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Is Fiber Optic Better Than Wifi?

Should you use a fiber optic or wifi connection for your home or office?

Fiber optic connections are on the cutting edge of information networks, while wifi is the industry standard and most commonly used in homes and offices.

by Vikas Dayal • May 23, 2023

Network Patch Cables, Fiber Optic Cables, Patch Finder


Fiber optic connections are on the cutting edge of information networks, while wifi is the industry standard and most commonly used in homes and offices. They key differences between the two are affordability and reliability. Which connection is best for you?

If you're looking to getting your internet connection up and running in your home or office, you might be overwhelmed with options - from the type of connection to provider, there are numerous variables you should take into consideration before making a decision on what data network setup you'll use. The most significant factors impacting your decision will probably be: reliability, expense, and speed. How do these compare between fiber optic cable and wifi internet connections? Let's take a look!

Fiber Optic vs. Wifi Speeds

How does a fiber optic connection compare to wifi with regard to speed? With standard broadband internet, you can expect speeds between approximately 3 to 1000 Mbps. While that's nothing to write off, fiber optic internet will blow those speeds out of the water: with a fiber optic connection, you can expect data transfers at a rate of up to 100 Gbps. The way these connections transmit information plays a key role in the difference. While a broadband wifi network operates by transmitting data packets into electromagnetic waves, a fiber optic connection relies on pulses of light traveling along delicate, hair-fine glass "fiber" cables. A good example of this would be our OS2 LC to LC Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable. These cables are manufactured with high-quality corning glass fiber cores, and ceramic ferrules to ensure optimal data transfer. 

single mode fiber optic cable - shop cables.com.

Fiber Optic vs. Wifi Reliability

Fiber optic cables transmit data more quickly than wifi - but how reliable is a fiber optic network? In short, the answer to that question is "very." One significant drawback to a wifi installation is the ease with which distance and physical obstacles can disrupt your connection. There's also the issue of network congestion, which means that your devices might operate more slowly when many users are attempting to use the same network at once. There's also the matter of your connection's security. While no connection is perfect, especially in the face of someone determined to access it, fiber optic internet connections are generally considered more secure than standard wifi. 

Fiber Optic vs. Wifi Affordability

Thus far, it looks as if fiber optic internet is by far the superior option in comparison to broadband wifi. But whether you're looking to connect your home devices or support an office building, the deciding factor will probably come down to cost. After all, fiber optic internet is the best, isn't it? As such, it's likely to be far more expensive than wifi. When it comes to fiber optic connections, multi mode cables like this SC to SC OM4 fiber optic cable will be more affordable than something like the single mode cable listed above. 

multi mode fiber optic cable - shop cables.com.

That said, whether you choose single mode or multi mode cable, installing fiber optic cable will be significantly more expensive than having a wifi network set up. In addition to the cost, fiber optic connections are still being rolled out across the world, which means that some areas, particularly those outside of large cities, might not be set up for optical fiber yet. Broadband wifi or ethernet may be the best options for you. 

What's the Right Cable for Me?

Cables.com provides high-quality, reliable cables of all kinds for competitive prices. Whatever your cables need is, we're ready to meet it. If you're not sure what cable you need for your job, check out our Quick Patch Finder. Have questions? Contact us, or email us at sales@cables.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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