A strong and consistent Wi-Fi connection is a rare sight, these days. Most of the wireless networks are bogged down by millions of device requests, lackluster security, and signal deteriorations over a long distance. As a result, you get patchy Wi-Fi with spotty reception and uneven signal strength. This, in turn, affects your online activities and the pace of task completion on a day-to-day basis. What can you do about it? Give fiber optic a try. In this post, we will discuss all the possible ramifications of pairing your wireless network hardware with an optical fiber source. Stay tuned.
How Fast is Fiber Optic Internet?
Before we can unravel the data transfer speed of a fiber-optic network, let’s understand what the technology means first. Fiber internet is the latest and probably, the fastest internet connection type in the market at present. Instead of leveraging copper wires or satellite dishes for carrying internet data, fiber optic makes use of cutting-edge optical fiber cables to transmit information. Because data travels in the form of light pulses through the glass or plastic-based strands rather than electrical signals, it is immune to electromagnetic interference and faces minimal data loss.
Fiber internet has a sophisticated infrastructure, which consists of a fiber optic backbone, the last mile connection, an optical network node, and a network box. You can get a “pure” fiber to the home service from a fiber optic provider, or opt for a “modulated” and much more affordable fiber connection with a copper-based last mile, as offered in RCN internet plans. It depends on your budget and your speed requirements. Typically, a fiber internet connection delivers equal download and upload speeds reaching 1 Gbps, i.e. 1,000 Mbps. 1 Gig means that you can:
- Connect more than ten devices to the internet at the same time
- Download large files from the internet in less than a second
- Conduct crustal-clear videoconferences with the smoothest fps rate
- Stream TV shows or movies online in 4K Ultra HD quality on multiple screens
- Play heavy-duty multiplayer online games with your virtual peers with less than 100ms ping, etc.
Can Fiber-Optic Improve Your Wi-Fi Speed?
Though its wired connectivity outperforms other broadband types, fiber optic converted-into-wireless does its wonder, too. Once the network box or gateway is attached to the optical network terminal and ready to run, it automatically launches a Wi-Fi network in the premises, based on the type of fiber optic router you have. You can call your fiber optic provider to activate the equipment, use the router app to configure the wireless network settings, and enjoy the next-gen fiber optic Wi-Fi speeds at home.
Generally, fiber optic networks are faster than cable, DSL or satellite, because they tap into a pure-fiber backbone and acquire the premium bandwidth from there. Now, the way this bandwidth reaches your home over the last mile may alter the potency of wireless speeds you ultimately receive. If the last mile is Fiber-To-The-Home, Fiber-To-The-Premises, Fiber-To-The-Desktop, or Fiber-To-The-Business, then you get a direct fiber line from the backbone to the terminal (ONT), and therefore, a non-hybridized, faster, and full-fiber Wi-Fi speed.
Whereas, for Fiber-To-The-Curb, Fiber-To-The-Building, Fiber-To-The-Neighborhood, and Fiber-To-The-Street, internet signals may travel from the backbone to the terminal over a copper-cable-last-mile, which may interlace the pure fiber efficiency with copper incapability, thus, resulting in an ambivalent Wi-Fi network, which may still be speedier than traditional cable or satellite on account of being linked to the fiber backbone.
So, yes, fiber optic broadband can improve your Wi-Fi speed, as optical fiber:
- Transmits data as fast as 70% the speed of light. This speed translates into its Wi-Fi network, too.
- Shows next-to-no latency because of a quick data roundtrip. The signals travel so fast and with such an expanded reach that they transform the entire wireless networking experience.
- Offers a higher bandwidth and supports a large volume of packets, leaving enough data for every device to connect and communicate wirelessly.
How to Boost Fiber Optic Wi-Fi Speeds?
Still, if you wish to take the wireless network speeds of your fiber optic connection to the next level, then implement the following tried-and-tested tips to fulfill this purpose:
1. Establish Connections via Gig Ethernet
Ethernet cables are ruled by certain communication standards, which dictate the speed and state of information transfer between the two connected devices. Fast Ethernet cables can carry data at the speed of 100 Mbps, while the Gigabit Ethernet cables have the power to transmit data at the speed of 1,000 Mbps. So, to make the most out of your fiber optic network, connect the optical network terminal to the network gateway or router via a Gigabit Ethernet. If you run a Fast Ethernet cable from the ONT to the network box, you’ll only be able to receive data at 100 Mbps downstream, which would be a regrettable outcome.
2. Check Compatibility with the Fiber Optic Wi-Fi Standard
Nowadays, most fiber optic gateway manufacturers are moving towards adopting the latest Wi-Fi standard called 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6, which can transmit internet signals at a speed of 10 Gbps. Even if they don’t, given the sparse availability of the Wi-Fi 6 standard, they stick to its predecessor, 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5, which supports a data transfer rate of up to 1 Gbps. If you try to access fiber optic Wi-Fi on anything less than Wi-Fi 5, you won’t be able to connect online without hurdles. Therefore, always check the compatibility of your devices to the network box’s Wi-Fi standard before you venture to connect them.
3. Create a Fiber Optic Mesh Network
One of the best ways to boost fiber optic Wi-Fi speeds is to transform the wireless network into a whole-home mesh system. You can accomplish this by purchasing a network gateway that is compatible with mesh pods. Then, connect the mesh pods or satellite routers to your main gateway and blast the gigabit Wi-Fi speeds throughout the house, covering all dead spots effectively.
The Final Verdict
So, fiber optic is the gold standard of all broadband types in the market, and more than capable enough to bring gig-level wireless speeds to your data-hungry devices. With the support of an optical fiber backbone, any Wi-Fi connection can see a tremendous improvement, for sure.