP users are online.
Copper cable infrastructure is limited in bandwidth. They usually offer asymmetrical speeds, which technically means more download bandwidth than upload.
For example, you may choose a plan with download speeds up to 100 Mbps. But you can upload data just in 10-20 Mbps.
The table below can give you a big picture of these two types speeds. (reference: all connect) *Note that coaxial cables have data speed limits. In this table, some ISPs provide up to 1 Gbps speed through cables, but as copper cables are not dedicated channels, they might be shared between multiple users. The typical cable internet rate is 10-500 Mbps for download and 5-50 Mbps for upload.
|Fiber Optic Internet vs Cable Speed /ISP||Fiber Optic Internet||Cable Internet|
|Cox||1000 Mbps||10-940 Mbps|
|Mediacom||1000 Mbps||60-1000 Mbps|
|SuddenLink||100-1000 Mbps||100-1,000 Mbps|
|Verizon Fios||200-940 Mbps||–|
On a large scale, while constructing an Internet service from scratch, fiber cable internet installation is less expensive. Fiber optics are cheaper than copper, but detectors and optical amplifiers are more expensive.
Overall, because the optical signal loss is much smaller, the amplifiers’ number will be less, and the whole system’s cost will be lower.
Fiber cable internet price and cable internet price vary according to speed, data capacity, and contract time. You can see the price range of several ISPs fiber versus cable internet below: (reference: all connect)
|Fiber Cable Internet Price/ ISP||Fiber Optic Internet Price/mo||Cable Internet/mo|
|CenturyLink||$49.00 – $65.00||–|
|Cox||$29.00 – $99.99||$29.99-$99.99|
|Optimum||$45.00 – $80.00||$40.00-$65.00|
|Suddenlink||$35.00 – $75.00||$35.00-$75.00|
|Verizon Fios||$39.99 – $79.99|
|Xfinity||$25.00 – $67.00||$29.99-$299.99|
|Windstream||$24.99 – $299.99|
Fiber Optic vs Cable Internet: Availability
Fiber-optic internet is not as accessible as cable internet, so restricted availability is the main drawback of optical internet, and widespread availability is the benefit of cable internet.
What is the difference between cable and fiber internet Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies of data transmission in a system.
The higher the bandwidth, the higher the data transfer rate.
Investing in fiber optic internet can significantly increase your bandwidth potential.
Fiber optics have a much higher bandwidth than conventional cables and can transmit data at bandwidths up to 10 Gbps and above.
Copper wire infrastructure and TDM technology are very limited in nature.
Because they were initially designed only to send voice calls and as a result, the bandwidth demand was not high. For example, The T-1 can only operate at 1.5 Mbps.
Fiber internet vs cable internet: Reliability
In terms of fiber vs cable internet reliability, according to the many advances that fiber and cable internet have had so far, both of them are reliable and can provide high-speed connection.
But in active systems like cable internet, which depend on electric power, you must know that blackouts may impact your internet connection.
Fiber-optic networks are passive, so usually, you won’t experience an interruption or going down in case of power outages.
Fiber internet vs cable – How they work?
The concept of transmitting an electrical signal through copper cables are clear in cable-based networks, so there is no need for further explanation.
But to understand fiber internet vs cable systems operations, you need to know more about fiber optic cables.
Here is an example to describe how fiber optics work. Suppose you want to use a flashlight to illuminate a large, straight corridor.
The flashlight light will directly lighten the hall according to its exposure power.
Due to a straight light beam path, the flashlight can illuminate the desired range.
But what if the place has corners? What problem will you encounter, and how will you solve it?
– You can use a mirror in the corridor corners to reflect light from the relevant angle.
What if the corridor has many corners?
– Yes, it is true; you can use several mirrors along the entire length of the wall. In this way, the light moves from one point to another, and by multiple reflections, it can continue on its way.
It is similar to what happens in fiber optics. Optical fiber uses light to transmit data streams by using two glass layers and the light refraction law.
With the sophisticated design of layers and their refractive index, the light can travel to reach its destination. (for further information read: How Fiber Internet Works )
Due to the high speed of light and multiple equipment in its path (like amplifiers), the transmitted data reaches the destination with very high reliability during transmission.
16 Advantages of Fiber Optics Over Cables
- Cheaper installation of network construction: The cost of several kilometers of optical cable is less than copper wires.
- Thinner than copper cables: The diameter of optical fibers is much smaller than copper wires.
- High capacity: The bandwidth of fiber optics for sending information is much more than copper wire.
- Low attenuation: Signal attenuation in optical fiber is much less than copper wire.
- Low interference: Unlike electrical signals in copper, optical signals will not affect other fibers. Engineers can install thousands of fiber optics together without worrying about signal interference.
As you know, electricity generates a magnetic field, and Electric and magnetic fields affect electrical signals. In contrast, optical signals do not produce any electrician and magnetic field.
It leads to two valuable results: One is that the optical fibers will not affect each other. The other is strong electric and magnetic fields do not affect the optical fibers.
So there is no risk of interference, and engineers can place optical fibers along with high voltage cables in power transmission lines.
