Cable Internet FAQs
Chances are you still have some unanswered questions about Cable Internet. Below you will find some of the most common questions as well as their answers.
Why is Cable Internet better than dial-up?
Cable Internet is superior to dial-up for a number of reasons. The main one being the increased speed. For example, downloading a music file with a dial-up connection may take you twenty minutes or more but with a Cable Internet connection it will be finished in about two. Many people also prefer Cable Internet because it allows them to go online without having to wait for their computer to connect or worrying about being disconnected. Another benefit is that Cable Internet does not tie up your phone lines. Overall, Cable Internet provides a more reliable connection for people who enjoy checking their email, playing online games, listening to MP3s, and more.
What do I need for Cable Internet?
Before you can get Cable Internet, you must first make sure that it is available in your area. If it is, you will need a cable modem and an Ethernet card. Some computers come equipped with one or both of these already, but in most cases you will need to purchase them from your local electronics store. Your Cable Internet provider may supply you with the Ethernet card and may even lease or sell you a cable modem.
Can I share my Cable Internet connection?
Yes. You can use a router to share your Cable Internet connection between multiple computers in your home. For more information, view "Networking a Cable Connection" above.
Will I be able to download music faster with Cable Internet?
Yes. All of your Internet downloading will be completed faster if you are using Cable Internet. In most cases, you will be able to download an entire song in only a couple of minutes instead of in a half an hour. Cable Internet connections also make it easier and more enjoyable to listen to Internet radio and to enjoy other streaming media.
Will Cable Internet improve the performance of my online games?
Yes because Cable Internet connections have much lower ping rates than to dial-up connections. Your computer's ping rate is how long it takes for your system to send and receive information to and from the game's server. The higher your ping rate, the longer it takes for the information to get where it is going and that results in slowdowns and lag times which can be detrimental to your overall performance. With a faster Internet connection and, therefore, a lower ping rate, you will not experience these problems.
Will Cable Internet speed be the same as you claim?
Probably. Cable Internet speeds do vary depending on the number of users in your neighborhood and their activity. Generally, however, your actual speed should be very close to those we've stated. Your local cable company will also be able to give you a better approximation of Cable Internet speeds in your area.
Is Cable Internet safe?
Yes, but you will also need to take some security precautions. Because your Internet connection will always be on, your computer will be vulnerable to outside and often un-wanted traffic any time it is turned on. While most of this traffic may be harmless, it can sometimes lead to your system being hacked or attacked by viruses. You can protect yourself, however, by installing a firewall on your computer (or on your router if you're networking your connection) and by using reliable anti-virus software.
Is Cable Internet available in my area?
Possibly. If you live in a major metropolitan area, chances are good that you already have one or even two Cable Internet providers available. If, on the other hand, you are in a more rural area with limited access to cable television, you should probably look for an alternative broadband method. Generally, if your local cable provider has upgraded the infrastructure in order to offer digital cable, you can be confident that they also offer Cable Internet or will be in the near future.
How much does Cable Internet cost?
The costs vary. Cable Internet does cost more than dial-up, but if you figure in the extra costs of additional phone lines and the benefit of being able to use one connection for multiple computers then it truly becomes a cost-effective option. In many cases, cable television subscribers even receive a discount on their Cable Internet service which could save you even more money.