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What is the Difference Between Ethernet Internet, Fiber Optics, T1 Lines and Cable?

Fiber Optic SolutionsOne of the most important decisions that a business needs to make in order to maximize their productivity is choosing an Internet connection that delivers a balance of price and performance. In today’s technology age, solutions such as dial-up and even DSL connections are becoming increasingly unable to support the demands of uploading and downloading speeds necessary for a company to manage a website, ecommerce venture, or ensure that they can collaborate and communicate effectively – via telecommuting or on-site. Fortunately, the world of Internet service is rapidly expanding: giving companies a wide array of choices including cable, T1 lines, fiber and Ethernet Internet. But what does each one bring to the table?

Ethernet Internet Business Solutions

One of the most promising new solutions currently on the market relies on technology that has been in use since 1980: Ethernet. This technology was originally developed as a way to connect local area networks (LANs) for businesses, and after being standardized in IEEE 802.3 almost entirely replaced other wired options for LAN. Originally, this technology used coaxial cable, but its fundamental nature allowed it to be upgraded easily using both twisted pair cabling and fiber optic links. In large part, it was this ability to upgrade that allowed Ethernet Internet connection to dominate as the standard business LAN – it could be easily scaled up at low cost no matter the size of a network. Now, providers have adapted this technology to deliver lightning-fast, dedicated access to the Internet. While its basic function is analogous to T1 or fiber lines, Ethernet Internet connection has the advantage of offering identical upload and download speeds rather than high downstream rates, but far slower upstream returns. Available at prices competitive with other Internet options, Ethernet Internet is rapidly becoming the new business standard thanks to both high speed and proven reliability. Ethernet Internet is a recommended internet source due to the fact that it uses multiple twisted pairs or DS1’s and carries a natural redundancy, so if some of the dedicated wires, lines go bad your internet connection may only slow down and not completely go down or be noticed by you for some time.

Cable ConnectivityFiber Optic Options

Fiber optic Internet options use pulses of light and cables containing pure glass to transmit information rather than relying on telephone or television cable transmission methods. Data transfer using light is fast and responsive, but development of this technology for the “last mile” – the distance between an Internet provider and a local customer – was slow due to the high costs of burying fiber optic lines to protect their function. Now that many providers have developed robust fiber networks, options for high-speed Internet are available using this transmission method. Voiceover IP (VoIP) has been made much more reliable thanks to the use of fiber optic solutions. If fiber is available in your area this is an ideal connection type however be sure to select the right vendor to work with as connection issues can incur due to the sensitivity of the fiber optics technology and you may wind up contacting your vendor more often than you would like due to network outages. Carriers who are providing a low cost fiber solution are often offering faster download speeds than upload so be sure to view the carriers SLA (Service Level Agreement) so you can guarantee your speed and uptime commitment and if going with a non-Telco cheaper fiber solution you may want to consider a DSL or cable backup internet solution because fiber is reliant on one single line which is highly sensitive to equipment, adjustments and changes.

T1 Internet Solutions

T1 lines are an industry standard for businesses today because they offer one of the most consistently reliable and secure methods of connecting to the internet. The dedicated lines can come into a business in the form of copper wires or fiber optic lines and can be used either as telephone solutions or as a point of Internet access when connected to a business’ network router. T1 lines will come as a dedicated line with guaranteed connection rates and higher data transfer rates than DSL and cable Internet options as they terminate at a dedicated source and unlike DSL and Cable T1 lines are not shared among a wide base of users.

Cable Connectivity and Performance

Cable Internet is typically supplied by a cable television provider and requires the use of a cable modem by the customer and a cable modem termination system by the provider. A user connects to the network using a coaxial cable – the same type that is used to access television, and uses the same cable outlet as a television hookup. While this kind of Internet access can provide high download speeds for users, it is limited by the fact that users are using a non-dedicated line where they share available bandwidth at the aggregation point, meaning that at peak times the network can slow down significantly due to more users accessing the internet connection during the same approximate times. Cable is often much cheaper than a dedicated T1 or Ethernet line because of this reason.