What Is Fiber Internet and Should You Switch From Cable?.
In the past, fiber optic internet was a secondary high-speed internet technology available only to large companies or anyone living in major cities. Recently, however, fiber optic networks have been penetrating rural areas. In fact, you may have received phone calls or seen advertisements for fiber available in your area.
But what is fiber optic internet? Should you switch from your reliable cable internet to this newfangled fiber internet technology? In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about broadband fiber internet so you can make your own decision.
DSL Vs. Cable Vs. Fiber
The Internet is, in very simple terms, the transfer of information over wires from one computer to another. This information consists of very small pieces of code consisting of ones and zeros (on and off signals). Think of it like Morse code with a light switch.
Transmitting this “code” over the wire is what makes the Internet work. The only difference between all the different types of Internet services is how those 1s and 0s are transmitted.
Dial-Up: In the early days of the Internet, the Internet sent audio signals that represented data over copper telephone lines. . If you picked up the phone while someone in your house was online, you would hear a sound that sounded like static. This “noise” was the sound of data transmission from these ones and zeros.DSL (Digital Subscriber Line). While “sound” over telephone wires was the analog internet solution, the digital solution was the DSL internet. Using the same telephone lines with copper wire, companies have figured out how to transmit electrical ON or OFF signals to transmit web pages and other Internet data over telephone lines at higher speeds.Cable: cable TV providers have figured out how to transmit Internet signals over phone lines at higher speeds. their large coaxial cables, a technology that allows information to be transmitted much faster. The difference between internet speed over coaxial cable and telephone connection over DSL is at least twice as high.Fiber optic. The fiber optic internet has changed the game because instead of copper cables, fiber optic cables are thin fibers encased in a thick insulator. (cable). Fiber optic cables allow Internet ON and OFF signals to be transmitted literally like light (as in our light switch example). However, since light travels… well… at the speed of light, no other technology can match it in speed. Fiber is typically 10 times faster than cable internet.
What Is Fiber Internet?
Before you take the leap and switch to a fiber optic broadband internet provider, you might want to understand the technology a little better. Let’s take a look at how fiber optic internet technology works.
Fiber optic network cables are very different from conventional metal cables. They are made of glass fibers that can transmit light over very long distances.
While metal cables such as coaxial cable cannot transmit information at 10 Mbps (80 times faster than metal twisted pair), fiber optic lines can transmit information at up to 2 Gbps.
Putting it into perspective, the Internet is estimated to contain about 1 million exabytes of data. 1 exabyte is 1 billion billion bytes. Thus, the huge Internet takes up 1 million billion billion bytes.
Let’s say we did an experiment and tried to transmit the entire Internet over coaxial cable rather than fiber optic cable.
Coaxial (cable): It would take just over 253.5 billion years to transmit the entire Internet over a cable line. Optical fiber (light). It would take just over 253.5 million years to transmit the entire Internet over fiber.
This means that when the entire Internet is transmitted over fiber, anyone with a cable will have to wait another 253.2 billion years before catching up.
Is Fiber Internet Better for You?
This is a fun thought experiment, but will it benefit you in your normal daily life? Let’s take a look at common activities and see how much better fiber internet would work.
2-hour HD movie (3 GB). A cable connection (at 100 Mbps) will download this movie in about 5 minutes. Fiber (at 1 gigabits per second) will only take about 25 seconds.4-minute song (3 megabytes): cable connection will take 0.3 seconds, and fiber 0.03 seconds.9- 1 hour audiobook (110 megabytes): 9.2 seconds for cable and 0.9 seconds for fiber.
While this rapid increase in speed may be good for you, consider other reasons why your internet bandwidth ends up being clogged in your home or area.
One household member is playing an online multiplayer game while someone else is trying to stream a movie.During the holidays, several households in the same area are trying to stream holiday movies.One computer in your home. home is trying to download Windows updates, the smart home device is automatically downloading new firmware, and you are trying to watch an HD movie on Netflix.
For most Internet users, there are many scenarios where multiple data streams are happening at the same time. Eventually, your cable internet bandwidth will reach its limit much sooner than your fiber optic internet connection.
Note. A high-speed fiber optic Internet connection has two main advantages. First, you have a dedicated data line for your ISP. You do not share the same cable line with other people in your area, so their internet usage will not affect your internet speed. Secondly, the download speed is usually the same as the download speed, unlike the cable, which limits the reverse download.
Is Fiber Internet Worth the Cost?
If all of the information above has convinced you that fiber optic internet access will greatly enhance your work and entertainment experience, you might be wondering how much it all costs.
Fortunately, the cost of fiber optic internet has come down significantly in recent years. Companies outside the cable TV market have entered the game. These days, telephone companies such as AT&T and power companies offer fiber optic Internet access in various areas.
Since the ISP market is so competitive, you will have a hard time finding prices online. However, at the time of this writing, a 10Mbps connection to a company like Comcast/Xfinity may start with an “introductory” offer at $49/month, but usually reverts back to the standard $69/month. You will also have to pay approximately $5 to $10 for router rental.
For about the same price (with hardware included), most companies offering fiber plans will install a fiber router and run a fiber connection to the fiber modem port. Most companies also include a Wi-Fi router for your home network.
This means that for about the normal (and not the short-term “offers” that cable companies offer upfront) the price of a 10 Mbps cable Internet subscription, you can enjoy 500 Mbps fiber speeds on a fiber optic Internet connection.
If you’re willing to pay a little more for Internet access, you can even have a 1 Gbps fiber optic Internet connection.
Should You Upgrade to Fiber Internet?
By now, you’ve probably already decided that the benefits of fiber optic internet are well worth the cost. However, the only real limitation these days is geography. Fiber Internet lines are not available for installation everywhere in the world.
Many companies offer fiber internet plans. The only way to know if these internet options are available in your area is to check each provider, which can be tedious. The best approach is to check with highspeedinternet.com which checks all the major providers for you.
If you have fiber internet in your area, it’s probably time to take the plunge and switch. Now most of the Internet is devoted to streaming HD content and high-speed games. You really don’t want to be left with an outdated coax internet connection that can’t handle it.
What Is Fiber Internet and Should You Switch From Cable?
What Is Fiber Internet and Should You Switch From Cable?