Many people think that DSL and cable internet are becoming obsolete ever since fiber internet has made it to the masses. However, this is not true and there are still many reasons to keep using cable internet and not choose fiber as yet. Here are some things you need to know about fiber internet to decide whether or not you need it for your household.
How Does Fiber Internet Work?
Fiber Optic internet is perhaps the latest and most impressive development in cabled or wired internet services. Unlike cable and DSL connections that use copper wires and electric signals to transfer data from one point to another, fiber internet uses cables made of very small glass fibers. These glass fibers allow data to transfer in the form of light signals, hence, ensuring excellent data transfer speeds that other types of cables cannot. Since it is still a new technology, fiber internet is not available everywhere in America.
To be precise, cable internet is available to more than 80% of Americans, and fiber internet is only available to no more than 30%. There are also very few providers for fiber in the country, with Verizon FiOS and AT&T Fiber being the biggest providers. Fiber internet is available in mostly urban or populated suburban areas,, and mostly comes at a much higher price due to its phenomenal speeds and lower availability.
With fiber internet, you can expect speeds to be between 100 and 1000 Mbps. These speeds are more than exceptional, and can be your one-stop solution to getting all heavy heavy-duty online activity done.
Fiber for Gaming
Speaking of heavy online activities, let’s first start with fiber internet for gaming. Gaming requires an internet connection that has enough bandwidth, high ping rate, and is uninterrupted by things like weather conditions and cable damage. While connections like satellite and fixed wireless, that use the line of sight technology and get easily affected by external factors, fiber is the perfect alternative.
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can travel from one to another in a given period. Fiber optic cables have an excellent bandwidth that is not shared, unlike in the case of cable internet. For a household that has a member who is always gaming, fiber internet can be the best option. It does not compromise on the speed, and also accommodates everyone’s online activities simultaneously.
You can also expect excellently fast responsiveness of to your game. This happens due to the fast upload and download times. So, the movement and transfer of data from one point to another happens very quickly. Response time also increases with fiber internet due to the high ping rate. Lastly, internet providers like AT&T fiber offer unlimited data allowaniance with their fiber internet plans. This allows you to play games and perform many more activities on the internet without having to keep a count of the data being used.
Fiber for Video Conferences
We have all realized how efficient and effective video conferences are – perhaps the only good things to come out of the pandemic. Therefore, the extensive use and dependence on video conferences is are getting real. For that, however, a good internet connection is required. So, would you need fiber internet for video conferences?
The answer is yes, and no. Unlike gaming, video conferences do not have high internet demands. You can expect your video conferences and work from -from-home routines (both together) requiring no more than 10 Mbps of internet. A basic resolution of a video conference on platforms like Zoom can require up to 2 Mbps of internet. And this is for one or single person use only. Add it up to 4 or 5 people in a house, your total requirement for video conferences will not exceed 50 Mbps.
For a good video conferencing experience, you need to have other important things in place. These include a good quality webcam, a good quality mic, and headphones. You don’t have to necessarily subscribe to fiber internet providers fiber internet providers for video conferences. But, in case you will be video conferencing, gaming, and streaming Netflix simultaneously, you might need fiber internet. Your bandwidth needs will increase in such cases, and cable or DSL internet might not suffice.
Possible Drawbacks of Fiber
The most obvious drawback of fiber internet is its limited availability. Even if you think your online activities need a fiber internet connection, even then the chances of you finding a good fiber internet provider in your area are slim.
Fiber internet is still relatively pricier than internet connections like cable and DSL. Fiber internet is generally pricier to install, and even more expensive to find the equipment needed to maintain and solve its issues. While the month-to-month subscription might not be very expensive, the overall deployment of fiber connections is expensive.
- Number of providers
Cable and DSL internet connections are deployed already. They use cables for telephones or TVs to deliver internet to your home. With fiber internet, this is not the case. Providers need to invest in specialized equipment to first install fiber internet connection, and then get equipment that can be used to solve problems in the future. Therefore, the number of fiber internet providers in the country is still limited. And those that are available are premium providers and only operate in urban areas.
- Cable damage
These cables are made of thin glass fibers, making them less flexible overall. In case they bend, they are very easy to break. And as mentioned earlierr as well, finding and solving troubles with fiber cables will be a lot pricier.
What’s the Final Verdict?
Even though fiber internet has many benefits like fast speeds, large bandwidth, minimal latency, and maximum security, it may not be entirely necessary to have fiber internet in your home. You can make do with high-speed cable internet too if your internet usage includes basic social networking, occasional video conferences, and medium-sized media sharing. However, if you plan on using the internet for heavy-duty activities like binge streaming videos in 4K, gaming, and also video conferences simultaneously, then there is nothing better than a fiber internet connection.