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Fiber-Optic Internet vs. Cable: What to Know and How to Pick

Someone using multiple connected devices, a laptop and phone, requiring the greater Internet speed and bandwidth of Fiber Internet

Is Fiber Internet better than cable? Explore the pros and cons of each and what to know when choosing Fiber Internet vs. cable Internet.

A solid Internet connection is critical to a positive Internet experience, but as the Internet grows, so do our options for what to use and how to get it. Satellite, cable, DSL, and Fiber are all possible options, but each is very different, and not every option is great for everyone. Knowing what's best for you can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be.


In this article, we'll compare two of the best Internet options available today, cable vs. Fiber-Optic Internet, to help you determine which is right for you.


What's the Difference between Fiber Internet & Cable?


While Fiber and cable are both high-speed services, the biggest difference between the two is in how they transmit data. Traditional cable Internet travels along electrical currents through coaxial cables with thick copper cores. These cables are the same ones used for your cable television service, meaning, while they function well at providing Internet to your home, they were originally designed for something else. Fiber Internet, on the other hand, was created with the Internet in mind. Using strands of glass to transmit data through light pulses instead of electricity, these strands (each as thin as a human hair) are bundled together to carry data across long distances at incredibly high speeds — speeds that can often exceed the speed of cable many times over.


Not only does this make Fiber faster, but it makes it more reliable too. Copper wiring is malleable, which can be great in certain circumstances, but for Internet usage, that means it is more likely to be damaged. Additionally, copper wiring is an excellent conductor, both of its own electrical signals and other things as well. Radio waves, heat, and unintended electromagnetic signals are all common sources of cable interference, and the wiring can also be susceptible to storms and other weather events. Though you, as the consumer, may not notice the interference when it happens, copper wire's susceptibility here often makes for a less secure and less reliable connection. 


To top it off, cable is also prone to slowdown during peak hours. Due to its structure as a shared network, users often see a significant reduction in speed during heavy use, even when only a few devices are connected to their home network. And though cable can sometimes match Fiber's speeds, it is often unable to do so because of these factors.


Is Fiber Internet Better Than Cable?


All these points together may suggest that Fiber Internet is the clear winner here and, to its credit, it has the advantage. But for all the ways that Fiber currently excels, cable beats it out in two main categories: pricing and general availability.


That isn't to say Fiber is hard to come by, though. Despite being less available in some areas than cable or other services, Fiber is more widely available than it's ever been, and it's more affordable too. Cable has the leg up because it's been around longer and uses existing infrastructure to function, but Fiber networks are expanding, and it's only a matter of time before most people have access to it, regardless of where they live.


Which Internet Service Should I Get?


For most people, cable offers the best value. It's a higher-tier service than satellite or DSL, and its Internet speeds can support a household full of Internet users. Additionally, users interested in bundling their television, phone, and Internet can do so easily with cable and keep their costs down. However, as the Internet becomes a more central part of our lives, our speed needs will grow. While Fiber's speeds now may be more than enough for some, they may be a requirement for everyone before long. As media quality increases, so will the data requirements necessary to stream and enjoy it effectively; this is also true about virtually every other part of the Internet.


If you are a designer, gamer, or general tech enthusiast, you will find a lot to like about Fiber Internet. It's fast, reliable, and an upgrade worth considering if the option is available in your area. But, even for the average consumer who spends their Internet time checking emails and streaming shows, Fiber Internet will only improve those experiences. By switching to Fiber Internet, you can rest assured that your service will be for you for many years to come.


Get Fiber-Optic Internet Today


Fiber-Optic Internet speed is the ideal modern Internet technology, and while cable provides tremendous value, Fiber is future-proof. It allows heavy bandwidth usage with zero slowdowns and gives you the speeds you need when you need them.


Best of all, affordable Fiber-Optic solutions are more available than ever! If you'd like to make the switch or just learn more about what Fiber can do for you, contact our professionals. After all, when you try Fiber-Optic Internet, you'll never go back; invest in the future today!