What is the difference between Fiber, Cable, DSL, and VDSL Internet?

Internet connection

The Internet is an integral part of your everyday life in many ways. You use it at home, in the office, or on the go. You rely on it to manage your daily activities, run your business, communicate, and access the global pool of information.

It probably seems that you know all about the Internet, yet it may seem like a confusing decision when looking at the various plans offered by your Internet service provider. The first Internet option you should understand is what type of Internet connection you pay for. They may vary by your local Internet Service Provider or your company’s region. There are several criteria to differentiate the types of Internet connections.

The choice of connection for an office depends on employees’ needs and preferences. So, IT managers should consider the type of network that will work best for their employees. Both solutions have pros and cons, like the wireless connection means more flexibility and mobility, while wired networks provide more reliability and security for the company’s data.

However, in this article, we’ll focus on the different technologies used to deliver the connection to your home, office, or mobile phone. Knowing the most popular Internet connections and how they vary in availability, speed potential, price, and performance is important.

What types of wired Internet connections are available?

Fiber, cable, and DSL are the most popular types of wiring that carry internet service.

Connection type usage among OECD countries

Cable Internet- 34%
Fiber-Optic Internet – 30%
DSL Internet – 14%
Satellite – 2%
Others – 20%*


To select the best Internet package for your business, you should know the key factors determining different Internet connections like Internet speed or bandwidth, costs, availability, reliability, and convenience. So you do not end up paying for a connection that is not as fast or reliable as you expected.

Fiber-optic internet  – the high-speed connection

FIber-optics Internet

Fiber Internet connection is one of the most advanced and fastest connections that exist today. Many Internet services experts claim that the fiber-optic internet is the best connection type for speed and reliability. Fiber Internet is delivered to your house or office building via a fiber optic cable made of many small glass or plastic fibers.

Why is Fiber Internet so fast?

Fiber Internet is the fastest wired connection because of the optic lines via which the data is transferred. It uses pulses of light to send data running through fiber optic cable. Unlike cable and DSL connections, which send electricity to transmit data through the lines, Fiber Internet connection data travels as beams of light. So the fiber optic infrastructure supports the fast Internet speeds provided by this data connection.

Why is Fiber Internet considered the best-wired internet connection?

Fiber Internet offers faster speed, it’s reliable, and the range covers much longer distances than DSL or cable connection. Fiber optic service can deliver download and upload speeds as fast as 2 gigabits per second (2000 Mbit/s). For home users, this equals downloading a long HD movie for less than 60 seconds, while for businesses, it means unlimited options for communicating, collaborating, and optimizing your workflows.

In addition to the benefit of faster speed, fiber connections can travel much longer distances than DSL or cable connection keeping their reliability consistent. The reason for this is the way DSL and cable transmit data – namely via electricity over a copper cablе. The signals in that copper cable can be affected and weakened by electromagnetic interference as it travels over a long distance.

Fiber uses light to transfer data and transmits it over a thin glass cable that is less vulnerable to outside disturbance.

What are the limitations of Fiber Internet?

Availability is the only real limitation of the Fiber Internet connection. It is a relatively new technology (compared to DSL and cable Internet) and lacks the appropriate infrastructure. Laying enough optic cables to connect cities and underserved areas is a real logistic challenge that happens slowly. So Fiber connection may not be provided by your Internet service provider at your office location yet.

In the beginning, Fiber Internet was an expensive service provided by few players on the market. In recent years, the number of Internet service vendors who offer it has grown; they have lowered the price of their Internet packages and improved the quality of the service.

If your local Internet service providers offer Fiber Internet connection, you should compare the plans and choose the best one. Thus you have ensured a high-speed and high-quality Internet connection, which means improved productivity for your company. Check the Mixvoip special offer for all its Luxembourg customers – Giga for All!

Cable Internet Connection – the most available connection

cable Internet

Cable Internet, also known as broadband cable, uses the same infrastructure as your cable TV, and it delivers the connection to your office or home via a network of buried copper coaxial cables. It is probably the most common type of data connection, often offered in a package with phone service and TV plans. This is a logical step because cable Internet and cable TV leverage the same coaxial connections.

Why is Cable Internet so widely accessible?

The cable Internet is so widely available because the cable network for television lines covers almost the whole territory of a country, including less populated areas like villages. The underground cable networks plug directly into the modem or the gateway (a device encompassing both a router and a modem), placed into your office premises. You can then create your corporate Wi-Fi network and connect your mobile device to the Internet or use the Ethernet cable for your desktop computers.

What are the benefits of a cable Internet connection?

The advantages of broadband cable include its reliability, availability, fast download speed, and relatively simple setup. 

