Cable internet refers to the delivery of internet service over cable network. A cable modem is used to transfer data signal using unused bandwidth on a cable television network. However not all cable infrastructure is capable of two way cable modem transmission, so having cable television network does not necessarily mean that cable internet service is available in your area.
In general, cable internet is capable of providing higher connection speed than DSL internet service. The download speed can reach up to 30 Mbps and the upload speed up to 2 Mbps. However, cable internet providers often add a speed cap on residential service plans so the actual bandwidth is usually lower than these values. In addition, cable users in a neighborhood share the bandwidth provided by the same cable line. Therefore, connection speed will fluctuate depending on the number of people using the service at the same time.
Almost all cable internet service providers tie up cable internet access with cable television subscription. Many also provide VoIP telephone service. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that travels over the Internet.
VoIP phone service is usually much cheaper than regular phone service. Many VoIP providers offer unlimited nationwide calling and low international calling rates. However, VoIP service requires broadband internet connection so in case of power outages when your cable modem (or DSL modem) is disconnected, you will not be able to make phone call or emergency call over the internet.
Advantages of cable internet access:
- High connection speed
- Convenient – you are always connected to the internet
- Does not affect your phone line. You don’t need to switch your local phone service provider.
- Connection speed is not affected by the distance from ISP operation center
- Easy setup with self installation kit
Disadvantages of cable internet access:
- Higher price than dialup and DSL connection
- Higher security risk than dialup or DSL (personal firewall is needed)
- Not available to all cable TV networks
- Bandwidth is shared over the same cable line. Connection speed is affected by the number of people using the internet at the same time in your neighborhood.
- Usually tie with cable TV subscription