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Cable internet is an excellent choice for those who do not want to pay the costs of fiber internet or for those who do not live in an area with fiber. With speeds up to 2,000 Mbps, you can have multiple devices at a time searching and streaming the internet.

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What is cable internet?

Cable internet, much like cable TV service, uses coaxial cables that connect from your home through a modem receiver to a nearby node, and then to your internet service provider. The modem receives electrical signals, which then converts into internet service, similar to how a cable TV box receives a signal and displays an image.

The packages offered by different cable internet providers range significantly, so make sure you know what your internet speed needs are and how much monthly data you require. Also keep in mind hidden costs when choosing your internet provider as expenses, such as installation fees, equipment rental fees, price increases, data overage fees, late payment fees and cancellation fees, can add up quickly. 

Advantages of cable internet

  • No home phone line is required to get cable internet
  • Cable internet offers speeds up to 10x faster or higher than DSL internet
  • Available to about 89% of U.S. residents
  • Already installed in most homes, unlike Fiber

Things to consider

Top cable internet providers 

Cable internet provider details

Best cable internet customer satisfaction ratings

While some cable internet providers — such as Xfinity, Cox and Optimum — managed to improve their American Customer Satisfaction Index scores over the years, others, including Spectrum and Suddenlink, experienced continued declines.

Cable vs. DSL vs. Fiber

Cable vs. DSL: While cable internet is integrated into the cable television infrastructure, DSL is integrated into the telephone line infrastructure. A coaxial cable supports higher bandwidth than a telephone line, which gives cable internet a significant speed advantage over DSL internet. With greater speeds, you can stream and search the internet with multiple devices at a time.

Cable vs. Fiber: Coaxial cables are more common and less expensive than fiber-optic cables. This makes cable internet more widely-available and sometimes lower-priced than fiber-optic internet service. Cable can also be more convenient as it is already installed in most homes, as opposed to Fiber. While cable tends to provide faster internet speeds than DSL, fiber is known for providing faster and more reliable internet. Although fast, Fiber only covers approximately 25% of the country. Cable, on the other hand, covers close to 90%.

Cable internet FAQs

Is ADSL or cable internet faster?

Cable internet supports higher bandwidth and faster speeds than ADSL internet. Cable internet plans vary by location, but cable internet can deliver more than 10x the speeds of DSL in select areas.

Cable internet uses a coaxial cable, the same as cable TV service. Within the coaxial cable is a copper or copper-plated steel line which carries internet signals from a provider to a residence. Other cables used for internet include telephone lines and fiber-optic cables.

No. Unlike DSL and dial-up internet, which require a phone line for service, cable internet uses a coaxial cable. Home phone services are available from most cable internet providers, but one is not required for internet service.

Cable internet is capable of delivering a wide speed spectrum. A good cable internet speed for most homes is 100 Mbps or higher, but a “good” speed depends on your needs.

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David Anders

Written by:

David Anders

Senior Writer, Broadband Content

David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV content. As a Senior Writer, David is passionate about making sure our broadband content provides vital informat… Read more