A fast internet connection has always felt like one of those things that you can’t get enough of. Indeed, since the birth of the internet, speeds have constantly been increasing. The ancient dial-up connections only transferred data at 56 kbit/s, but today, we can enjoy gigabit speeds.
One particular reason that we now have access to such high speeds is fiber optic technology. If not for it, we would still be relying on traditional copper-based cables, which pale in comparison.
In this article, let us explore how fiber internet has become the go-to type of connection for anyone looking for blazing-fast speeds.
What is Fiber Internet, and How Is It Different?
Fiber internet, as the name suggests, makes use of optical fibers to transmit data. These fibers are essentially made of glass (or plastic) to transmit flashes of light. This is the key factor that separates it from the previous generation.
In copper-based cables, data is transmitted via electrical signals. Fiber-optic cables, on the other hand, use light to carry information. As you can imagine, the difference in speed is vastly superior.
It allows internet service providers to offer gigabit speeds, a generational leap from what was available for commercial use in the past. The increased speed allows users to download large files at a fraction of the time it used to take.
4K movies can be streamed seamlessly, and the only limit that exists might be the data caps that some internet providers put in place. If you are still unsure about how fast fiber internet can be, let’s look at some examples.
A copper-based internet connection downloading a 4 GB file at 200 Mbps would take just under 3 minutes to complete. Meanwhile, the same file could be downloaded in 34 seconds with gigabit internet.
It’s easy to see how transformative this can be if you are someone who consumes a lot of content.
What Unique Benefits Does Fiber Internet Allow For?
As WOW! states, speed isn’t the only thing to consider. While high download speeds are an awesome benefit to have, it is only one side of the picture. These days, a lot of people make content for their YouTube channels, often vlogging and posting content daily.
In this context, upload speeds are equally critical, and fiber internet makes the content creator’s life much easier. When you consider that such creators rely on how fast they can put out content, the significance of super-fast internet is clear.
Fiber internet also offers advantages in the world of gaming. Esports is a major industry these days, and even if you aren’t a pro gamer, countless people enjoy playing competitive games as a hobby. With gaming, fiber internet offers far lower latency than traditional copper-cable internet.
Latency, or ping, refers to the delay it takes between the time you input your command and the time it actually registers in-game. High latency can make it so that when you see an enemy player and shoot them, they end up defeating you because your commands took just a little too long to actually take effect in the game.
Ideally, people want to have a ping of under 50 milliseconds. Latency is often affected by distance to servers. If you are playing on servers hosted in another country, switching to fiber internet can drastically reduce the latency when compared to copper cable internet.
Fiber Internet Has Lower Down Times
One of the biggest reasons that fiber internet has become the gold standard is its resistance to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. As a result, you are looking at significantly more stable connections with fewer downtimes.
Copper cable internet, on the other hand, is known to be prone to signal degradation, which can affect your speeds. Copper cables also suffer signal attenuation over long distances, and the main remedy to this is signal amplifiers. If any of these amplifiers fail, you are looking at a potential connection loss.
Moreover, the cables degrade and corrode over time, especially if routed through harsh environments.
Fiber internet connections do not suffer such issues. Their signal attenuation is far lower, and the optic fibers hold signal strength over large distances without needing boosters or amplifiers. They are also far more resilient and require less maintenance.
If you are getting an internet connection in 2023, there is simply no reason to not get fiber. The numerous advantages they offer ensure that the user experience is far superior. Sure, the plans may be a little bit more expensive, but the speed and overall benefits you gain make it well worth the investment.