Fiber optic internet is one of the newest terminologies in the networking spectrum. For that reason, the question about new fiber optic modem has become very common. Due to the hype associated with fiber internet, about 25% have already migrated to it. And, the projections are pointing to a higher percentage in the near future.
To answer all these disturbing questions and demystify the myths about fiber optic, read this article. It can be a very helpful resource especially if you envisage using fiber optic internet. We tell whether it is necessary for a new modem or not. We’ll also dissect the Fiber optic architecture, terminologies, and their related technologies.
Necessities For Fiber Optic Internet Connection
To use fiber internet in your home, you need a number of essentials. Without them, you can’t say you have fiber optic internet at your home. These include;
Fiber optic cables:
Many telecommunication firms are providing home fiber cables nowadays. If you have it in your home, fiber optic internet installation becomes even easier. All the technicians should run their fiber optic cables through an established tunnel. Unlike the old copper cables, fiber optic internet provides a super-fast internet alternative. The reason being, here you are not sharing your internet with anyone. Even when there is huge traffic, your connection is never destabilized.
Fiber optic modem:
Upon fiber optic cable reaching your home, you need a modem to terminate it. Without a modem, you can’t claim to have fiber optics internet. You can consult your internet provider on the best modem to buy. Without this guidance, you may end with a useless modem in the store. Consider carefully the features you want and compatibility with the said ISP.
Something else worth noting is the name fiber optic. This is not any other regular modem. Even though some suppliers may want to dupe you into working with an old modem, desist from such attempts. Get a modem that will work harmoniously with fiber optics technology.
Fiber optic wireless router:
There is no way you will feel the power of fiber optics internet without its compatible wireless router. This is the gadget that allows you to connect all your Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the house. These include laptops, smart phones, and tablets.
A router is necessary since you cannot connect all your devices via cables. And again, a wireless network is very important due to its freedom. Unlike LAN connection, you don’t have to stay glued at the same spot to access the internet.
How Does Fiber Optic Internet Connect To Your House?
Different scenarios play out when you want to connect fiber optic internet in your house. Basically, an installation fee is payable to the ISP you choose. You might be lucky if they already have a cable in your neighborhood. Otherwise, you might have to wait longer to wait for them to lay the cable if they are a few blocks away. When the cable is near your house, the provider may not charge you anything for installation. That means they’ll shoulder the cost.
The installation fee is normally charged depending on how far the cable ends. At times, you may have to wait longer until it reaches the neighborhood. However, is it advisable to contact your preferred service provider and express your interests. Even if they won’t be supplying the internet forthwith, the show of interest may trigger them to accelerate cable run. In short, to get fiber optic internet in your home, you have to apply.
If the curb is near your home, your ISP will lay cable immediately and install the internet in your house. That means it’s no guarantee you’ll get the internet immediately after application. If the cable is far, it may take a while until you connect.
Compare Between Other Internet And Fiber Optic Internet Connection
To better answer, this question, consider a mobile phone and landline analogy. Both these devices help you communicate. However, their technologies and infrastructure are completely different. The same case applies to technologies used in fiber optic internet connection. To understand this, let’s look at how data transmission occurs under the following media;
Transmitting A DSL Signal
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. It is one of the oldest forms of internet technology. It relies on copper phone lines to transfer the internet. Being old doesn’t mean it has been phased out, it is still very popular in some areas. The fact that it is cable internet, its stability and speed boost its acceptability. That explains why it still commands a huge base even after all these years in the market.
Despite the signal being relayed through your phone, you don’t need an active phone for DSL to work. This makes it a more advanced technology even than Dial-up. Even its data transfer speeds can go as high as 100Mbps. an average DSL consumer average 7 to 25Mbps. To transmit the internet to your Pc through DSL, you must have a Modem. And for Wi-Fi accessibility, you need a wireless router.
Transmitting A Cable Internet Signal
This belongs to the same category as DSL services. However, there is variation in terms of cable used and speed. Unlike DSL, cable internet uses cable lines rather than copper. Its speed is also higher than DSL’s. For that reason, we can say its speeds are between the fiber optics and DSL services.
To network your house, cable internet needs both a router and a modem. However, in most cases, these two are compressed into a single unit referred to as a gateway. The compressing achieves various two things. First, it cuts down the cost, and two; it reduces cable cluttering. That makes the installation work less tedious and complicated.
The problem with cable internet is that it is highly susceptible to latency and buffering. In the event many people are surfing at the same time, these problems are unavoidable. So, the only way to counter these issues is to subscribe for higher bandwidth or go for fiber optic internet.
