How does the internet reach your home? Although nearly 80% of American households have broadband home internet, many people may not know if they’re connected via coaxial cable, wireless cellular, or fiber-optic cable.
Fiber internet can have 20x faster upload speed than cable (Comparison, as of 10/7/22, based on Quantum Fiber technology with wired upload speeds of up to 940 Mbps to major cable providers’ 1GIG cable service over DOCSIS 3.1 technology with upload speeds of 35 Mbps.)
So, what is fiber-optic internet, and is it the right choice for you? Let’s take a closer look at how fiber-optic internet works and why this technology is changing how we work, play, stream, and even do our laundry and brew a cup of coffee.
What is fiber internet?
Fiber internet service is delivered via a cable of bundled, coated glass fiber threads. These fibers transmit light pulses to quickly send data over long distances. As light travels through the cable, it bounces off the reflective, coated glass, losing very little energy along the way. The result? A reliable data connection that’s incredibly fast.
Fiber internet offers incredible upload speeds
Internet speed is measured two ways—by download and upload speeds. Strong download speeds are essential for daily internet use like streaming video and browsing the net. But if you participate in video conferences or send large video and image files, you also need robust upload speeds.
Fiber internet offers symmetrical speeds. That means your upload speed (how fast data goes from your computer to other servers or devices) is equal to your download speed (how fast your device receives data).
What fiber speed do I need?
Just how fast is fiber internet? It can reach gigabit speeds of up to 940 Mbps (megabits per second) and multi-gig speeds of up to 1, up to 3, and up to 8 Gbps (gigabits per second) in select areas. With power and speed like that, you can do pretty much anything you want on multiple devices.
What exactly does gigabit and multi-gig speed mean for you? Take a look:
|Time to Download
|Ultra-HD 4K movie (~21GB)
|Just under 3 minutes
|High-quality podcast (~120MB)
|Call of Duty: Warzone 2 (~116GB)
Internet speed and bandwidth make a smart home smarter
Speed refers to how fast you send and receive data, while bandwidth is the total amount of data that can travel over your internet connection per second. In a home with multiple connected devices, bandwidth can be just as important as speed.
The number of devices your home’s connection can support depends on what those devices are doing. A smart lightbulb receiving periodic status updates needs very little bandwidth, while streaming videos requires significantly more. All your connected devices add up. If your connection can’t handle the bandwidth, you’ll notice decreased speed with your individual connections.
Gigabit fiber internet clears the information highway, by providing high bandwidth. Gigabit and multi-gig speeds with fiber internet mean that your security cameras, smart appliances, and gaming consoles will work when it’s time to kick back with a 4K HD action flick.
Count on the reliability of fiber
Internet users typically don’t check the weather before logging on. However, if you use satellite or mobile internet service, changes in the weather can severely impact the quality and reliability of your service. Likewise, a tree falling in a windstorm can easily knock out coaxial lines delivering internet to your neighborhood. Most of the time, fiber optic cable is buried, offering additional protection from nature’s fury. Consider these scenarios:
- Moisture: Rain and high humidity can interfere with radio waves, which slow down or disrupt service.
- Lightning: Electrical interference can significantly impact many internet delivery methods.
- Inclement weather: While wind and wintry weather won’t necessarily impact radio waves, they’re more likely to damage the tower transmitting the signal in your area.
Fiber-optic cables are often buried and aren’t impacted as much by interference issues like electromagnetic fields, making fiber internet a reliable option. And because the glass in optical fiber is exceptionally flexible and durable, it lasts for decades and rarely requires repair.
Additional fiber internet benefits
Fiber internet is fast, but it also offers so much more. Your fiber connection is reliable and robust enough to handle the connections that modern households require.
Consider the benefits of fiber internet:
- Symmetrical download and upload speeds: Upload speeds are incredibly fast. You can upload a 4K video in just a few minutes!
- Safe data protection: Fiber optics provide a powerful encrypted connection to help protect you from hackers and data breaches.
- Excellent cloud access: Businesses rely on cloud storage—fiber gives you immediate access to your data and applications.
- Reliable service: Fiber isn’t sensitive to electromagnetic interference that could disrupt other services.
Keep your smart home running smoothly
A smart home has internet-connected devices that automate specific tasks for you, such as:
- A washing machine that alerts you that it’s at the end of a cycle or it’s time to order more laundry detergent
- Cameras that capture video around your property and send text messages regarding suspicious activity
- WiFi-enabled locks that sense when you’ve arrived home and trigger a speaker to stream your favorite Spotify channel and start your coffee machine brewing
These conveniences rely on a steady and reliable internet connection. A lag in your connection could mean missing a text alerting you that your fire alarm has gone off. Even if the situation isn’t critical, what’s the point in investing in smart features if you can’t count on them to work as intended? A fiber connection can help ensure that your smart home will stay online without disruptions.
Get fast internet speed for gaming
Any gamer knows that internet speed is key when crushing the competition. Minimizing latency (the time between when information is sent and the server receives it) can mean the difference between taking home the virtual trophy and bowing to the competition. Fiber internet gives you the bandwidth required for data to flow consistently from user to user.
Keep the stream flowing
One household member is bingeing Netflix, another can’t get enough TikTok, and you’re leading a webinar. Can your internet handle all that action?
Streaming is the most taxing aspect of your home internet. Video requires loads of data transmission and is sensitive to how much usage is happening. You can multitask while waiting for a file to download, but the last thing you want when watching the final seconds of a tied match is a lost internet connection. Fiber optic internet for streaming gives you the bandwidth you need, when users are vying for internet time.
Modernize your home office
Think of all the tasks that require a reliable and secure internet connection: cloud-based file storage, constant chats, and virtual meetings. You aren’t just downloading information—you’re uploading it, too. And it all needs to happen quickly, securely, and reliably. When you have a 5 p.m. deadline, it needs to upload without a hitch. With fiber internet, you’ll get the speed, dependability, and security you need to get the job done.
Quantum Fiber gives you lots to get excited about
Do you have a household with multiple users, gamers, streamers, tech enthusiasts, and remote workers? Or maybe you want to ensure your internet connection gives you the reliability, speed, and bandwidth you need when you want it. Whatever your lifestyle or situation, Quantum Fiber is a great option.
Content Disclaimer - All content is for informational purposes only, may require user’s additional research, and is provided “as is” without any warranty, condition of any kind (express or implied), or guarantee of outcome or results. Use of this content is at user’s own risk. All third-party company and product or service names referenced in this article are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement or affiliation with Quantum Fiber. If Quantum Fiber products and offerings are referenced in the content, they are accurate as of the date of issue. Quantum Fiber services are not available everywhere. Quantum Fiber service usually means 100% fiber-optic network to your location but, in limited circumstances, Quantum Fiber may need to deploy alternative technologies coupled with a non-fiber connection from a certain point (usually the curb) to your location in order to provide the advertised download speeds. ©2023 Q Fiber, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Quantum, Quantum Fiber and Quantum Fiber Internet are trademarks of Quantum Wireless LLC and used under license to Q Fiber, LLC.
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