What is cable internet? Cable internet or cable internet access is a form of broadband connection that uses cable television network to transmit data. With the use of a cable modem, you can have access to cable internet. This type of internet is usually low-cost than fiber-optic and faster than DSL. It provides its users with great balance of affordability and speed.
Cable broadband internet carries data at broadband speeds through the same cable used to provide TV data. The most basic cable internet speeds varies from 6 Mbps to 18 Mbps, whereas more advanced cable internet can exceed speeds of 75 Mbps and more. However, cable internet speeds can be influenced by users in the same vicinity consuming the same cable connection.
Since cable Internet connections works through the use of TV channel space for data transmission, a number of channels are used for upstream transmission, data sent from a person back to the internet, and other channels for downstream transmission, information sent from the internet to a personal computer. The fact that a great number of homes are now wired for cable TV, has turned cable internet into something cable TV companies have actually jumped aboard with. Furthermore, the coaxial cable used by cable television offers much greater bandwidth as compared to telephone lines.
The transmitted digital data can either be external or internal. The speed at which it receives and sends data varies from only a few megabits per second to numerous megabits.
Since it gives large download limits and high-speed connections, cable broadband has become one of the most reliable and popular ways of accessing the internet in the whole world.
How does it work? Several people who have cable TV at home can now get access to a high-speed connection to the internet from their cable provider.
For cable internet to work, a cable modem is required. A cable modem permits data to be sent through the cable TV structure by making the most out of unused bandwidth on the network.
DOCSIS or Data over Cable Service Interface Specification is the most common method used by cable television companies today. At present, there are 4 DOCSIS versions existing in the market. These are:
Among these, versions 1.0 and 1.1 are somewhat similar.
The actual transfer rate attained using cable TV is associated to the quantity of users connected to the optical node at the exact time, as this particular system is centered on the fact that all the users will not be able to access the internet at the same time. Greater number of users means lower bandwidth offered to each individual user. To deal with such situations, cable operators have been known to make use of certain bandwidth throttling techniques, such as bandwidth cap, which limits the download speed in peak conditions i.e. if they have downloaded a huge amount of data on that particular day.
The speed offered by cable internet access is about 4 times that of satellite internet and twice the highest speed of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line).
If your home already has cable TV and want to have access to cable internet, call your cable operator right away and inquire if cable internet access is obtainable.
Telecommunications network and cable TV networks are the two major forms of residential internet access. Lately, both have seen greater than before competition from wireless, fiber deployment and mobile networks.
When deciding if cable Internet access is a good choice for you, it can help to identify some of its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of cable internet access: Some of the major advantages of cable internet access are as follows:
• Works without a phone line: The greatest advantage of cable internet is that it does not need any telephone line to operate, which means you can stay linked at all times and will take less time to connect.
This is beneficial because the user does not have to dial in order to connect to the internet and consequently pay no dial-up fee. Since cable internet does not require its users to have a telephone line to work, access to both internet and phone service is possible. There is no restraint on using the internet. You can connect to the internet even when the telephone line is in use.
• Faster connection speed: Many users agree to the fact that the greatest advantage of cable internet is that it offers the fastest and most trouble free connection available. They settle for this because an internet connection using a cable modem usually guarantees a higher level of bandwidth than other broadband, and more bandwidth means faster speed.
• No restriction of location: Another plus point of cable internet is that you are not strictly limited to a specific location as you are with other internet services. You can be at a great distance from the cable company’s service center and still be able to get almost perfect service.
• High speed: The speeds provided by the cable broadband internet are much faster as compared to other types of broadband internet. This means that cable internet is an excellent substitute to other broadband in terms of speed.
If there are just a few users connected to your cable modem, you may even be capable of getting faster internet speeds than DSL.
• Excellent customer service: This is yet another advantage of a cable connection. Cable companies usually provide very little down time and excellent customer service to its users.
If you face any difficulty with your cable internet connection, you can get a solution on a simple phone call. A number of customer service operators working with internet customers are tremendously intelligent and know their business very well. And, since the cable coming into your home is generally hidden underground, there are fewer things that can go off beam. As a result, service disruptions are very infrequent.
• Consistency: Reliability has long been problem of other forms of broadband due in part to the aging infrastructure and distance issues. Cable internet provides more reliable connection with fewer lost packets generally according to both independent and industry studies.
Moreover, the signals remain consistent and do not drop.
Disadvantages of cable internet access: Significant disadvantages of cable internet are as under:
• Slow speed during peak hours: The data transfer speed gets slow during the peak hours. This is the reason why internet connection slows down in the morning and evening.
The major reason for slow speed is that many internet users consume the same bandwidth at peak timings.
• Slow service when there are many users: When compared to DSL modems, cable modems are not as good for handling great number of users. Hence, if lots of people in your office, home or building are connected to the same cable modem, you could begin to experience very slow service, particularly if any one user needs to use the cable internet for great amount of data transfer, like gaming online or streaming high quality videos.
• Limited availability: One of the other major disadvantages of cable internet is that it may or may not be offered in your region. Just because you have cable TV does not essentially mean that cable internet would be available for you. This is generally true in rural or remote locations.
Since there are limited choices, a single cable company services a specific area.
• Speed limitations: Another significant disadvantage is that cable providers regularly place speed restrictions on residential customers, which results in a lower bandwidth. Consequently, your actual speed may not be as fast as assured. Cable companies do this for many reasons. One possible reason could be that cable internet users’ share their bandwidth with other cable consumers in their vicinity and speeds can vary based on the capacity of individuals sharing the cable bandwidth at the exact same time.
• Substantial connection fees: May perhaps require considerable connection fees, especially if you hire a professional technician to set up the equipment for you.
Most of the times cable companies offer discounts on each service for the initial year of service, but your fee may increase radically after the first year.
So, when you squeeze it all down, is cable the correct choice for you? Many cable users love their speedy and trouble free internet connections. Others, on the other hand, point out that what is provided is not at all times what is promised. According to them, cable service suffers through peak usage hours because of the hefty neighborhood demand put on their local cable. Maybe it is best for you to try cable internet and choose for yourself.
It is extremely important to keep both advantages and disadvantages of cable Internet access under consideration when deciding whether it is the exact type of broadband for you.