Cable Internet vs Fiber: A Comprehensive Guide for 2022

A good internet connection is imperative to active business and personal communication, especially in the 21st century. The connection you decide on, affects the approval of your employees, potential clients, and partners. It is directly intertwined with your productivity, efficiency, and reputation on a day-to-day basis and can truly impact your business outcomes. On a personal level, the internet serves many more purposes. From Face Timing your friends and family to watching movies and planning hangouts, the internet has completely revamped the world as we see it. And there is a lot more where that comes from. 

A debate that still stands to this day, in the history of the internet has been, the choice between cable internet and fiber internet. Both of them work remarkably well, however, each service type has certain upsides and downsides that should be thoroughly considered. 

To laymen and non-techy people that make up most of our population, cable internet and fiber internet can be used interchangeably. However, these two types of internet services could not be any more different if they tried. This article talks about the very basics of cable internet and fiber networks. Consider this an all-in-one, comprehensive guide to help you make a wise choice as to what you need in 2022.

What is a high-speed internet connection?

A high-speed internet connection can transfer many data packets at a certain time. For the most part, this speed is measured in megabits per second or Mbps and gives us an insight into how the network operates. DSL and wireless connections are much slower of the bunch, with fiber and cable internet being a lot faster. The typical speed of DSL connections ranges from 5 Mbps to 35 Mbps, which is supposedly the fastest speed tier for their kind. However, this speed does not even begin to compare to cable and fiber speeds for they start at 100 Mbps and go as high up to 1000 Mbps. Fiber even more so, by delivering symmetrical upload and download multi-gigabit speeds. 

Why choose a high-speed internet connection?

A high-speed internet connection is a blessing to billions of people around the globe. Some things you can easily carry out with a good fast internet connection include:

  1. Media sharing is easier over a fast-speed internet connection. You can send WhatsApp videos and documents on your email and it all goes instantaneously. A high-speed broadband connection means your Snapchat stories are always on fleek!
  1. Remote work due to Covid-19 has kicked off with a vengeance and has become simpler with fast internet connections. You can video stream, attend virtual meetings, send files and correspond with your colleagues over the internet and it’s easier than ever. You never have to suffer from a lagging connection that makes you want to dissolve in a pool of tears!
  1. Online tools are at your disposal for use at any time. You can carry out your work with online browsing as well as other tools and directly upload them onto your cloud or tasking software. The truth is that with a high-speed internet connection, your work life is always more productive. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

What is a cable internet connection?

A cable internet connection basically shares infrastructure and technology with cable TV. It employs the use of coax or coaxial cable to transmit data over a certain distance. The wiring works on a central core of copper which has heavy insulation of aluminum around, and a plastic outer sheath. 

A coaxial cable has the capacity to supply an internet connection as well as a television network simultaneously. This allows top internet providers in Houston and other main cities to bundle TV and internet deals together. This way you can get the maximum use out of a single subscription and it helps solve all your connection-related worries. 

What is a fiber internet connection?

A fiber internet connection transmits data using fiber-optic cables. And what exactly is a fiber optic cable you wonder? In the most basic sense, a fiber optic internet cable has a structure of plastic or preferably glass, and transfers signals in the form of light. Fiber cables are a miraculous work of good engineering since they have tiny thin strands of fiber, yet can carry digital information over very long distances. All without losing or compromising on the data at all.

The fiber internet cable mainly has two kinds and is hence, designed for two contrasting uses. Direct Internet Access (DIA) fiber usually serves as a direct line operation over a secure network for large establishments and businesses that cannot afford any downtime whatsoever. The DIA is exceptionally reliable and has perfect security systems with constant screening and monitoring to keep threats away.

Broadband Fiber-Optic Network in contrast has a network condition that suits users in residential areas or small businesses. It has smaller installation costs than the DIA and therefore, might be a little less consistent than its counterpart. 

Cable vs Fiber: Which is the better choice?

The United States has an 89% of land coverage of cable internet alone, reaching far and wide within the nation. It seems to be a crowd favorite for sure since it is so far-reaching and has good speeds. However, fiber internet is making progress too, albeit a little slowly, since it is much more expensive to set up. However, this discussion is much lengthier than these superficial points. The truth is, we have to talk about the availability, speedreliability, and cost of both the networks before we declare a winner. So let us jump right in!

  1. Availability of cable and fiber internet 

Cable networks are very easy to get to and available almost everywhere, with 89% coverage across the US. If you have access to a television network that works, you can probably use a cable internet connection too. All you have to do is to call your service provider and choose an internet package that suits your needs. Since cable internet is readily available, it is the number one choice of many households nationwide.

