Fiber Optic Internet–Is it worth the hype?

Internet    05/05/2022    5 minute read

How does your daily routine go? Does it involve you working from home, searching the web for information, browsing social media and ending the day with a good movie on Netflix or Hulu?

There's something all these activities have in common — the need for a fast internet connection.

The internet has become a part of our daily lives, and for most people, the faster the internet connection, the better!

Quickly gaining popularity across the United States, many Americans are opting for Fiber Optic internet as their preferred choice of connection. But what is it? How does it work? Is it really worth the hype?

Let HomeLinkd answer all these questions! We've done the research, so you don't have to. Read on for HomeLinkd's guide to all things Fiber Optics.

What is Fiber Optic internet?

We know many of the definitions out there use big words and confusing language.

So, let’s break it down for you: Fiber Optic internet, commonly called “Fiber internet”or just “Fiber”, is a type of broadband connection which can reach internet speeds up to 940Mbps.

Through its use of Fiber optic cables, data transmission can reach speeds as high as 70% the speed of light, now that's fast.

How does Fiber Optics work?

The mechanics of Fiber Optic technology is bit complex as it uses light instead of electricity to transmit information (sounds futuristic, doesn't it?).

Instead of coaxial cables—which are made of copper — Fiber Optics works through optical fibers. These fibers are slightly larger than a strand of human hair. Many optical fibers are bundled together to create "cables" which carry pulses of laser or LED light that transmits information in binary form.

Once these light pulses reach their intended destination, they are converted into an electrical output that your devices can understand and work with. The conversion takes place through a tool called the optical network terminal.

Read more: All you need to know about how to install fiber internet

How does Fiber Optic internet differ from other connections?

The key difference between Fiber Optic internet and other connection types is that Fiber does not use electricity, but light pulses. What are some of the other differences? Let's take a look:

Dial-up internet

Dial-up internet needs an existing telephone line, which are generally made of copper, to work. Unlike Fiber, you cannot use the telephone and internet simultaneously as they both share the same line.

Dial-up also has an average download and upload speed of approximately 56Kbps —roughly around 0.05 Mbps —whereas Fiber can reach download speeds of up to 940Mbps.

DSL internet

DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line internet), is similar to Dial-up, as it also uses telephone lines to transmit information. But, unlike Dial-up, it uses inaudible frequencies — allowing you to use your telephone and the internet at the same time.

Internet speeds are one of the main differences between Fiber and DSL —Fiber can reach speeds of about 940Mbps, while the average speed for DSL is between 1 and 100Mbps. DSL is also more commonly available than Fiber.

Cable internet

Cable is arguable the most similar to Fiber –with roughly the same average speeds.

The main difference being that Cable uses the same line as your cable TV services, whereas Fiber works through fiber optic cables.

Cable is also more widely available than Fiber at the moment.

Read more: What is Mbps & How is it Different From MBps?

Does Fiber Optic internet work without electricity?

One of the great things about Fiber Optic internet is that it does not rely on electricity to work, so you can still have internet connection in the event of a power outage.

But, you will need to ensure that your router is still connected to a backup power source, such as a UPS, for you to remain connected.

What are some of the pros and cons of Fiber Optic internet?

While Fiber has some great benefits and advantages, it does come with a few downsides.Here’s our Fiber Optic pros and cons list. Pros:

Cons:

Who are some of HomeLinkd's Fiber providers?

HomeLinkd has a wide variety of Fiber providers to choose from:
AT&T
Frontier
CenturyLink
Spectrum
EarthLink

Fiber Optic internet, summed up

With its growing popularity among households and businesses, its multitude of benefits—and the fact that we can stream endless seasons of our favorite series — we'd say it's definitely worth considering when choosing an internet package. See HomeLinkd’s range of Fiber Optic providers, and compare them to your needs by price, speed, data, provider and extras.

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