If you're hunting for a speedy internet connection, it's worth looking into whether there are any fiber internet providers in your area. Fiber wifi providers tend to be most common in regions where there are large populations and also where there are big tech companies, but you may be able to find one even if you live somewhere smaller and less tech-heavy. Should you have the good fortune to have at least one provider nearby, it's a good idea to learn a bit about what fiber offers.
Fiber networks offer speeds typically between one and 10 Gbps, while cable-internet broadband tends to offer speeds 300 Mbps or lower. This means that comparing the slowest fiber networks to the fastest cable ones, fiber is usually at least three times fast. Upload speeds tend to be a lot faster on fiber, and that can make fiber internet providers especially appealing to businesses that need to set up servers on their own connects. Connection speeds will vary dramatically between providers, and it's not a bad idea to compare them using a tool such as SpeedTest.net.
Some cable providers also slow down their services during peak hours in the evening. Cable providers typically operate their own video services alongside internet on their backbones, and this can make it challenging for them to keep up during peak loads. Fiber, conversely, tends to hold up well at all times of the day.
Self-install using cable is likely to be a lot easier, as cable modems are cheap and commonly available. Adding fiber will likely mean waiting for a technician to help you get your modem hooked up.
It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison, but some cable business providers do hit one Gbps speed in a few areas where there is also fiber available at the same speed. One comparison of 940 Mbps Verizon Fios versus 1,000 Mbps AT&T business cable showed a $20 higher price for cable.
Bear in mind that you may not be able to squeeze a lot more value out of higher speed internet. For example, a 300 Mbps should be easily sufficient for streaming 1080p video. If you don't have a 4k television, it may not be worth it to pay for the extra bandwidth you'd get by going with a plan that's higher speed and consequently higher cost. Gamers worried about lag may also benefit.Share