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Cable Internet

Cable Internet service is a technology used by internet providers to bring high-bandwidth broadband internet service to businesses and homes over the cable TV line. This service is also known as an "always-on" service, which implies that your PC or computer will always remain connected to the high-speed internet service. Therefore, you will not have to log on to the internet connection with your personal user name and password whenever you need to access the internet.

However, a small portion of customers in the country use the word “cable” just to denote their cable TV service because they are unaware of the fact that cable companies offer lot more than cable TV services. The same companies who provide television services also offer cable internet service. Even though data is sent over the same coaxial cable that brings TV signal to your home, it will not interfere or affect your TV signal. As a result, you will be able to watch TV and access internet at the very same time without any interruptions or delays.

The Technology behind Cable Internet

Cable broadband service providers connect your home to a cabinet near your area. However, one major attribute that makes cable internet service unique from other types of internet services is that this service incorporates the use of coaxial cables instead of normal copper wires. The coaxial cables are connected to the cabinet in your area. As a result, cable service providers are able to deliver a much faster broadband internet connection than conventional copper phone line cables.

A coax cable is actually an analog wire, which is used for transmitting cable television signals. These copper wires from your home move to the neighborhood node, which is in turn connected to your cable service provider. The cable modem in your home is critical because it sends and receives the signal over the wires making use of a few megahertz of signal at a given time.

Setting up a cable internet service at your home is a relatively simple process and can be easily accomplished. The technician will have to simply plug your PC or computer into the cable modem via an Ethernet cable and use a coaxial cable to connect your modem to the normal television outlet on the wall.

Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cable is a type of copper wire used by cable internet and TV service providers to deliver broadband internet and TV service to customers. Coaxial cable contains two physical channels that run along the same axis, which is why it is called coaxial. A layer of insulation separates both of these channels and the outer channel in the cable usually serves as the ground.

These pairs of coaxial tubes or cables can be easily placed within a single outer sheathing and, with repeaters, they can carry signals for long distances. In addition, a coaxial cable offers an interference-free transmission path for electrical signals of higher frequency.

Almost all coax cables have concentric layers of insulating material and electrical conductors. This design of coax cables makes sure that the signals are enclosed inside the cable and also avoids the interference of the transmitted signals with electrical noise.

The thin conducting wire at the center of the cable is either braided or solid copper. A dielectric layer of insulating material with well-defined electrical characteristics surrounds the copper wire. The dielectric layer is protected by a shield layer with braided copper mesh or metal foil. Finally, the whole assembly is wrapped within an insulating jacket for improved protection.

DOCSIS

Delivering internet service to customers over cable uses a standard, which is popularly known as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS). This method is not so different from DSL and use a low frequency for voice and high frequency for data but the difference is that cable incorporates the use of several frequencies, one for each channel.

Just like all other technical standards, DOCSIS has also greatly evolved over the last few years and now it can support new capabilities such as telephony services and improved internet service speeds. The latest version of DOCSIS, DOCSIS 3.0 offers the highest possible service speeds, which is one of the major reasons why you should switch to DOCSIS 3.0 modems when you are on a high-speed cable internet service plan.

How Fast is Cable Internet Service

A decade ago, the broadband internet speed offered by cable service providers in the country were just 0.5 Mbps for downloads. However, the internet speed has dramatically increased over the last few years and now customers are able to stream high definition video contents without any delays.

Cable is one of the most popular types of high-speed Internet service in the United States, Canada, and many other countries. The average internet speed available to cable subscribers in the country currently ranges from 20 Mbps to 100 Mbps based on their locality and internet service provider.

Cable Modems and Their Role in Cable Internet Speed

Most of the cable modems available in the market follow the industry standard Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS). DOCSIS 2.0 cable modems offered a maximum download speed of 38 Mbps and an upload speed up to 27 Mbps. However, as the cable service providers increased their internet speeds, these modems fail to cop up.

The need for faster modems gradually led to the launch of DOCSIS 3.0 modems, which offered considerably improved performance. This is because the DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems are capable of supporting an internet speed of over 150 Mbps. Internet providers usually rent or sell these modems to ensure that their subscribers get access to a better internet service.

If many of your neighbors are accessing the same cable internet connection, there is a possibility that your internet speed will decrease significantly at the peak hours. In addition to that, decrease in cable internet speed may also happen due to service glitches, bandwidth cap issues, router damages, and device malfunctioning.

Bandwidth and Data Restrictions

It is crucial to note that the cable internet speed at your home will depend much on the bandwidth of your neighbor, but need not worry. This is because cable service providers will evenly distributed the maximum bandwidth in a neighborhood to all their customers. So, you will not encounter any issues while accessing the web and streaming video contents.

However, if you are a heavy internet user, you will most likely exceed the monthly data limit set by the cable service provider. After exceeding the limit, you will see some decrease in the internet speed. So, you should keep tabs on your monthly data usage and try not to exceed the monthly data limit.

Pros and Cons of Cable Internet

Just like any other type of internet service, cable internet too has its own advantages and disadvantages. Below are a few pros and cons of this popular internet service that will help you decide whether cable internet service is the right choice for you.

Pros

  • No need to have a telephone line
  • Incredibly faster than other broadband internet services
  • Ideal choice for heavy data activities such as playing online games and streaming HD video contents
  • Affordable, reliable, and not too susceptible to issues

Cons

  • Internet speed is not fast as fiber optic internet
  • Initial signup and installation fees can be quite expensive
  • Not available in all regions of the country

When deciding if you should go for cable internet or not, it is wiser to keep the pros and cons of the service in mind because it will certainly help you reach a better decision. Even though you will need to make a high initial investment while opting for cable internet, the increased internet speeds and other benefits associated with the service will make it a valuable investment in the long run.

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