Many people today have heard a lot about the pros of switching to fiber optic and that it is the best option to choose from, but it isn’t always clear how it differs from other options and why it is better for your home or business. What is so good about fiber internet, and why is it such a popular option? How does it compare when it comes to the other options on offer? What are the main differences between fiber optic and cable internet, or other services such as satellite internet? Is fiber more expensive?
Until now, the most popular option for home internet was a cable connection, which the majority of people are familiar with, even if we have a love/hate relationship with it. But cable can be more likely to end up going much slower during peak hours of the day, meaning that when you need to get online the most, it’s more likely to be a frustrating experience.
Is Cable Going Out?
Until now, cable has been the best option for most people. In fact, it might have been the only option available a lot of the time. But, with more and more options to choose from, this is no longer the case. An increasing number of people are beginning to ‘cut the cable’, whether that is in regards to their internet service or their TV packages. Cable is no longer the only option to choose from, and fiber optic internet is becoming more and more widespread across the country.
What is Fiber Internet?
Fiber internet operates by splitting files into packets of data made of ones and zeros. The signal is flashed by a layer into one end of a glass or plastic filament. The ‘wire’ is around the thickness of a strand of your hair. The light beam is kept inside the filament with cladding, bouncing off the sides for up to sixty miles. When the other end is reached, the light is then decoded into a form that can be used by your device or modem.
Fiber Internet Options
Fiber comes with three main types. These range from speeds that aren’t really all that much faster than your cable package, to speeds that you simply won’t believe. The speed of each type depends on the distance from your modem and the fiber. The three types are:
FTTN: Fiber to the Neighborhood or Fiber to the Node. The fiber optics reach within one mile of your home. This is the slowest of the three options, as there is a longer trip through metal wires.
FTTC: Fiber to the Curb – the fiber reaches a utility pole that is located just outside your home, where the connection is transferred to a coaxial cable to reach your modem.
FTTP: Fiber to the Premises gets the fiber all the way directly to your home. It’s the fastest and most reliable connection as the fibers come all the way to your door.
What are the Main Benefits of Fiber Internet?
Is it better to go for fiber internet service? The short answer is yes. It offers much better speeds and is much more reliable in comparison to DSL or cable internet. Along with being much faster, it also has a range of other benefits such as better TV streaming quality and no throttling. Some of the best things about getting fiber internet rather than standard cable include:
The most obvious and most well-known benefit of fiber internet is better speeds. If you are looking for a good Hawk Point internet service provider for your home or business, then speed will be one of the main factors to consider. Fiber optic speed is 1 gigabyte per second, which is ten to twenty times faster than cable internet speeds, which range from around 50-100 megabytes per second. This means that you’ll be able to do much more in a shorter time, whether you are downloading large files, streaming videos, uploading content, or simply browsing.
Ave you ever noticed that when you need power the most, it’s more likely to go out? For example, when you really need your air conditioning to work on a seriously hot day, it’s not working. That’s because the powerlines are overloaded with everybody using the AC when the temperature is high outside. The same thing might happen with a cable internet system. During peak times when everybody wants to get online, such as at 9 AM on a Monday morning when everybody is going back to work, internet providers use ‘throttling’ to reduce the risk of an outage. While your internet might not be completely down, you might notice that it is much slower, at a time where you probably need it most.
We’ve all experienced an internet connection go down. You might be watching a movie with your kids on Netflix on a weekend when suddenly, the picture crashes and you have no idea what is going to happen next. Or you’re on a video call with work when suddenly everybody’s face has frozen and you’ve been shut out of the conversation because you don’t know what anybody is saying. While a cable connection can usually handle streaming videos and going on video calls, peak traffic can cause the wires to become overloaded. This is one of the biggest advantages of fiber over cable internet. Fiber internet can deal with more users, and bigger data transfers, at a higher speed.
Same Download and Upload Speed
If you have ever managed to download a movie in minutes on cable, but uploading it took all day, then you’re not on your own. Cable can have widely different speeds for both downloading and uploading, This is based mainly on how most internet users act – many people spend a lot more time downloading files than we do uploading them, so more bandwidth tends to be allocated to downloads. However, this is not the case with fiber internet. As there is no risk of the system becoming overloaded, providers can offer the same bandwidth for both uploading and downloading.
If you love playing games that require an internet connection, then you might already know that a fiber optic speed is the best type of connection to have if you want an excellent gaming experience. If you like playing games competitively or you are Twitch streaming your games, then fiber optic internet is a must. But this isn’t because gaming uses a lot of bandwidth. Online gaming uses barely any. But the main issue when you are gaming with a cable connection is the consistency. Any problems, at the wrong time, could end up with your game all going pear-shaped, your character being killed, and having to start again. Since fiber optic is smoother and more reliable, this is less likely to happen.
Higher TV Quality
If you’re in the process of getting a high-quality, 4K TV or are considering getting one, then you might also want to consider thinking about switching to a fiber optic internet connection. Sales of Ultra High Definition TVs are on the rise as they become more widespread and accessible, are available at cheaper prices, and everybody wants a cinema experience in their own home. Cable internet might struggle to deliver smooth internet movie streaming at 4K, but on the other hand, it’ll be a breeze for a fiber optic connection, even if you have slower speeds of 500Mbps.
Multiple Device Connection
Having one computer for everybody in the house to use is long in the past. These days, everybody has their own laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and gaming consoles and we are all connected most of the time. Households are running a lot of internet-connected devices from smart speakers to smart bulbs and appliances, TVs, and more, along with everybody’s smartphone and personal devices. As our use of the internet increases, so does the demand for data transmission that’s speedy and reliable. Fiber optic providers are the best option if this is what you want for your home. They provide a steady signal, little to no signal loss, and much more bandwidth, making it easier than ever to have multiple devices connected at the same time in your home with no risk of slowing it all down.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
While it’s clear to see that there are lots of pros to switching to fiber optic internet, there are also some disadvantages to be familiar with. The main one is the reach. Fiber optic is not yet available everywhere, so it might not always be possible to get it depending on where you are based. Along with this, the prices are also higher than cable, although those who have fiber optic internet say that it is worth paying more for a better, faster, and more reliable connection at home.
If you are getting tired of your internet going down and running slowly, then it might be worth looking into whether fiber optic internet is the best choice for you. With fiber, you can enjoy much faster internet and no throttling even if you are using multiple devices at the same time.