Fiber internet or Cable? Which broadband Internet connection is good for you? A fast and reliable internet connection is key to successful business communication. The service you select will have an impact on the satisfaction of your customers, partners, and employees. It influences your efficiency, reputation, and productivity on a regular basis and can seriously affect your bottom line.
A layman has no idea regarding the differences between multiple types of internet connection. Typically, an internet user only wants to invest in an internet service that gets their job done without any frozen screens of death, lag time, or choppiness. Obviously, a lot of options give you access to a high-speed internet connection, but each of them is pretty different from another in various ways. If you are a business owner, you surely want to get an internet connection that promises the most reliable service as per your needs and budget.
There two most sought-after internet connection types nowadays: fiber and cable. Both vary in their functionality, structure, speed, and even reliability. Most people consider fiber internet a better option than cable internet. Here is a basic comparison of both to help you make the right decision for your household or small business.
So, let’s get started!
Fiber vs Cable Internet: Structure
When weighing fiber and cable internet options, fiber optic is generally perceived as more advanced.
Cable internet basically uses the same technology as your cable television, i.e. coax or coaxial cable to transmit data. This coax cable has a copper core protected with aluminum, a copper shield, and an outer plastic layer. It has the potential to deliver both internet connection and TV network, simultaneously. Hence, cable service providers often combine both services together in a bundle deal. However, you will need a cable modem and cable modem termination system to access cable internet.
Although cable broadband does not stand in the way of your TV, you may have to share your connection with other people in your area subscribed to the same service as yours.
On the other hand, a fiber-optic connection uses highly advanced technology and transmits information in the form of light via small, flexible glass strands. These thin fiber strands allow data to be delivered faster over very long distances.
When it comes to reliability, both fiber and cable internet connections are almost similar. However, factors that impact electricity also impact cable connections. If you reside in a neighborhood that faces frequent electricity outages and cable interruptions, cable internet may not be a preferable option for you. If you have no choice, then do keep backup internet sources for such situations.
Unlike cable where users have to share a connection with other people, fiber internet provides users have a dedicated line. This means fiber protects you against delays and latency while cable-internet users may experience slower speeds during high-volume times.
Plus, a fiber optic internet does not face any interruptions from electricity outages. Even in the absence of electricity, you will be able to access the fiber-optic network as its cables are made of glass and do not transmit electricity. Not to mention, fiber internet protects cables from fire hazards and fluctuating power voltages.
Since fiber internet cannot be disrupted as easily as cable internet, it automatically becomes a more reliable choice due to its consistent service.
On average, most cable networks offer a download speed in the range of 10 Mbps – 500 Mbps and upload speed somewhere between 5 Mbps – 50 Mbps. This internet speed is enough for most households and small-scale businesses.
With cable network speed, you can use the internet like Mediacom for downloading heavy files, streaming videos, and playing online games. But since it is a shared network, whenever the traffic is at its peak, you will experience slower speed than usual. Generally, you can face up to 25% speed reduction during peak usage times.
Fiber-optic internet services are not only fast, but also pretty consistent compared to cable broadband. You cannot get anything less than the range of 250 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps speeds in both directions. Plus, several people can use the fiber internet at the same time without facing any issues in overall performance. This makes it an ideal choice for internet usage that demands to stay constant, even during high traffic periods.
Fiber vs Cable Internet: Cost
Most people believe that a cable internet connection is quite cheaper when compared to a fiber internet connection. What they don’t know is that the costs associated with fiber optic have significantly reduced in the past couple of years. Although it is still on the pricy side, it is more close to cable service costs.
Let’s keep it a buck. Cable is mostly determined by your television, phone service, or location — you can go for a standalone plan or a cable and television bundle deal from your service provider to avail of some additional savings.
On the other hand, fiber-optic internet is usually more expensive and depends on the broadband speeds you want, your location, as well as on your internet lifestyle. Additionally, you may have to pay for activation and installation charges.
If your business is spread in multiple locations, we would suggest you get a fiber network at the hub office and cable connection at all other locations. This way, you can easily balance your capacity and speeds with affordability.
Fiber and cable are both equally efficient and can deliver up to 1,000 Mbps of speeds, but fiber is comparatively better for providing blazing-fast speeds, especially for upload bandwidth. Moreover, it is also less susceptible to high-traffic slowdowns compared to a cable network.
All you need to do is open your browser, type “fiber internet near me” and start your research. If it is available and you need fast and reliable speeds, go with fiber.