Which is faster, more reliable, and making the right choice for you?

By Dennis Shelly

Looking for internet services could be complicated, especially if you are not familiar with the many technologies that are available to bring the connection to your home or business. There are more ways to connect to the internet than ever before. Technology is always evolving, and internet services such as cable internet, Fiber, and 5G might be confusing. If you don’t know the differences, you risk being stuck with a connection that isn’t as fast or reliable as you desired, or as economical as you need. That’s not acceptable when there are possible long-term contracts involved.

This article will lead you through the various types of internet connections that may be available in your area, how they function, and what limits if any, you may expect.

Cable Internet


Cable is one of the most ubiquitous types of internet connections, serving approximately 90% of the US population, and is often packaged with phone service and TV packages. This makes sense given that cable internet uses the same coaxial cables as cable TV. Although coaxial connections lack the speed potential and dependability of fiber-optic lines, cable internet remains one of the fastest internet types. Most cable providers provide a choice of download speeds, including a gigabit service with download rates of 940Mbps. Upload speeds, on the other hand, are a much different story, with few companies offering upload rates exceeding 50Mbps. Cable internet speed reliability can also be an issue, since coaxial cables are prone to network congestion and reduced speeds, particularly during high usage times. Cable internet cost varies greatly between providers, although the cable is generally one of the most economical internet connection choices. Broadband connections from companies like Cox, Mediacom, and Xfinity start at less than $30 – $50 per month. Spectrum, another well-known cable internet provider, has a higher beginning price of roughly $60 per month but offers maximum download speeds of 200Mbps.

Pros and Cons

Cable internet has widespread availability and Low-cost TV packages. It offers various speed and pricing ranges. Prices for internet-only plans are higher and users suffer from slower speeds during high usage hours

FiOS (Fiber Optic Service)

Fiber-Optic internet is arguably the best internet connection type. Fiber, as the name implies, refers to an internet connection delivered to your household or business via fiber-optic cable, which transmits data by sending pulses of light over tiny strands of glass. These fiber-optic strands provide faster speeds and more reliability than other connection options. Although fiber-optic can give download rates of up to 2 gigabits per second (2,000 megabits per second) – fast enough to download a two-hour HD movie in less than a minute – most fiber-optic providers will likely offer maximum download speeds of about 1,000Mbps. Upload speeds are also considerably higher with fiber-optic connection, which is very crucial while working and studying from home. The only major downside of fiber is its availability. Laying enough fiber-optic cables to connect entire cities and regions is a massive logistical issue, and any of the main service providers have been reluctant to expand coverage to underserved areas. As a result, according to the Federal Communications Commission, fiber internet is only available to around 45 percent of US residents, largely those in metropolitan regions. In terms of internet plans, fiber connections used to be rather expensive, but most providers have reduced their pricing in recent years. As a result, fiber internet is likely to be as competitively priced as any other connection type – and, given the speeds you receive for the price, it’s currently one of the most cost-effective internet options.

Pros and Cons

Verizon Fios, Google Fiber, and AT&T are among the major providers. FiOS provides speeds that are consistent and fast. It is expensive and has limited coverage.

5G Mobile (Cellular) internet:

Mobile internet is primarily intended for use on your phone, but as technology advances and speeds grow – particularly with the introduction of 5G – mobile connections are becoming more feasible for home internet use. With this internet connection type, a mobile phone provider such as AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon transmits signals in all directions, most of which are picked up by cellphones, but in the case of home internet, a router receives those signals and converts them into a home connection. You might be able to connect through 5G if you live in a city or another region with robust cellular infrastructure, with companies like Verizon providing speeds up to 1Gbps. Cellular internet plans that use LTE, the previous generation of technology, or a combination of LTE and 5G are also available. When looking for mobile internet for home usage, you’re likely to have only one plan choice, which is a set charge for whatever speeds are available at your location. T-Mobile ($50 per month for download speeds ranging from 25 to 110Mbps) and Verizon ($70 per month for download speeds ranging from 300 to 980Mbps) both have a single 5G package.

Pros and cons

In early 2021 5G had reached 75% of the US population. Wireless 5G is also asynchronous, with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Because wireless 5G is a shared circuit, customers may experience reduced speeds during peak hours. Wireless 5G is less expensive to install than fiber. However, because this is the most recent technology, contracting for this option is still expensive. Wireless 5G is the most recent option. However, it offers the most scalability, particularly for enterprises interested in the Internet of Things and other 5G communications.

When deciding on the best Internet connection for your needs, you may want to filter your options based on your chosen download and upload speeds, as well as deals and cost options. Fast speeds and extensive coverage make it easier than ever to watch your favorite TV episodes and movies online, exchange images, chat with friends, and play games. Finally, the most important component is likely beyond your control which is your location. Some regions of the United States have several alternatives for getting online, while others have few. Whatever options you have, knowing the various technologies at work can help you know what to anticipate when you sign up.

Still not sure which Internet solution is right for you? Or perhaps have some additional questions? Our Eggsperts are standing by to help. Please contact us by calling (760) 205-0105 or emailing us at tech@eggheadit.com  with your questions or suggestions for our next article.

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