Fiber vs. Cellular Internet (5G/Wireless)

Fiber vs. Cellular Internet (5G/Wireless)

Consumers today face an abundance of choices for high-speed internet. And since you’re already paying for a data plan with your cell phone service provider, you may also wonder if you should use that company for your internet service.

In this article, we explain what cellular internet is and why fiber is far and away the better choice for most consumers. 

Your neighbors at Medina Fiber are proud to have the fastest and most reliable internet you can get. And we’re especially thrilled that our internet speeds can keep up with major metropolitan areas around the country, helping our communities compete in the global economy.

Read on to learn more about these two technologies and why fiber is your best choice—and that, yes, you really do need a separate fiber connection for high-speed internet.

What is Cellular or Wireless/5G Internet?

With all the high-speed internet options available today, it’s not surprising that customers need clarification when choosing an internet provider.

And it’s not only the technology that’s complicated—even the names of different internet-related products and services can be so similar and complicate things further! 

So what is cellular or wireless/5G internet? Let’s start with what cellular or wireless internet is not. First, wireless internet is not the same thing as Wi-Fi. 

Wi-Fi disperses internet signal throughout a home or office so that all your devices—smart TVs, laptops, tablets, cell phones, smart speakers, etc.—can be connected to the internet without a wired connection.

Thus, just like other kinds of internet (cable, satellite, or fiber), cellular or wireless internet enters the home or business and is distributed by Wi-Fi through the Wi-Fi router or related technology. Most customers will still use Wi-Fi and a router unless they plan to hardwire every connection to every device, which is highly uncommon. 

Cellular or wireless internet, also known as 4G or 5G internet, is delivered by cell phone towers. Instead of being delivered by a hardwired connection like coaxial cable or fiber, cellular or wireless internet is transmitted “through the air.”

While it can often deliver decent speeds, wireless or 5G internet is notorious for service interruptions due to obstructions from other structures. And because cellular/wireless or 5G internet is totally dependent on the number of cell phone towers dispersing signal—and even more crucially, the distance a customer is from a cell phone tower—their speeds and quality of the connection can greatly vary. 

What is Fiber Internet?

Fiber internet’s advanced materials and technology make it the fastest and most reliable form of internet on the market today. Short for “fiber optic” internet, fiber utilizes fiber optic cable, which consists of hundreds of densely packed strands of glass inside the cord.

The fiber optic cable connects directly to your home or business before being dispersed to your devices. Pulses of light transmit internet data along these glass hairs at near light speed!

Due to fiber’s impressive components and infrastructure, it has a vastly greater capacity to handle and transmit all the online data that you use daily—from social media, documents, and emails to music, gaming, and television. 

Fiber also has higher upload speeds, which is used when your device sends information back to the server (or other internet users). Higher upload speeds are essential for stable and clear video calls and conferences. 

Only fiber can power a household full of devices at once without causing slowdowns on any of them—making it the #1 choice for modern households.

So, What’s the Difference Between Fiber Internet and Cellular/Wireless (5G) Internet?

The connection-type is the first key distinction between fiber and cellular/wireless internet. 

Importantly, fiber is “hardwired.” Its internet signal enters your premises through physical wiring, not cellular or wireless 5G signal sent through the air.

This distinction means that obstructions like trees and other buildings can’t stop fiber’s excellent speeds from delivering internet to your home or business. Fiber internet also has far greater bandwidth capacity than cellular/wireless internet because its materials can carry much more information than wireless signal can.

There are other significant disadvantages to cellular/wireless/5G internet service. 

Remember that cellular service prioritizes its originally intended purpose—providing mobile phone service. That one function takes up most of cellular’s capacity to transmit data. Thus, cellular internet services lack the power to consistently provide the data you need to enjoy the online activities you love, like streaming movies and TV, video calling and conferences, online gaming and so much more.

But it gets even worse. To deal with the ever-growing demand for data, cellular companies reduce the speed and quality of their internet service to prevent internet users from gobbling up too much of their data capacity.

That’s why cellular companies enforce data caps on their internet services, which significantly limit or even outright prevent you from doing the online activities you’ve come to enjoy. 

They also employ “throttling,” another annoying practice that slows down bandwidth—and your entire internet performance.

While some companies only do this after you’ve reached a certain pre-determined amount of data usage each month, others throttle your broadband anytime and for any reason. For countless customers, these restrictions are extremely frustrating.

On the other hand, fiber internet never has data caps or bandwidth throttling because its superior technology doesn’t get overwhelmed like cellular/wireless internet. Fiber’s high bandwidth capacity and fast upload (as well as download) speeds can handle just about everything online without data caps, throttling, or other intentional slowdowns.

