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Fiber Internet Connection
Fiber internet uses light pulses to transfer data over a very fine and flexible glass wire. While DSL internet and cable internet are fast, fiber-optic internet is much faster — up to 25x faster. Fiber internet transmits data so fast because light signals transfer data more efficiently than traditional DSL or copper cable.
All fiber-optic internet connections are not the same. FTTN, or fiber to the node, connections use fiber cables to carry data to a hub close to your home. From this point, DSL or coaxial cables may carry the data for the rest of the way. Fiber internet providers may connect multiple homes in your neighborhood to the same node. Consequently, peak usage time and distance from the node can slow internet speeds.
Fiber Vs. Cable & DSL
If you live in an area with access to fiber internet, chances are good that you also have cable and DSL internet options as well. The type of internet you choose can make a difference in available speeds and overall quality of service.
- Speeds – Fiber-optic internet can offer download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps or higher, which is faster than most cable internet plans and significantly faster than DSL or satellite internet. Fiber-optic internet is also ideal for fast upload speeds, with up to 500 Mbps from select providers and plans.
- Reliability – FTTH connections transfer data more efficiently than copper cables and telephone lines, giving users a reliable connection with consistent speeds. For the most part, both fiber and cable internet providers are capable of delivering actual speeds near their advertised speeds. Fiber-optic internet, however, is usually less susceptible to slower speeds during peak usage times.
- Price – Fiber internet plans are often comparable to cable pricing, but can cost much more than DSL plans. When it comes to price per megabit, fiber internet is one of the more cost-effective internet types because of the high speeds you get.
- Availability – Cable and DSL internet providers are currently much more widely available than fiber. According to the FCC, cable internet is available in 89% of the U.S. while DSL is available in 84% and fiber is available in only about 30%.
Who is Fiber Internet good for?
Fiber internet is ideal for users who want fast, consistent internet speeds and don’t mind paying a little extra for service. Additionally, fiber internet can offer greater bandwidth than cable or DSL internet service, making it good for families or households with multiple connected devices, as well as serious gamers or those who work from home and need high upload speeds. Fiber-optic internet gives you the bandwidth to stream, game online, browse social media and more at once across multiple devices.
Though it is a great internet service type, fiber-optic internet isn’t for everyone. If you’re shopping for the cheapest internet service, fiber-optic internet likely will not offer the cheapest plans in your area. Also, if you just need an internet connection for browsing the web and streaming, you likely won’t need the faster speeds that come with fiber internet. For slower — and often cheaper — internet plans, DSL or cable may be a better option for your home.
Pros and Cons of Fiber Internet
Fiber internet gives you a connection that’s great for streaming videos, gaming, video conferencing, uploading large files and more. Even with all of fiber internet’s perks, fiber has some disadvantages.
- Quality: Since fiber’s main conductor is glass, it’s resistant to interference. This helps it produce a connection known for superior performance, reliability and high speeds.
- Speed: Fiber internet speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps where available.
- Value over time: Because fiber-optic networks cost less to maintain, the price for service is expected to become more affordable over time.
- Availability: As providers install more fiber-optic lines, fiber internet becomes available to more people. But at this time, fiber is only available in select cities and neighborhoods.
- Initial expansion costs: Fiber networks cost more than other internet connection types to construct. It can lead to higher initial costs for providers and then customers.
- Home installation requirements: Many homes already have phone lines or cable connections at the ready for DSL and cable connections. Since fiber technology is newer, a fiber provider may need to drill into your home to set up new lines.
Get Fiber Internet Near You
Whether you’re moving or looking for a deal on high-speed internet, CompuSOURCE can help. We make it easy to find and compare available fiber internet providers and plans near you.