A Brief Comparison of Fiber and Cable Internet


Fiber or cable Internet? Check out what you should get

Today, from using the applications on your phone, watching your favorite shows, and working on your tasks, you need an Internet connection. Whether you stream content on Netflix or another streaming platform, you need a dependable Internet connection with appropriate speeds, if not super-fast.

DSL and satellite are accessible to more people. However, the dependability and speed of the Internet are not comparable to fiber and cable Internet. With satellite and DSL out of the equation, go through this blog to know the differences between fiber and cable Internet to help you decide which one you should get in 2023.

Fiber Internet

Fiber Internet travels via fiber optic cables. These have thin glass strands wrapped and protected by plastic. The information travels through fiber optic wires in the form of light. Nothing tops fiber optic cable technology when it comes to delivering information without failure. However, these wires can be easily damaged compared to coaxial copper wires.

Cable Internet (coaxial wire)

Cable Internet works through coaxial wires. The core of these cables is made of copper, which is covered by aluminum. It further has another layer of copper and a protective out covering made of plastic. The Internet is transmitted via electric current through these cables. These cables are more affordable and durable than fiber optics.

Fiber Internet vs cable Internet

The main difference between fiber and cable Internet is linked to the nature of cables. Now that you understand how the Internet is transmitted from either type of cable, go through the following factors to help you decide:


Fiber optic cables offer higher downloading and uploading speeds. It is simply because of the transmission of Internet signals via light. Most Internet service providers offer speeds up to 1000 Mbps with fiber optic cables. Such speeds can support super-fast speeds that make downloading 4K movies super quick or do other things that you need this sort of speed for.

Cable Internet also offers fast downloading and uploading. However, these speeds are not as fast if you compare them to the speeds with optic fiber. Cable Internet can get you high speeds of up to 500 Mbps. Even these speeds are enough to handle multiple HD streams, downloading, uploading, and much more. However, 500 Mbps is the fastest coax cables can transfer. Usually, Internet plans offer lower options than these speeds.

Signal strength

The signal strength is another factor you have to consider when choosing an ISP or an Internet plan. Internet through fiber optics cable is not affected by weather and other factors. Unless the wire is damaged, you won’t face much trouble with your Internet. In contrast, cable Internet may be affected by the weather conditions in extreme cold and hot. But an advantage this type has over fiber optic cable is that they are more long-lasting and durable.


Cost is another factor you must consider when choosing the type of Internet. The Internet plans with fiber optics are on the expensive side. Not just the monthly bill but the cost of cable is usually higher too. In contrast, the coax cable is comparatively cheaper. The companies that still use coax cables generally have lower-priced plans. Also, the cost of the cable itself is lower. So, changing your damaged cable won’t hurt the bank as much as it would have with fiber optics.


Availability is another thing you should know about. Usually, fiber optic cable option is available in big cities. ISPs do not have such investments in rural or lesser-developed areas. Therefore, they do not offer gigabit plans that require fiber optic cable in these regions. If there is a company offering fiber optic Internet, chances are that it will cost you more compared to a similar plan offered in a developed city.

The chances of finding coax cable-powered Internet in rural areas are higher compared to fiber optics. Many ISPs have already laid their copper coax cable many years ago which allows them to offer Internet. Also, it is likely to be less expensive compared to fiber optics. If neither of these is available in your region, you can still opt for DSL, satellite, or 5G Internet options. It is best to do research and see what type of Internet service your region has to offer.


Both fiber and coax cables offer fast and dependable Internet. If you want the fastest Internet speeds and dependability, fiber optics is the one for you. For customers who are okay with decent speeds and reliability, coax is the one to get. But do check with your local providers if you live in a rural area. Consider all these things before you get your next connection.

YouTube: What makes fiber optic faster than copper?

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Antoni Bastien.

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