- Low power consumption: Due to law signal attenuation, it is possible to use transmitters with low power consumption than electric transmitters that use high voltage.
- Appropriate for digital signals: fiber optic is suitable for transmitting digital information.
- Non-flammable: Due to the lack of electricity, there will be no possibility of fire.
- Lightweight: A fiber optic cable weighs far less than a copper cable, and this factor is helpful in the operation, installation, and maintenance of the fiber.
Cont. Advantages of Fiber Optics Over Cable
- Flexibility: Due to fiber optics’ flexibility and data send and receive possibility, it is used in digital cameras in medical photography.
- Temperature resistant: Optical fiber is more resistant to temperature change than copper wire.
- More speed: Fiber optic cable is much faster than copper cable.
- Newer infrastructure
- Decay resistance: Unlike copper wires, optical fiber is resistant to decay and has the ability to transmit data over distances of 50 km or more without loss of quality.
- Easy upgrade: With technological advancement, there is no need to change fibers, and only electronic equipment should be upgraded.
- Stability: In fiber optic cables, the possibility of disrupting data transmission and being affected by all types of electromagnetic noise, including radiofrequency noise or nearby cable noises, is low, so it is stable.
In general, optical fibers are well protected from interference with other communication channels, whether optical or electrical.
That is, they have excellent radio frequency interference (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Due to the fiber versus cable internet advantages, engineers use this type of telecommunication on a large scale.
But the fiber-optic network has two main downsides, including limited availability and limited plan variety.
It means that you cant apply for fiber-based internet in any area.
The reason for the popularity of high-speed cable internet service is the availability of this technology.
Fiber vs Cable Internet for Gaming
Even if you are not into online gaming, you may have heard the word ping at least once. Ping is, by far, one of the most determinant factors of the online gaming experience.
Especially in competitive games, it can have a profound effect on the result.
Briefly, ping is the delay between your computer and a remote device. Ping tells you how long it takes for a packet of data to be transferred from your computer to the intended server and then returned to you.
In web browsing, the delay between clicking a link and loading determines the ping. It takes a while for each packet to move between your computer and the server.
Ping is extremely important when playing online games. It determines the delay between order and action, such as shooting a person or detonating ammunition and having it done.
So the lower the ping, the less the latency, and all your orders will be executed almost immediately.
So compared to cable internet vs fiber for gaming, we can say fiber optic is usually better.
Since fiber optics generally offer higher speeds and lower ping, gamers can download faster and react quicker! Also, due to the symmetric structure, it provides equal download and upload speeds.
1- Is optical fiber internet faster than cable internet?
Yes, it is. Fiber optic Internet delivers faster and more consistent data speed than cable, but it doesn’t mean that cable connections are slow.
They can provide (some ISPs) up to 1000 Mbps that is great for meeting online needs.
2- Is fiber internet expensive?
In terms of fiber versus cable internet cost, internet over fiber optic cables can be more expensive than copper cables because new infrastructures are expensive.
It depends on the amount of usage, speed, data capacity, and contract time. There are multiple internet service providers. You can easily find an affordable plan.
3- is fiber or cable internet better?
Fiber optic cable is much faster than ordinary cables because they transfer the information in dedicated lines, which provides more speed than cable.
It happens even at the peak Internet usage. Fiber optic internet is also more reliable because fibers are not as sensitive to noise and RF interference as copper cables.
4-what are cable internet types?
ADSL and VDSL are two types of Cable internet that use copper cables to connect to the internet.
The telecommunication cable contains a string of copper wires that transmit data.
The copper wire is located in the center of the cable and is covered by plastic insulation.
5- Why don’t the telephone and internet interfere in cable internets like ADSL and VDSL?
Due to cables’ high capacity and bandwidth, it is possible to use the internet and the telephone simultaneously.
Technically, each signal spectrum has a specified frequency range, and they will not interfere with each other.
6- Why is optical fiber preferable to copper cable?
Fiber optic technology relies on light instead of electricity to transmit data, which makes it much faster.
Also, due to less pulse attenuation, there are fewer amplifiers in long distances.
7- fiber vs cable internet for business
Although businesses’ needs can vary dramatically, fiber optics’ benefits make it a wise choice for many companies.
Most companies are aware of the advantages of its high speed, but other benefits are less well known:
- Wider bandwidth
- higher upload speed
- Less attenuation and more distance
- Low power consumption
8- What other uses does fiber optics have?
Fiber optic sensors are used to measure physical quantities such as electric current, magnetic field, pressure, heat, and displacement of seawater pollution, fluid levels, gamma, and X-ray radiation.
Another fiber optics application is in the military, including communication and control with radar, missile control and guidance, and submarine communication.
Fiber optics also have many medical applications, including detecting defects, laser surgery, dentistry usages.
9- what is fiber cable internet speed – fiber versus cable internet?
Due to the high speed of light and the lack of distance effect, transferring information with the highest quality and speed through fiber optics is possible.
As we said in the fiber versus cable internet speed section of this article, it varies from 250-1,000 Mbps for both download and upload.