In today’s fast-paced modern society, the internet has become an absolute necessity and why should it not be? From shopping to working, from learning a new recipe to graduating from a course, from watching a 4K movie to being enrolled in a yoga class – everything has become convenient with the internet. It would not be an exaggeration to call the internet a companion in the new age of technology.

Since the internet has gained such immense power along with popularity, it is essential for internet users to work with the best connection whatsoever. Previously, cable connections were ruling over the broadband industry. However, now that fiber internet has come into the scene, we ought to inquire which connection is better than the other. As such, this blog post digs deep into the fiber vs. cable internet debate to find out a definite answer.

What is the Difference Between Fiber and Cable Internet?

In a nutshell, the primary differences between both services are:

  • Fiber connection offers better and more reliable internet speeds
  • Cable internet is a lot cheaper and widely available

Generally speaking, both fiber and cable internet services can reach beyond the 1,000 Mbps speed threshold. However, fiber setups are less vulnerable to bad weather conditions or high-traffic slowdowns in comparison.

Here, we discuss fiber optic internet vs. cable internet differences, factor-by-factor:

Availability

This is by far the biggest drawback of fiber internet connections – its availability is limited as of now. While fiber and cable, both services, are more concentrated in metro cities, cable internet is a lot more accessible to the general public.

Equipment and Setup

Both the internet services can be installed professionally. However, cable internet offers customers the option to self-install. If your home is well-equipped with coaxial cables, you can very easily install cable internet yourself.

On the other hand, fiber internet requires a professional technician for installation as most homes do not have the necessary equipment employed beforehand. Fiber cables might be needed to run from the provider’s fiber network to your home terminal.

Both internet services can benefit from modem and router, but, the importance of a router increases in a fiber-optic setup since it is fairly significant in maintaining symmetric speeds.

Cost

While a general notion about fiber optic internet has been that it is much more expensive than a cable connection, it is pertinent to note that fiber internet costs have come down largely. Now, both services have somewhat comparable pricing levels, with fiber internet being at the costlier end.

Since you can combine your cable internet with cable TV or phone line, the costs of the services can be lowered significantly. On contrary, fiber optic internet can be more expensive on account of your internet usage, plan, provider, and installation charges.

Speed

When it comes to fiber optic vs. cable internet speed, there is only one clear winner: Fiber optic internet. A fiber connection is able to deliver the fastest levels of internet speed while maintaining its symmetrical nature.

This does not mean that cable internet is not fast enough; it sure is, and can even reach up to 1,200 Mbps. All we mean is that fiber internet can handle more bandwidth in a better and more efficient way.

Another point to fiber is that it offers symmetric speeds, which means the same download and upload speeds. This is not the case with cable internet, which offers significantly more download speeds than upload speeds.

Reliability

While both services are reliable, cable internet is prone to get affected by multiple factors including electricity and weather. For people living in areas where electrical supply is not that reliable, cable internet might not be a credible source of internet.

Fiber internet, on the other hand, does not care for electrical interruptions. Since fiber cables are made of glass, they are protected from any risks of power failures/outages, likewise.

Final Verdict: Is Fiber Internet Better Than Cable?

If your focus is speed and reliability, then fiber internet is the best available option as yet. However, if

  • you have any budget constraints,
  • your internet usage is being met by cable internet, or
  • you do not have access to fiber in your area

It is better to keep on using your cable connection.