As mentioned, the high accessibility of cable Internet makes it the only choice if you are located in more obsolete areas. Although it lacks the full-speed potential of fiber optics, cable Internet still delivers one of the fastest data connections. The download speeds usually vary as a standard offer in the 10–500 Mbps range. Still, there are providers that offer a gigabit plan with up to 940 Mbps download speed which is nearly like Fiber Internet plans. However, the upload speeds by cable connection cannot compete with fiber – optics. There are not many providers who can deliver upload speeds above 50 MBps.

Pricing for cable Internet packages varies among different vendors depending on such indicators as the download/upload speeds and the value-added benefits. Generally, it is considered a more affordable solution for the business to subscribe to a cable internet plan. 

What are the limitations of Cable Internet?

Although cable Internet provides fast data connection, its speeds may slow down during the peak hours of usage. The main reason is that users in neighboring residencies share the same bandwidth capacity. As mentioned, cable Internet is delivered by coaxial TV cables sensitive to network congestion. As a result, during the peak hours of surfing, streaming, or downloading (in the evening, f.e.), you may experience a slowdown in your internet speed.

DSL – Digital Subscriber Line – best value for the money

DSL connection

With DSL technology, your Internet connection runs through existing copper phone lines. Because the phone lines build the oldest infrastructures everywhere, DSL Internet is available in many areas where cable and fiber Internet, including rural areas, cannot offer. DSL is the most common Internet connection in many countries, Germany included.

DSL internet and phone calls

Even though DSL internet uses your current phone lines, it does not affect the phone calls (as it used to with its predecessor- the dial-up Internet connection). In other words, you may be connected to the Internet line 24/7, and any incoming or outgoing calls will not disrupt your connection. 

What are the benefits of the DSL Internet connection?

Next to cable Internet, DSL is the most widely available internet connection worldwide. It is a useful solution for reliable and affordable Internet access for less populated areas where any ISP does not provide the “modern” Internet connection types. The Internet setup is fast and easy, considering that many homes and offices still use landline phones and have telephone jacks.

DSL is a dedicated connection, your company won’t have to share bandwidth with neighbors, like the cable connection.

So, you may expect a consistent and reliable internet speed 24/7. That ensures service continuity in any circumstances, and your online experience will not be affected during the peak hours of Internet usage.

Last but not least, DSL Internet packages are usually less expensive than fiber and cable Internet plans. The reason is that the providers use the existing infrastructure of the phone lines, so they do not need to make initial investments for wiring their areas. Like cable Internet, your telecom provider can offer a bundle plan with Internet and Phone services.

What are the limitations of DSL?

Two are the main issues regarding the DSL connection, and they both concern its upload and download speeds. A DSL connection needs more time to transfer data, which means it has higher latency than cable or fiber optics. It also has a lower bandwidth capacity because the phone lines were initially designed to handle voices and can’t carry signals so quickly. 

If you subscribe to DSL service, the proximity of your office to the physical location of your Internet provider is also important. Speed and quality will vary depending on how close this place is, with offices closer having higher-quality connections than those further away from their provider’s switching station/routers (DSL modem). Therefore you should search for a local ISP that can provide a stable and reliable data connection.

If you run a German company in Trier, contact your local telecom provider Mixvoip for the best Internet DSL packages!

VDSL – the high-speed DSL connection

VDSL connection

VDSL stands for Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line; as its name implies, it is the fastest form of a DSL connection. VDSL transfers data and connects you to the Internet through your telephone lines more effectively. 

With VDSL, the internet signal is transmitted almost three times faster than with the standard DSL connection. A VDSL connection can provide download speeds as high as 50 Mbps and upload speeds up to 10 Mbps. The ISP installs an optical node with fiber optical cables near the user’s home or office building. That enables faster data transfer to longer distances and a better overall user experience when surfing the Internet.

If you manage your business from Belgium, Mixvoip can provide Fiber Internet or VDSL connection. Check our Internet plans and choose the best suits your business needs!

Belgium Internet connection

The Internet is essential to our everyday lives, and the type of connectivity you have can significantly affect what you can do online. Furthermore, it can impact the way you do business.

Which is the best Internet plan depends on the way your business is organized. Whether you are a globally presented brand with a remote workforce, who should collaborate intensively, or if you use Internet options to be present online and for some basic operations. Fiber, Cable, or DSL Internet connection has benefits and limitations. However, only one will match your company’s requirements and ensure your service continuity.

To choose your Internet plan, you can always ask your ISP to explain all the options for your company. Whether you are in Luxembourg, Belgium, or Germany, contact us for more information, and we are happy to help you!

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