Cable Internet Basics and Uses for Gaming Computers

February 18, 2022

Connection to the internet is a hugely important factor for every gamer out there, and it’s important to recognize that there are several different forms of internet connection potentially available. One format that’s been around for many years and continues to serve many people (both for gaming and other uses) is known simply as cable internet.

At Xidax, we offer a comprehensive variety of custom gaming laptops and desktops and assistance with gaming servers and other needs that relate to your internet connection. Those who are newer to the world of different internet connection options want to learn more about this well-established form of web connection. Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about cable internet. Its uses, and how it differs from other significant forms of internet connection available today.

Cable Internet Basics

As its name suggests, cable internet refers to a high-speed internet connection based around a cable television infrastructure. The most common scenario here by far involves the same network that provides your TV service. They provide you with the ability to connect to the internet, but this is by no means an absolute requirement.

What makes cable internet such a great option for gamers? Well, several different answers apply to this question, and we’ll dig into these in just a bit.

How Cable Internet Works

To understand how cable internet operates, you need to know about its three primary components:

  • Modem: This is a fairly straightforward piece of equipment designed to translate digital data from your cable provider into a format that your computer is able to make sense of. Your modem for a cable internet connection will usually be provided by the company you’re connecting with and will also come with a router. The router is a piece of hardware that allows multiple devices to communicate with your modem.
  • CMTS: This is an abbreviation for a piece of cable provider equipment that’s designed to deliver the data that will be sent over your cable internet connection. The acronym stands for “cable modem termination system,” and it’s this piece of equipment that sends information back and forth. The information goes between your computer, the internet itself, and any servers you may be connected to.
  • Coaxial cable: A coaxial wire allows for data to be sent across long distances quickly and connects your modem to the CMTs of your service provider. Even if the said provider is nowhere close to your gaming setup.

These three components are all you really need to know for basic internet uses. However, for gamers and other users who want specific performance requirements to be met. Learning the ins and outs of how these pieces actually get things moving is invaluable input when it comes to choosing your service provider for your internet needs.

What Makes Cable Internet Great for Gamers?

There are several possible benefits of cable internet format to those who use gaming computers regularly:

  • High speeds: In terms of sheer speed, cable internet connections definitely hold the edge over other forms of internet connection. The most common form of cable internet connection available is approximately 10x faster than basic DSL speeds. Normally it is also 100x faster than your average dial-up connection (which is still used by people across the world).
  • Lots of bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the total amount of data that can be transferred at a single time through any given connection. Cable internet connections typically have far more bandwidth available than DSL or dial-up options. This makes them well suited to gamers who want to download massive patches for their games and enjoy a steady stream of gameplay without worrying about a drop-in speed.
  • Multiple devices: Because the bandwidth of a cable internet connection is so high. It’s possible to connect multiple devices at once and still enjoy fast speeds. Gamers who would like to provide online access for their entire family or roommates while playing can rest assured that this will be an option with a quality cable internet connection.
  • No phone line: Unlike DSL connections, cable internet doesn’t require any type of phone line to function. This makes it easy for gamers to set up their connection easily. Without having to worry about annoying your chatty neighbors with potentially disruptive phone calls.

Comparisons to Connection Alternatives

As we noted above, cable internet is just one of several options you have available. It’s unique in the way it uses a cable-based connection rather than another source. There are also some other differences. Here are a few of these alternatives and a couple quick words on each:

  • DSL: DSL connections are less common than cable internet, but they exist. DSL is what’s known as an “asymmetric service”. This means that you get faster speeds for downloading information (from the internet) than you do when uploading (to the internet).
  • Fiber optics: Fiber optics is a potential alternative to cable internet. It’s faster than DSL or dial-up options. However, technology isn’t currently available everywhere in the world.
  • Satellite: Satellite connections are often used where other types of broadband connections aren’t possible. A common example being a home located far from any major population center. The primary drawbacks of satellite connections are their very high latency and the fact that they often have bandwidth caps.

For more on a cable-based internet connection and why it might be the right choice for you as a gamer. To learn about any of our gaming computers or accessories, speak to the staff at Xidax today.

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