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How High Speed Cable Internet Works?

How High Speed Cable Internet Works? Author Dan Karas

December 6, 2006
ISP 1 Article by Dan Karas

Last Revision: October 29, 2009

What Is Cable Internet?

Cable Internet is a fast new way to access the Internet via your cable television wiring. Slow traditional dial up modems are rapidly being replaced by super high speed broadband cable modems.

The demand for faster Internet speeds to support new features such as streaming video and live web casts has made affordable high speed cable Internet access very popular.

Broadband cable Internet access is available in many areas for a reasonable monthly cost of between $40 - $60.

How Does Cable Internet Work?

Cable Internet transmits high speed data signals over the coaxial cables that supply the cable television signals to your home or business.

Cable Internet technology utilizes cable channels specifically reserved for data transfer. A splitter is installed on the incoming coaxial TV cable. One connection supplies you with cable TV programming, and the other feeds a cable modem. The cable modem sends and receives Internet data by interfacing your computer to high speed equipment owned or leased by the cable company. This provides simultaneous high speed broadband Internet access and digital television programming.

How Fast Is Cable Internet?

Cable Internet transmission speeds vary due to the fact that you have to share that bandwidth of the channel with other cable Internet users.

Broadband cable Internet speeds range between 3 to 50 millions of bits per second "Mbps". However, even the slowest cable Internet connection is many times faster than a traditional dial up Internet connection.

Why Is Cable Internet Better?

Broadband cable Internet access provides numerous advantages over a standard dial-up Internet connection.

With high speed cable Internet service you are always connected to the net. There is no need to dial an ISP, so you can surf the Internet without tying up your home phone line.

In addition to the convenience, cable provides blazing fast download speeds. No more waiting for updates or large files to download. Web pages containing Flash animation, Quicktime movies, or Media Player video clips will load much faster than dial up. Sending & receiving large files such as photos and video email attachments is a snap.

Broadband cable Internet also enables you to use VoIP "Voice over Internet Protocol" Internet telephone services such as Vontage. Using VoIP you can make voice calls using a touch tone telephone and a broadband cable Internet connection instead of a regular telephone line. VoIP phone services are usually much cheaper than traditional telephone service.

What Equipment Do I Need?

A cable network interface commonly called a "cable modem" connects to the incoming coaxial television cable.

Your computer's network card is then connected to cable modem using a standard CAT5 network patch cable. Many computers come with the network card installed, otherwise they are cheap and install easily.

You can also connect your cable modem to a wireless router to provide high-speed wireless broadband Internet access to your entire home network.

Is Cable Internet For Me?

Only you can answer this question, since everyone has different needs and expectations.

You can compare ISP 1 high-speed cable Internet service providers using our Broadband Cable comparison page.

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