Fiber optic internet vs. cable internet: Which is faster? 

Trisha Ramrathen
Internet Provider Comparisons

When shopping for internet deals and providers, one of your first questions might be, "What connection type should I get?"

Two of the most popular connection types are cable and fiber-optic internet. Both offer fast speeds and a reliable connection. But which one is faster, which is better for you, and what's the difference between the two?

HomeLinkd has done all the research, so you don't have to!

We have all the answers to your questions, providing a comprehensive comparison guide to all things fiber and cable. Let's get into it!

What is cable internet, and how does it work?

Cable internet uses the same infrastructure as your TV cable. It's delivered to your home through a coaxial cable that connects to a modem, which then connects to your router. The same copper cable that brings TV service into your home can also be used to deliver high-speed internet.

To get started, a technician will need to connect a cable modem to the TV outlet in your home. The modem will then be connected to your router, which will give you a wireless cable internet connection throughout your home.

One of the main advantages of cable internet is that it's widely available — almost 90% of households in the United States have access to it.

What is fiber optic internet, and how does it work?

Fiber is known for being the fastest internet connection type currently available, surpassing cable internet.

Fiber uses a network of thin, flexible glass or plastic fibers to transmit data and deliver high-speed internet to your home. Fiber optic cables are much thinner than coaxial copper cables and can carry more data over longer distances.

To get fiber-ready, a technician will need to connect a fiber modem to the TV outlet in your home. The modem will then be connected to your router, which will give you wireless internet access throughout your home.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic internet?


Faster speeds: Fiber internet offers much higher speeds than cable internet, and isn't interrupted by weather or obstacles such as trees.

More reliable connection: Fiber cables are less susceptible to interference than coax cables. This means that you're less likely to experience disruptions in your service.

Longer distance: Fiber cables can carry data over longer distances than copper cables - making it faster and more reliable.

Higher bandwidth: Fiber cables have a higher bandwidth than traditional copper cables, which means they can carry more data.


  • It's not widely available: Fiber is not as widely available as cable internet, which means it might not be available in your area just yet.
  • It's more expensive: Fiber is typically more expensive than cable because fiber internet requires a specific infrastructure set up, which is expensive to build.
  • It requires a technician: Getting started with fiber internet usually requires a technician to come to your home and install the necessary equipment.

What are the pros and cons of cable?


  • It's widely available: Unlike fiber, cable internet is available in many areas.
  • It's less expensive: Cable is typically less expensive than fiber internet.
  • It's easy to install: You can usually install cable internet yourself without the need for a technician.
  • It can be bundled: Cable companies offer bundle deals which include cable TV and phone services.


  • Slower speeds: Cable internet has slower speeds than fiber.
  • More interference: Cable internet is more susceptible to interference than fiber-optic internet. This means that you're more likely to experience disruptions in your service.
  • Shorter distance: Cable internet has a shorter range than fiber internet. This means that it may not be available in all areas of your home.

What is the difference between fiber and cable internet?

Fiber is typically more expensive than cable internet, with the average price of fiber being between $30 to $50 per month, with gigabit internet connection ranging between $60 to $80 per month, while cable typically costs less at approximately $51 per month for an internet line of up to 500 Mbps.

When it comes to latency, which is the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel from one point to another, fiber optical cables have a much lower latency than copper coaxial cables. This means that you're less likely to experience disruptions in your service with a fiber connection than with cable.

Which is the faster internet connection?

Fiber speeds are much faster than cable internet with fiber being the fastest internet connection. Fiber cables have a higher bandwidth than coaxial cables, which means they can carry more data. Additionally, these cables are less susceptible to interference than coaxial cables. This means that you're less likely to experience disruptions in your service.

Fiber's upload and download speeds reach up to 5 Gbps from providers such as AT&T, while cable's download speeds range from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps, and its upload speed reaches a maximum of 50 Mbps - that's significantly less than fiber. However, as fast as fiber's speeds are, it's not readily available everywhere, whereas cable has more coverage.

HomeLinkd's choice of cable and fiber optic internet providers

We've scoured the internet to find the best providers for your needs.

Here are our top three for each broadband connection type:

Fiber Internet Providers

AT&T Fiber

If speed, reliability and affordability are what you're after, AT&T is right up your alley. AT&T is one of the most used internet providers by American residents - an ideal provider for heavy internet users. AT&T offers speeds up to 1 Gbps with their fiber internet plans and no price increase for 12 months.

Frontier FiOS

One of the best internet service providers in 2022, Frontier Fios offers speeds up to 2 Gbps with their fiber internet plans. Frontier is a large company that also provides TV and home phone services so you can bundle up and save.


EarthLink offers both cable and fibre internet plans. Their fiber internet starts from 100Mbps going up to 5 Gbps. EarthLink is known for having high-speed internet and a price-lock on their internet plans. This means your price won't increase after a few months.

Cable Internet Providers


As mentioned earlier, EarthLink also offers cable internet with speeds of up to 500 Mbps and no data caps. They're also a reliable option when it comes t customer support, with around-the-clock support available when you need it.

Cox communications

Cox offers plans to fit any budget and lifestyle with speeds up to 500 Mbps on their cable internet plans. Cox also offers double bundles with its cable plans - allowing you to combine your internet with your TV phone services.


With coverage in most states of the country, Spectrum is one of the leading internet providers in the U.S. Spectrum offers speeds up to 400 Mbps with their cable service plans and the option to bundle your TV and phone service into one sweet deal.

The final verdict: Which is better?

The answer to this question depends entirely on you.

First, you need to consider what type of internet connection you need. If you're looking for a fast and reliable connection, then fiber is the better option. However, if you're looking for an affordable option, then cable is the way to go.

Second, you need to consider availability. Fiber is not yet available in all areas. If you live in an area where fiber is not available, then you'll need to go with cable.

Third, you need to consider the price. Fiber is typically more expensive than cable. However, the price difference will vary depending on your location and the service providers in your area.

While fiber is the fastest connection type, it might not be the right choice for you. The best broadband connection for you is the one that fits your needs the most. That's not to say you can't get high-speed internet access to your home. You totally can! And we can help you find it.

Written by:
Trisha Ramrathen

With a Master’s degree in Media and Communication, Trisha has spent the last decade honing her skills to help make a significant impact in her work. From creative writing to advertising, she has experience in it all – and is always up for the next challenge!

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