Fiber’s Superior Security

But fiber’s advantages over cellular/wireless internet extend well beyond fiber’s superior speed and reliability (as essential as they are). Better data security is another reason to choose fiber.

Because cellular/wireless internet requires a signal to transmit “over the air,” it is susceptible to being intercepted. 

Wireless internet is especially prone to a particular cybercrime known as a DDoS Attack—short for “Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack.” DDoS attacks overwhelm servers and slow down traffic, even jeopardizing sensitive data. And DDoS attacks are unfortunately on the rise.

Fiber, on the other hand, is hardwired straight to your walls—its internet flies through fiber optic cable without needing to disperse signal through the air. Thus, fiber’s advanced technology provides a layer of protection and security from hackers, scammers, and other criminals that cellular or wireless internet simply cannot.

From faster speeds to more reliable signals, a more secure connection, and greater capacity to carry out more online activities from multiple devices simultaneously, fiber internet stands ahead of cellular/wireless 5G internet. 

For more information on fiber internet and why it’s your best choice for high-speed internet, feel free to reach out to the knowledgeable support team at Medina Fiber. We’re local and here to serve you!

A Beginner’s Guide to Video Game Streaming

A Beginner’s Guide to Video Game Streaming

There comes a time in the life of every video game player when they discover the joy of experiencing a video game alongside others. Sometimes, siblings watch each other defeat a hard level in a game. Other times, gamers will hang out with friends and enjoy a brand-new game together.

By using video game streaming platforms, gamers can experience their favorite video games with their friends and others in the gaming community from home. However, the world of video game streaming can be intimidating to someone new. 

What resources do you need to start streaming? Why do people stream video games? What’s the best type of internet for streaming?

Before we go too far, let’s take a step back and cover the basics.

What are video game streaming platforms?

Video game streaming platforms provide a digital space to view and stream content. On these platforms, gamers can interact with each other while playing their favorite games. This allows for real-time competition as well.

Fortunately, it’s simple to join a video game streaming service. Most are free and easy to use. By signing up for free accounts, those wanting to stream games or view other streamers can access almost anything they’re interested in. 

Gaming content on these platforms can be enjoyed live and on demand. This allows fans to be part of the action as it happens or catch up when they have free time.

Many streamers are also trying to earn money while doing what they love. And the most successful make a career from playing video games. Income opportunities are typically determined based on ads, your viewers and followers, and the work streamers put into making their content stand out. 

Each streaming platform has its rules for monetization, so be careful to read the fine print before deciding where to stream. 

Most Popular Streaming Platforms

There are many streaming platforms on which gamers can interact, and some are better than others. The top three contenders today are Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Facebook Gaming.

Twitch has been the top streaming option for gamers for years, though its platform has undergone some changes. Video game streaming wasn’t popular when Twitch launched, but streamers have found new and innovative ways to interact with their viewers through its community.

YouTube Gaming has made fresh waves in the streaming community recently. YouTube has been one of the most well-established platforms since the inception of the internet, so adding a section for live streaming was a simple decision. Through YouTube, streamers have a platform to host live events and viewers have access to the most extensive inventory of gaming videos on the internet.

Facebook Gaming is the newest streaming platform for video games. Facebook’s niche is its existing connections at a streamer’s disposal. Most gamers use Facebook to connect with family and friends. By adopting Facebook to allow a streaming platform, Facebook Gaming gives streamers instant access to connections made long ago. 

Why is video game streaming important?

A word that is often repeated in gaming is community. Everyone enjoys video games in their unique way, but the community brings players together. Through community engagement, gamers can experience something deeper than playing solo. 

A sense of comradery forms when gamers get together to debate, discuss, and dissect their favorite medium of entertainment. These communities build bridges of friendship that last a lifetime.

Streaming platforms are just one of the ways for gamers to participate in the community. Gamers can also interact with one another via online modes, which is one of the most popular genres of video games. 

Plus, community platforms like Discord allow gamers to connect with small groups of friends or a large following in real-time.

How to Stream 

There are thousands of resources to help you begin streaming and we could never fit them into a single article. 

If you’re just looking to watch other streamers and have no plans to stream yourself, simply signing up for a streaming platform allows access to live and existing content. It’s as simple as having great internet and a passion for gaming!

For those who want to try their hand at streaming, the list gets longer. Traditionally, the best way to connect with your community while you stream is to be able to interact with them. A good headset and microphone go a long way to creating great conversation. 

For viewers to see a streamer’s content, a streamer either needs to (a) connect their gaming console to the streaming platform, which is possible on most modern consoles, or (b) for players streaming through their PC, they should invest in a capture card. Depending on what you’re looking to do, research what you’ll need online and reach out to others who are already streaming and get their input. 

