A wired internet connection is way more reliable, stable and faster than wireless internet. There are two most popular means of connecting to the internet with a wired connection. These include; cable and fibre. These two types of wired internet options vary in their principle of data transmission, which in the end leads to a variation in the speeds and stability of your internet connection.
In this article, I will share the differences between these two to make it easier to choose. I will compare using various parameters, including the core functionality, availability, speed, reliability, and price. Let’s get started!
How they work
A fibre internet connection carries data using optic fibre cables made of glass or plastic and transmits light beams through these cables. Fibre has two types: Broadband and Direct Internet Access (DIA). Broadband is mainly aimed at home users who may not need high internet speeds.
With broadband, the bandwidth is shared amongst the different people that are connected to the fibre network. The download and upload speeds that the different users get on the network are usually not symmetrical. DIA is the more viable option for companies and organizations that need faster and more stable internet speeds.
However, it is also more expensive than the broadband option, making it less ideal for home users and small businesses that don’t have a huge budget for the internet.
Cable internet transmits data using electric signals through the copper cores. The copper cores responsible for transmitting the data are contained in a copper, aluminum, and plastic shield. So, ideally, it is much faster to transfer data through optic fibre because the light is way faster than electricity.
Internet speeds: Fibre vs. cable
Since light is way faster than electricity, it is much quicker to transfer data using optic fibre than the normal coaxial cables. With fibre, you can get internet download and upload speeds of 250mbs to 1000mbs. These speeds usually depend on the package you choose to subscribe to.
On the other hand, cable internet may vary between 10mbs and 50mbs, depending on your subscription package. The main caveat in the speeds of cable internet is the resistance in the copper cables, which is not the case with optic fibres. However, these internet speeds are good enough for the most common tasks such as browsing the internet, streaming TV, etc.
Pricing: Fibre Vs. cable
Another major factor that you will have to consider while choosing between fibre and cable internet is pricing. Fibre is usually more expensive than cable internet because optic fibre cables are more expensive to manufacture and install. However, the prices of fibre internet are slowly going down, but they are still way higher than cable internet.
These prices also depend on your location, internet speeds, and the service provider you choose to use. For instance, if you are in an area where cable internet is readily available, the cost of installing it to your home or office will often be below that of someone in an area or city where it is not.
Transmission distance: Fibre vs. cable
The other factor you will have to consider while choosing between cable and fibre internet is the transmission distance. If you are considering transmitting data over a long distance, fibre internet is always the most reliable option. Copper cables are only ideal for shorter distances (less than 10m). On the other hand, fibre cables can transfer data for longer distances of up to 100km.
For instance, if you want internet in offices with significant distances between them, the ideal option is to always go for optic fibre. Copper cables will also do an excellent job for short-distance interconnections like in our homes or small office spaces.
Reliability and availability: Fibre vs. cable
Another important thing that you may have to consider while making a choice between these two is their reliability and availability. When it comes to availability, cable internet is readily available in most areas than fibre. You will often find fibre in urban areas, but for rural areas, the common option there is always cable internet.
The idea is to choose one option that is readily available in your location. For some people, it could be fibre, and for others, it is cable. But most of the time, the common internet option will always be cable internet.
However, fibre internet is way more reliable; it doesn’t need electricity to work. That means even when power is off, data can still be transmitted through these cables. Fibre is also more durable and robust than copper cables. This reliability in transmitting data is why fibre is always the best option for transmitting data over longer distances.
Your choice between cable or fibre internet will largely depend on how you use the internet and your budget. As we have seen above, cable internet is much more suitable for homes and individual users who do not need high bandwidth. Cable internet is also much cheaper, making it the perfect choice for most people and small businesses that don’t have a huge budget to spend on the internet.
However, if you are running a bigger organization that requires stable, reliable, and fast internet, fibre internet is the ideal choice.