On the other hand, despite working on the expansion, fiber internet connections are still less accessible than cable internet. Speaking of which, fiber internet is currently available to only about 25% of the US. However, efforts are being made to help it become more available than it used to be. Fiber is quite difficult to obtain for residences and businesses in suburban and rural areas. For bigger metropolitan regions like New York and Los Angeles, it is available and quite possibly the ideal candidate. 

  1. Internet speeds for cable and fiber internet  

The download speeds for a typical cable network range from 10 to 940 Mbps. The upload speeds range between 5 to 50 Mbps. Note the asymmetrical upload and download speeds, which is kind of a minor downside when we talk about cable internet. However, these broadband speeds are adequate for small-time businesses and homes for the most part.

A cable internet speed can put up with some heavy downloading, gaming, and video streaming but not always in HD. Since it is a rather shared network, whenever the internet traffic is high like in the evenings, the network speed gets slower. You should expect a good reduction in network speed during peak-use hours, particularly over the weekends.

Fiber-optic internet services, in contrast, are much faster than usual cable internet. They boast speeds of no less than 250 Mbps for even the slowest connections, ranging to highs of 1,000 Mbps, and in select areas, even 5,000 Mbps. 

Fiber internet connections also have symmetrical speeds so you get the same amount in both directions, downloads as well as uploads. A great advantage of fiber is that multiple people can connect to the network simultaneously without affecting the overall performance. There are no lags and your video stream stays as clear as day. This makes it perfect for high-demand areas that crave stability and constancy even during busiest periods.

  1. Reliability is important: But who can deliver it?

Surprisingly enough, cable and fiber internet connections are almost equally reliable. Cable internet connections however do suffer a little due to factors that affect electricity, such as shutdowns. Hence, if you have a residence in an area with frequent electricity outages, cable internet may not make the cut for you. It would not check the reliability box and make you struggle often. If you still want to use cable internet, then you may need to invest in a few good backup sources of electricity for such cases. Or you can get back up internet sources too to use during outages.

A fiber optic internet access takes the cake in this aspect too. It does not experience disruptions from electricity interruption and outages. If you have a fiber connection, you will still be able to access your internet without electricity. This is because the fiber infrastructure is made of glass and does not conduct electricity. 

Since the fiber internet does not interrupt as easily as other types of internet connections it has a much more reliable network. Simply speaking, a fiber internet connection provides a more steady and consistent service, which may be what you want.

  1. Cost of fiber internet and cable

Fiber internet connections are still a lot more expensive than cable connections and with good reason too. Fiber internet runs on an infrastructure that has a lot of limitations. The setup of the infrastructure is very pricey, to begin with, so it directly incurs extra costs on the end-user. It is also more difficult to spread out to rural areas and the suburbs and if ISPs do roll it out in those regions, it comes at an exuberant cost. 

Cable internet in contrast has rather benign pricing options. Depending upon the location of your residence, TV, and phone services, you can get whatever type and speed of cable internet you want. You can buy a standalone internet service or choose to purchase bundles that combine internet and TV services together. The best part about bundling services together is that your ISP usually gives you some discounts, so you end up saving a few bucks. 

After all, a penny saved is a penny earned, is it not? That mortgage is not going to pay itself!

Fiber-optic internet costs are more expensive and less inclusive. You can not get it everywhere and even if you do, it may very well go over your budget. Fiber costs also will depend on your internet use and the speed of the internet you want. 

Lastly, you will also have to keep in mind the installation costs on the setup and any activation fee because that is the case with several ISPs. All of this may be severely off-putting, especially if you are just looking for a fast internet connection that is affordable.

Cable Internet Vs. Fiber – Who wins this round?

Cable internet and fiber internet connections are both outstanding internet services that keep up their end of the deal by taking you online smoothly. They’re fast and secure. However, both these service types come with their baggage of good and bad. With cable internet, your speeds may never be lightning fast but it is available almost everywhere in comparison to fiber internet. Cable internet is also a lot more cost-effective, when it comes to budgeting, works very well in households, and tiny businesses. Hence, if you are looking for a decent yet affordable internet option – cable internet fits your needs to a T. 

However, if you prefer things to be faster and posher, fiber may work the best for you. Perhaps you are a gamer and want exceptionally fast internet speeds with no latency to win championships? Or maybe you own a rapidly growing business and need a reliable, stable, and secure internet connection. Under such circumstances, a fiber connection would probably be the best bet for you. 

If you want more options on the topic, you can visit the BuyTVinternetphone for more detailed information about ISPs. You can decide what you want to get first hand after studying all the options clearly. 

If you are not sure what to choose, it would certainly not hurt to get a service like Xfinity that offers super-fast cable internet plans, or AT&T, which is the cheapest fiber internet service provider you’ll find. This way you can save yourself some long days of research and upgrade easily at any time. 

Remember, you do you!

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