Many people think that fibre and broadband are the same thing, but they are actually two different internet connectivity services. Fibre uses fibre optic cables to provide a high-speed service in which packets of light travel down the cables and are converted into information at both ends. Broadband, on the other hand, is a service that uses high-bandwidth transmissions to support multiple signals.
A fibre connection is incredibly fast and highly reliable. Broadband is generally slower than fibre if delivered through copper cables, however, it can be delivered through fibre optic cables too, which increases its speed. Broadband is usually referred to as ADSL and utilises shared infrastructure by internet service providers (ISPs).
A simple description of fibre and broadband
When you use the internet, data is sent and received via a network of cables. Consider these cables to be a water-filled pipe. With a fibre connection, you own the entire pipeline and it does not fill up with other people’s water. The water flows faster and is not contaminated by the water of other users.
With a broadband connection, the pipe can be larger but it also fills up with everyone else’s water. This means that it may become congested during peak hours, which is why it is less expensive and slower than fibre. Broadband is still adequate for general browsing, emailing, video conferencing and music streaming, but fibre is a far superior solution for business needs.
Other comparisons between fibre and broadband
While both services are reliable, fibre is more secure and faults can be easily traced. Given the shared nature of broadband, faults and problems are more difficult to find and fix as the ‘shared pipeline’ is more complicated. This also results in more security risks and has a more open connection which can be difficult to secure.
Installation times also vary; ADSL networks are readily available in South Africa whereas fibre is slowly becoming more extensive. Customers may have to wait a longer period of time if it is not already available in their area, which is common in remote towns across the country. If it is readily available, installation can be quick and easy.
Ensure that you choose an ISP that can help with security issues by implementing threat monitoring and detection services of. Whether you choose broadband or fibre, security software and hardware must be installed to ensure that all your devices are protected from hackers and malware.
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