Transmitting A Fiber-optic Signal
This is the third and the fastest internet so far. It uses small pieces of glass which are responsible for sending and receiving an internet signal. The glass fiber carries the light beam which transmits data. Traveling at the speed of light, the signal goes very fasts to the destination. This being a state-of-the-art technology, it requires ideal equipment to perform optimally. To give the best results, you need all fiber optic equipment. That is the modem and router. Without them, you have nothing yet. And even if you improvised the old modem, the full benefits of fiber optics won’t be felt.
Why You Need a Fiber Optic Compatible Modem ?
A different modem is necessary when migrating to fiber-optic internet. Fiber optic is more reliable than the traditional coaxial cable or DSL internet. It is faster since it’s not affected by line congestion and transmission is through a fast-traveling beam of light. Therefore, to exploit the full capability of fiber optic transmission, it’s prudent to go for a modem that is fiber optic compatible.
Well, some ISPs will tell you your old modem is okay to work with fiber. Always desist from such advice. To begin with, the two modems use completely different transmission technologies. Actually, using an old modem only slows down your speeds. So, why pay for fiber optic internet connection that works just like the old internet. If you want to tap into the full benefits of fiber optics connection, be ready to buy its components. That list includes a modem, routers, etc. That way, your house will enjoy the leading fast, reliable, and stable internet in the world.
Types of Fiber Optic Modems
There are two categories of Fiber optic modems. The categorization is by their data transmission protocol. They include;
- E1 Fiber optic modem: These modems work under E1 data transmission standards. They can send both multiple and single data signals. They do well when used for multichannel, simultaneous time-division multiplexing. E1 FOM is famous for international telecommunication. They can also work in LANs and WAN networks.
- V35 FOM: These types of modems are used for single or multimode transmission and transformation of the optical signals. The modem acts as an optical data converter at the optic cable end. These modems have crazy transmission modes going up to 100km.
- RS modems: RS modems operate under the networking recommended standards. The Electronics Industry Association is the one that drew the recommendations. The recommendations ensure compatibility between the equipment from different manufacturers. The various RS fiber optic modems include;
- RS 485
Issues With Older Modems
Some people allude that you can use the standard old modems with fiber optic internet. Whereas this may be true, using old modems will deny you the full benefits of fiber connectivity. This is because the traditional modems cannot process the light signals to digital. This is only done from the fiber optic cables as required. They are only capable of turning analog signals into digital. Therefore, trying to use the old modem with fiber optic internet is akin to courting failure. So, the best is to get a new modem designed to work with fiber optic internet infrastructure.
Best 4 Fiber Optic Modem Reviews
1. ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Gigabit Cable Modem
When purchasing fiber router or modem, vast majority of buyers want one that can offer a fast internet speed while still serving a large number of users at the same. Believe it or not, this modem is generally created to cater such concerns. Firstly, it is equipped with a pair of1-Gigabit Ethernet ports with each port capable of providing internet speeds of up to 2Gbps. Although, a second IP address may be needed by your cable Internet provider so as to enable achieve this excellent internet speeds.
Its fast speed is also boosted by a Docsis 3.1 internet technology, which is the best available technology for cable Internet providers. This makes it very suitable for other internet dependent activities such as 4K streaming.
It also allows 32 downstream x 8 bonded channels, 2 downstream x 2 upstream OFDM Docsis 3 1 channels. Once you purchase this modem, setting it up for use will be a walk in the park. This is thanks to its very concise and simple to use design. On the downside, the latter is slightly more expensive when compared to other modems. You will find it going for nothing below 140$ on sites such as Amazon.
- It is very first.
- Great for 4k streaming and gaming.
- Good for multiple users.
- It has two Ethernet ports.
- It is quite expensive
2. NETGEAR Cable Modem CM1000
Unlike most modern modems, this is designed to function in a very universal way that makes it compatible to all cable providers. This includes providers such as Xfinity and Spectrum. However, it is not compatible with Verizon, centuryLink and AT&T. Besides that, it supports internet plans with speeds of up to 1Gbps hence suitable for activities such as 4K streaming.
In case you want a much faster internet speed, this modem gives a room for flexibility. This is by paying more for it to flex up to 2000mbps. The modem readily works with all routers. So, in case you owned a router, all you need to do is; plug it into your router and using it.
In addition, it allows the users to connect the most suitable Wi-Fi router for their home. On the downside, the latter comes at a quite expensive price. As a matter of fact, if you want to buy it on a site such as Amazon, you will have to part with 169$. Finally, it comes with a very simple nature, thus simple to use and set up. This entails;
- plug in your cable
- Activate it and you are good to go.
- It is compatible with vast majority of major cable internet providers.
- It is compatible with all Wi-Fi routers.
- Simple to set up and use
- Quite fast internet speeds.
- Very expensive to acquire.
- Comes with a single Ethernet port.
