Find The Best Fiber Internet For Your Home
Learn more about the benefits of upgrading to fiber internet. Discover what plans are available from several of the top fiber internet providers.
As of writing, fiber internet provides the fastest connection. Traditional internet connections rely on cords with copper wires, while fiber internet utilizes fiber-optic cables filled with glass filaments. These cords transfer data to and from your browsing device using lasers and light signals. Fiber-optic cables are designed to transfer data over longer distances with minimal distortion and attenuation, which is the overall strength of the data signal. Because the signal is stronger, it is easier for your computer to process the signal, leading to a faster and more reliable connection.
While fiber internet was originally a rarity, advancements in technology have not only made it more common, but also decreased the cost. It is still more expensive than other internet options, such as cable or a digital subscriber line (DSL), but no other connection comes close to matching the download and upload speeds of fiber internet. Listed below is everything you need to know about a fiber internet connection as well as some of the best fiber internet providers in 2022.
Benefits of Fiber Internet
There are many benefits to using fiber internet over other providers. In addition to being the fastest option, often times being ten or twenty times faster than cable connections, it is also more reliable. Even with a relatively fast download speed, information is not processed as quickly with other types of connections. This can lead to stuttering and brief delays, interrupting your connection. While this may not impact basic browsing, you are more likely to notice if you are streaming a video or downloading a large file.
These delays often occur during peak hours because other internet connections get clogged down by the number of users. Fiber internet completely avoids this issue because of the fiber-optic cables. Fiber-optic cables are also not reliant on energized lines, greatly reducing the chance of an outage, even providing a reliable connection when the rest of your power is out.
Not relying on energized lines also means fiber internet does not suffer from throttling. With other internet options, throttling occurs when the powerlines are strained. With cable internet, providers enforce throttling during the peak hours to limit the strain on powerlines and reduce the chance of overloads.
In recent years, the primary benefit of fiber internet is how it handles multiple devices. With so many more smart devices relying on an internet connection, it is possible for your internet to get overwhelmed. Because of the faster speeds and more reliable signals, fiber connections can support multiple devices at the same time without any devices experiencing a decline in quality.
Finally, fiber internet also has extra security benefits. Cyber criminals have developed techniques to tap into copper cables and read electronic signals. While this is technically possible with fiber-optic cables, it is significantly harder because the wires are not only harder to access, but they are naturally more secure. Even if a fiber line is compromised, it is significantly easier to identify where line was breached due to the change in light transmissions.
Types of Fiber Internet
There are three types of fiber internet currently available. These are fiber to the neighborhood (FTTN), fiber to the curb (FTTC) and fiber to the home (FTTH). FTTN refers to fiber connections that are stored in a central hub within a neighborhood and supplies a connection to any subscribers in the area. While the hub itself uses fiber-optic cables, the connection from your hub to your home typically uses a network cable to bridge the connection. This does not result in a loss of speed or reliability and is primarily done to make setting up and maintaining the connection easier.
FTTC is similar to FTTN, but it applies to a smaller network. Based on where you are located, you may either connect to the central hub directly or the company may install a transfer cable. FTTH installs fiber cables directly into your home. While this is considered the fastest method, it is also the most expensive. Which method you use largely depends on what the provider offers in the area. In many locations, only FTTN or FTTC is available.
AT&T was one of the first internet providers to offer home fiber internet. They offer several different plans, ranging from $55 to $180 a month. The company frequently hosts discounts, offering reduced prices for a set period of time. The lowest plans have speeds starting at 300 Mbps, while the higher tier go up to 5,000. All of the fiber internet plans not only come with unlimited data, but there are no contracts. AT&T is also working hard to grow their fiber network, focusing on smaller areas normally overlooked by fiber providers.
Verizon Fios is not as fast as other fiber internet providers, with maximum speeds reaching 940 Mbps. However, this is more than enough for an average household. Even small businesses operating out of a house will have no problems with these speeds. Because of the slower speeds, Fios is more affordable than other providers, starting at $40 with the highest tier plan currently costing $85 each month. Like AT&T, there are no contract or data limits with a fiber plan.
Verizon also offers generous sign-up bonuses. The exact bonuses vary depending on location, but previous plans included free gift cards and streaming service subscriptions. Fios is primarily available in the Northeast and Midwest states.
Google Fiber has fewer packages compared to other fiber internet providers. Plans start at $70 and go up to $100 each month. Despite only having a few plans, Google offers some of the fastest connections, with even the lower plans providing 100 Mbps. The higher plans max out at 2,000. All of the equipment is included free of charge, and customers also get unlimited data caps.
Xfinity is another provider with limited fiber internet plans available. The base plans are on the pricier side, starting around $100, but offering a base 1,200 Mbps. The more expensive plans go up to 2,000, but are nearly double the price. However, Xfinity provides many discounts if you bundle your internet with other Xfinity services, including cable, phone services and home security. Despite only having a few plans, it is one of the larger providers of fiber internet.