Fiber vs Cable Internet: How Are They Different?
The internet can go by many different names, like WiFi, cable, or fiber. However, the two major ones, cable and fiber, are the ones responsible for getting a connection from your ISP to your home.
If you're wondering how that happens, let's dive into the details and find out.
What’s the difference between fiber and cable?
Both fiber and cable are technologies used to transmit internet signals between various points. The difference between them is how they deliver the internet to your home or business.
Fiber optic cables used by fiber internet companies are made from strands of flexible glass to transmit data via light signals. These cables are very strong. The fiber optic cables themselves, unlike traditional cable internet connections, do not need electrical power to work, so the internet connection won’t go out if you lose power. (Keep in mind, however, that your devices – PCs, laptops, phones, tablets, etc. – do require either an electrical connection or a charged battery to stay functional.)
Cable internet companies use electrically powered coaxial cables to deliver internet and TV signals. These cables are insulated and have a copper core surrounded by layers of copper, aluminum, and plastic.
Overall, cable internet is slower and more prone to interference and slowdowns. Meanwhile, fiber internet is lightning-fast, reliable, and can reach a higher speed than cable.
Is fiber more reliable than cable?
Yes, fiber internet is better than cable in almost every way, and it's significantly more reliable than cable. Since fiber internet doesn't require power to work, it's reliable even during power outages. Additionally, fiber is significantly superior to cable internet during peak times because there are no connection slowdowns.
Due to its high speed, fiber internet is superior when many people are connected to it at the same time. So whether you're in a big home or a large company, everyone can use it to play online games, stream Netflix shows, transfer large files, or hold large video meetings without any connection issues.
The high speed and reliability of fiber internet also greatly benefit online content creators, both for videos and for streaming. With fiber, you can stream at high quality and quickly upload large videos.
Is fiber internet faster than cable?
Yes, fiber internet is generally much faster than cable. Cable internet plans usually start at around 50 Mbps and go up to 1 Gig. Cable plans start cheaper than fiber but become a lot more expensive with higher speeds.
Fiber internet uses a different technology that uses light to transfer data at high speeds. Fiber internet signals are much faster, starting at 50 Mbps and going up to a lightning-fast 10 Gigs.
When downloading a two-hour movie, cable internet can take several minutes or even a whole hour during peak usage times. Meanwhile, fiber internet speeds can effortlessly download a movie in only a few minutes.
Also, if there are too many devices connected at the same time with cable internet, the slowdown can be quite significant. It'll take longer to download things, while also negatively affecting everybody else's connection.
Which is more popular, fiber internet or cable internet?
When we look at cable and fiber, we must compare their popularity while considering their benefits. Fiber has great advantages over cable internet, with a reliable connection, faster data transmission, and resilient infrastructure.
While fiber internet is superior in every way to cable, the technology is still fairly new, so it has limited availability. Unfortunately, only 43% of Americans so far have access to the fast and affordable plans that fiber internet offers.
If you're in an area without fiber access, don't worry. Fidium Fiber is working to expand lightning-fast internet to homes and businesses. If you want to know if we are expanding in your area, you can check online here to see if Fidium is available in your area.
Fiber vs Cable: Which is best for you?
If fiber internet is available in your area – you can check here to see if Fidium serves your location – then it's often the best choice due to better plans, higher speed, and lower costs than cable. So let's go into the details to understand why fiber is better than cable.
If you have never used fiber internet before, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how fast and stable the connection is.
While other internet types offer most plans from 10 to 300 Mbps, fiber plans can offer 2 Gigs speed even for residential use. And if you need even more, fiber internet can reach 10 Gigs, making it the perfect internet option for heavy users, large households, or businesses.
While cable internet is common and widespread, it has many problems with slowdowns, inconsistencies, high latency, and crowded areas. Cable users often suffer from internet speed degradation during high usage hours as many users try to connect at the same time and overload the internet provider nodes.
Fiber internet can carry such large amounts of data that it simply doesn’t have this issue.
Fiber is perfect for professionals, students, content creators, and anyone that needs a reliable connection with fast speeds, as fiber can stay online even during localized power outages. (That said, of course, your computers and mobile devices will need a power source!)
Cable plans generally start cheaper than fiber plans, but there's more to it than that. Fiber is a better investment, as it delivers far superior speeds, reliable connectivity, and better infrastructure.
The lowest speed tier you can get with fiber internet is still considerably faster than the highest speed tier you can get with cable – and also comes at a lower cost.
With fiber internet, you get quality to improve your browsing, gaming, or watching experience. If you want to get the most out of your money, fiber is the way to go.
Fiber: The clear winner for speed and reliability
Fiber internet is the clear winner for internet connection plans. It's the fastest, most reliable, and maintains high-quality signals even across long distances.
If you want to work, play games, create content, or chat online without worrying about your connection failing you, fiber is the right choice.
Whether you’re looking for lightning-fast internet speeds at home or a connection you can rely on at work, contact us anytime to find out more about how you can get great speeds at great prices!
You can click here to check out our offerings for fast, reliable fiber.