Cable Internet is a type of broadband Internet access that is available with your cable TV provider. This type of Internet connection is usually provided via cable TV infrastructure. As a rule your cable TV providers offer it as a stand-alone service. But in many cases you can order it bundled with your cable TV at some discounted price. In many cases you won’t even need a separate Internet cable for that.
How cable Internet works
Cable Internet connection works just as your cable TV does - an electrical signal is sent from your Internet service provider to your receiving unit (cable modem). You have Internet socket at your home and should connect your PC to it. Alternatively you can set up a Wi-Fi router to this socket and distribute the Internet to your laptop or mobile device.
Cable Internet is a shared media. It means that the signal is transmitted from your Internet service provider to the nearest cable hub and then this signal is distributed to all the subscribers who are connected to this hub. So you share the total bandwidth between the users who are connected to this hub. And the more users there are the less bandwidth each user will get. This may negatively affect the speed of your connection.
Cable Internet Pros and Cons
- One of the advantages of cable Internet is its availability. It is one of the most popular Internet access options offered for home use. If you have cable TV at your home, you will surely have access to the Internet.
- Another advantage is that cable Internet is very reliable. Unlike satellite Internet it doesn’t depend upon weather conditions.
- But the biggest advantage of this type of Internet connection is that it provides optimal ratio of quality/speed/price. Cable Internet is reliable enough to provide seamless connection. At the same time the speed of such a connection will be more than enough for the majority of common people at home. And the price of cable Internet packages is quite affordable.
- The biggest disadvantage of cable Internet is that you share the bandwidth with your neighbors. And if there are too many people using the same line you can experience lower performance.
- Another disadvantage is that with cable Internet you cannot be mobile and are bound to your Internet socket. Even if you have a Wi-Fi router you will be able to use your Internet connection only indoor or if you are lucky to have powerful Wi-Fi router near the building you live.
Alternatives to cable Internet
One of the alternatives to cable Internet is DSL Internet. This type of Internet access is also provided via wires, but via your telephone cable. However, DSL provides dedicated circuit to each user, so you don’t share your bandwidth with other users. But DSL has also some disadvantages comparing to cable connection. So if you are hesitating between DSL or cable Internet you should thoroughly check both options before taking final decision.
Fiber optic cable Internet is definitely much faster than copper cable Internet, but it is also much more expensive.