With many options available for internet connectivity, many people are torn when it comes to choosing the ‘best’ internet. What many people don’t realize is that every internet type has its own advantage and disadvantages. Many factors must be considered to consider an internet connection good and reliable.
When it comes to locally operated broadband networks, fiber internet is usually deemed the best type of internet connection due to its incredible speeds. However, more and more people have been paying more attention to satellite internet, especially with the increasing number of remote workers in rural areas. So, what’s really the best internet type for you?
In the war between fiber and satellite internet, there is no clear-cut winner or loser. In terms of communication, each has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll compare and contrast satellite vs. fiber technologies, as well as look at some of the diverse uses for each.
What Is Satellite Internet?
In simple terms, satellite internet is a form of wireless internet that is delivered to users through a satellite dish from orbiting satellites in space. It’s far from other types of internet that rely on cables, making satellite internet the most accessible internet type. It’s also the only available internet in most rural areas, well, except for dial-up, which is not really an option for many people.
What Is Fiber Internet?
Fibre internet is transmitted via optical cables made up of many hair-thin fiber strands that deliver data in the form of light. These cables are used to deliver high-speed internet connections. Fiber is sometimes referred to as “future-proof” due to its superior data capacity over radio frequency (RF) carriers. In this way, internet service providers can make significant data capacity enhancements through equipment updates before the fiber itself has to be updated.
Key Differences Between Satellite and Fiber Internet
In the last few years, satellite data rates have improved dramatically. The data speeds of about 750 Kbps were the norm for home satellite internet in the past. But nowadays, satellite internet can reach up to 100Mbps, depending on the internet provider and the terminal used.
On the other hand, fiber internet is unmatched when it comes to speed. With its speeds ranging up to 1Gpbs, it’s usually the go-to internet of heavy internet users, such as gamers and streamers. Fiber internet also delivers similar download and upload speeds, making it ideal for many online activities.
When it comes to availability, satellite internet takes the upper hand. Satellite internet is available nationwide, and it’s the only internet type that can make that claim. This is because, unlike other internet types, satellite internet does not rely on infrastructure. You only need a satellite dish and a clear view of the sky, and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, fiber internet is the polar opposite. In the United States, fiber internet is the least available type of internet, especially in rural areas. Even in urban areas, Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) is still more common than Fiber to the Home (FTTH.) Unfortunately, FTTH is superior to FTTC because it delivers a faster and more stable internet connection.
Since fiber optic is securely laid on the ground, it is not prone to interruptions, such as storms, fire, and strong winds, unlike traditional phone lines. In contrast, satellite internet relies on satellites that are in space. The proximity between your satellite dish and the terminal creates room for latency issues and other interferences.
In fact, even leaves and other things that can accumulate near your satellite dish are enough to interfere with your connection. That said, fiber internet is a much better option when it comes to reliability.
Prices significantly vary depending on your location and your chosen internet provider. But, satellite internet usually has higher initial costs than fiber internet as satellite internet plans tend to be higher in specific areas. On the other hand, fiber can be affordable, especially if you compare the data and speed you get to DSL, cable, and satellite internet plans.
In the battle between fiber and satellite, there can be no winner for now. They have different strengths and weaknesses that are both competitive edges—like oranges and apples. If you’re deciding which internet to choose, we highly recommend you assess your needs and goals to determine the best type of internet for your home.