3. NETGAR Gigabit Cable Modem
Just like ARRIS SUFFBOARD modem, NETGAR also comes with a modern Docsis 3.1 technology. This makes it almost ten times faster compared to Docsis 3.0 technology. Note that although it uses Docsis 3.1 technology, it is still compatible with other previous networks that use Docsis 3.0 technology and below. This means that the latter is very efficient for activities such as live streaming. It is also convenient and reliable for use by multiple users.
It has a high internet speed of up to 1 GBPs that makes it very steady and reliable even during peak hours. Additionally, it is not compatible with AT&T, centurylink, Verizon as well as cable bundled voice services.
Once you buy this modem, you will save up to $156 annually. This is because it does not require you to pay for Internet provider rental fees.
- It has a very first internet speed.
- Exhibits the latest Docsis 3.1 technology which is very reliable.
- It is backward compatible.
- Lacks a good quality for price.
- Has a single Ethernet port.
4. TP-LINK Modem
With only $93, you can easily acquire this modem on trading sites such as Amazon. This makes it cheaper compared to most modems out there. As if not enough, it comes with a very alluring outlook that definitely complements the appearance of wherever you place it. Nonetheless, this modem helps you save on monthly rental fees charged by many internet service providers. This makes it way cheap to maintain.
Although it is relatively cheaper, it has a slower internet speed because it uses Docsis 3.0 technology. It provides a downloading speed of 343Mbs and uploading speed of 143mbps that still enables users to enjoy lag-free reliable streaming online.
In addition, its Docsis 3.0 technology guarantees protection against foreign unwanted network. Another advantage is that it is compatible with a wide range of cable Internet service providers. Setting up this modem is also super easy (just two steps and you are done). Moreover, it comes with a full 24 months warranty thus assuring buyers quality service. You can also use the latter with devices that use previous technology e.g Docsis 1.0 and 1.1. Also, it supports latest internet standards such as IPv4 and IPv6.
- It is backward compatible
- It has a good quality for price.
- Exhibits a 24 months quality assurance warranty
- Has a free 24/7 tech support.
- Exhibits a more improvised security.
- It is a bit slow.
Features To Look Before Buying Fiber Optic Modem
Before picking a modem, you need to consider several factors. These range from your needs to the needs of your ISP among others. All these increase the chances of getting the best-suited modem for your internet. Remember, the good the equipment you purchase, the higher chances you have of a quality internet connection. The following features should dictate the brand and model of your fiber optic modem;
Internet speed: You need to compare your current download speed with that of the router. You shouldn’t go lower than that. If anything, go for higher-speed modems to ensure you enjoy the full benefits of your plan.
Consider the rental fee: Compare the rental fee before you hire any equipment from internet service provider. This should be a huge motivator to propel you to buy your own components. You can even buy one piece of equipment at a time.
Compatibility: You need to check the DOCSIS offered by your ISP. Compatibility is of the essence because if your modem isn’t compatible, you’ll have a problem. By compatibility, we don’t mean matching. The two don’t have to be the same but they should at least be compatible. So, it is advisable when buying a modem to go for a wireless fiber optic modem. Avoid the old generation as that may not work with the current infrastructure.
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
Why are fiber optic modems becoming more popular than other types of modems?
Fiber optic modems are immune to all forms of signal interference. As a result, they deliver high data transmission speeds than all other modems. Of course, no one wants slow internet, thus, most people are moving to this type of internet.
The long distant coverage is also another reason. FOM resist electromagnetic interference to deliver clearer signal to a long-distance destination.
Does Fiber optic use a coaxial cable?
Some people may want to use the two at once. However, you cannot use fiber-optic and coaxial cables interchangeably. Fiber internet needs fiber-optic cable while cable internet needs to use coaxial cable.
How do I connect my router to my fiber optic modem?
It is not possible to connect fiber optic cables directly to the router. However, you can use the router with a fiber optic modem. It works very easy in that manner in this manner. You will first need to connect the optic cable to the modem’s cable port. After that, you will need to connect to the modem’s LAN port with the router’s WAN port using an Ethernet cable.
Does Fiber Internet have Wi-Fi?
When you get Fiber-Optic internet there is an assurance that you will have reliable Wi-Fi. Most plans offer you up to 1 Gbps which is more than the people around you can use. Although cable offers the same speed, you cannot compare the two in terms of service and speed.
Fiber internet is popular nowadays because of the efficiency and speed. If you want to get high-speed internet access, then Fiber internet is the way to go. You cannot compare it with getting the cable internet. You are now aware of the equipment you need when you are installing the fiber internet.
However, it is good to consult with the ISP before you get to the equipment. Most of them do come with the required tools for installation. Also, others will give you some of the equipment free or at a leasing fee. So, now that you know what you need, the ball is on your side to make a decision.