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What is Fiber?

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Last updated by Isabel M

Fiber is a big part of how Ting is able to bring you super fast internet speeds. The easiest way to talk about fiber is to compare it to the other options out there.

Dial Up & DSL

Dial Up and Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, both run on phone lines. Dial up uses the audible frequencies--that's why you can hear dial up trying to make a connection. DSL, on the other hand, uses the inaudible frequencies of a telephone line. However it's still a phone line.

The average speed of a dial up connection, for both upload and download, is 56 Kbps.

DSL connections originally averaged download speeds of about 1 Mbps but now range anywhere from 1-15 Mbps. Upload speeds start around 500 Kpbs and generally top out at 1 Mbps.

Cable

Cable Internet connections run on the same type of coaxial wiring that your cable TV connection runs on--in fact it's often the exact same wire if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is also your cable TV provider.

Cable connection speeds vary widely from provider to provider and can range anywhere from 1-50 Mbps for download. Upload speeds across the board sit around 1 Mbps but have been seen as high as 5 Mbps.

Fiber

Fiber Internet connections of the type you'll get with Ting, run on fiber optic cables. The reason that fiber optic cables provide such a dramatic increase in speed is because, unlike dial up, DSL and cable connections, the signal doesn't run on an electrical current; it runs on light.

Ting Internet fiber connections provide both download and upload speeds of 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps; so 20 times faster than the fastest cable connections.

 

Internet connection speeds compared

Here's a quick table to show you how these speeds stack up at a glance.

Download and upload speeds by connection type

 

Dial Up

DSL

Cable

Fiber

Download

56 Kbps

1-15 Mbps

1-50 Mbps

1 Gbps

Upload

56 Kbps

500 Kbps - 1 Mbps

1-5 Mbps

1 Gbps

What does this mean in real life?

Your overall download speed (this also means browsing the Web, watching videos, checking your email etc) is going to be much faster and you won't feel it as much when other people in your household or business are also using the Internet. Plus, when you're using a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu, you won't suffer the kind of buffering that can be common with lower connection speeds.

For a real life example, it means that downloading the (entirely legal) HD copy of this film at 6.5GB would take the following amounts of time with these different Internet connections:

Download speed for 6.5GB file by connection type

 

Dial Up

DSL

Cable

Fiber

Download time

11 days

1 - 14 hours

20 minutes - 14 hours

1 minute or so

 

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