Fiber Internet vs. Other Internet Service Providers

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Since Internet first came into homes, new technologies have been introduced to provide users with more consistent, more reliable and faster speeds. Unfortunately, not all Internet providers live up to their hype – speeds are compromised, connections are unreliable or prices are too high.

Here, we’ll look at fiber-optic Internet and how it stacks up next to satellite, dial-up and cable Internet.

Fiber Internet

Reliability

Fiber Internet is extremely reliable – even during peak hours, speeds are not compromised. In an FCC study, it was found that “on average, fiber-to-the-home services delivered 114 percent of advertised speeds, compared to 93 percent for cable and 82 percent for DSL.”

Price

Fiber-optic service can be very affordable. Some providers even offer bundling options, where you can save money on your monthly bill by adding TV and home phone services.

Speed

Fiber Internet can provide download speeds up to 500 Mbps in eligible homes. Compared to the average U.S. Internet speed of 7.2 Mbps, fiber provides Internet speeds far faster.

Availability

This is one area where fiber Internet is limited. Fiber Internet access in the U.S. has been limited to select areas, determined by the providers, which means that fiber might not be available in your area.

Dial-up Internet

Reliability

The reliability of your dial-up connection depends on a few things. To get the fastest speeds, you need a fast modem. Second, you need good telephone wiring. If the phone line is deteriorating, the data transmissions might be interrupted.

Price

Because dial-up is slow compared to other Internet providers, it is typically very affordable.

Speed

If you have a good phone line and the fastest modem, then you could get speeds close to 45-50 Kbps. While these speeds were average a few decades ago, Internet users these days might not be able to rely on these.

Availability

Because dial-up Internet connects users through telephone wiring, it is available in many locations – even remote and rural areas.

Satellite Internet

Reliability

When there is rain or high winds, your connection might be unreliable with satellite Internet. Your signal could cut in and out, causing you to either have no Internet connection or poor quality service.

Price

Satellite Internet can be pricey – it is usually the only alternative to slow dial-up for those in rural areas. Since this is oftentimes the only rural broadband service available, the cost can be steep.

Speed

Although satellite Internet can deliver broadband speeds, it’s not the fastest Internet. It’s faster than dial-up, but still might not provide the speeds necessary to game online, video chat or even stream online content.

Availability

Almost everywhere in North America has access to satellite Internet. This makes it a good option for those with businesses or homes in rural or remote areas.

Cable Internet

Reliability

Looking again at the FCC report, cable providers on average delivered 93 percent of advertised speeds.

Price

Cable providers are known for their steep prices and even their continuous rise in rates. Although cable is a way for consumers to get high-speed Internet, it might not be affordable for some.

Speed

Cable speeds can vary greatly, depending on the price you want to pay.

Availability

Cable is not available in many rural areas, but is available to most homes and businesses in urban areas.


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This post was written by the Beacon team.

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