But the most important part of streaming? Your internet connection. 

Best Internet for Streaming and Gaming

Video game playing and streaming can only be truly enjoyed with reliable internet. 

There is no debate that fiber internet is the best internet for both streaming and gaming. This allows for strong competition and can give you an edge in the streaming community.

Fiber internet, such as the fiber provided by Medina Fiber is faster than cable internet. Fiber internet can transmit data for gaming and other applications 20 or even 30 times faster than traditional copper-based cable internet. 

This empowers you to manage multiple devices simultaneously so you can stream your game, have a camera rolling, and be a part of your community chat. 

To learn more about how Medina Fiber’s advanced, high-speed fiber internet can power up your gaming and streaming service, follow our social pages and become a part of the video game streaming community!

Survive Winter Temps the “Smart” Way

Survive Winter Temps the “Smart” Way

Winter is upon us—and with it are cold temperatures, heavy snowfalls and ice, and dry, chafing air. 

While parts of the country are lovely in winter, there’s no escaping the fact that colder temperatures and bleak weather can take their toll.

Wintry weather also brings higher energy expenses. Home heating units often pump out warm air constantly just to keep the house comfortable—and at great costs, too.

Thankfully, today’s technology can help make winter more bearable. And utilizing Medina Fiber’s high-speed fiber internet not only connects you to the most reliable network available but also helps keep your home warm and snug. 

Together with “smart technology,” it all adds to saving money this winter and beyond!

Below we highlight some of our favorite tech to help you get through the coldest months more comfortably. These unique items will make you and your loved ones feel cozier all winter, from Bluetooth devices to smart thermostats and even smart clothing.

Smart Thermostats

One of the best upgrades you can make to your home this winter (or any season) is to install a smart thermostat that monitors and controls your heating and air conditioning. 

Smart thermostats can sense temperature changes in different rooms and can be easily programmed to get warmer or cooler at various times of the day. 

Smart thermostats can connect to your home’s internet network, and through Bluetooth, to your smartphone and other devices for easy control. 

Even more conveniently, many smart thermostats are controllable through voice-activated technology like Alexa or the Apple Home Kit (using Siri). And according to the federal government’s Energy Star program, which researches and provides consumers with reliable information on energy-efficient products and services, smart thermostats can save homeowners up to 30% on their energy bills.

Several solid options exist, including the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. We’re particularly impressed with Google’s device because, over time, it learns your temperature preferences in each room and at different times of the day. 

Using a Smart Thermostat can more effectively heat your home than conventional thermostats—and because of its “smart” features and controls, it saves energy costs, too!

Smart Space Heaters

If you’ve reduced your energy bills by lowering your home’s temperatures a tad, but find that you or others in your household still feel cold, consider adding a smart space heater to those chillier rooms. Smart space heaters are ideal when one or two people prefer the temps just a bit warmer than everyone else or when the temperatures drop drastically. 

The Atomi Smart Ceramic Tower Space Heater is among the best options available. The Atomi can heat up to 750 square feet, perfect for small rooms. 

Its safety features are also top-notch, including notifying your smartphone if the heater tips over. Then, you can easily shut it off from your phone. It’s base sits evenly on multiple flooring types reducing the likelihood of tipping over at all. 

You can also connect the Atomi Smart Space Heater to Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free voice control through your home network.

Smart Clothing (Jackets and Shirts)

We recommend smart clothing for personal warmth, especially a jacket and shirt. 

Smart clothing safely and steadily heats your body in different zones that you can control. And you can even quickly recharge them when you’re on the road with your car’s charging ports.

We recommend the DEWBU Heated Jacket because of its multiple heating zones. It also comes with a convenient 12V Battery Pack that can keep it powered longer on the go.

Also, check out smart shirts from Venture Heat, which make different styles for women and men. 

Bluetooth-enabled, you can control Venture Heat’s smart shirts ten-temperature settings with your smartphone, helping to fine-tune the perfect temperature to keep you feeling comfortably toasty on even the most frigid days!

Smart Hats

Growing up, you may remember hearing that you can lose nearly half your body heat just through the top of your head. 

While science has proven that that was not exactly accurate, you can still lose around 10% of your body heat off your head alone. So grandma was right—you should keep your head covered in colder weather!

And believe it or not, there are actually smart hats available for you to get the most coverage for your noggin! 

We love the iLive Beanie (not only because it’s quite fashionable in a cute, wintry way) but because its Bluetooth-enabled speakers connect directly to your smartphone, doubling as a music-listening and hands-free calling device, too!

The internet and smart technology can’t stop Mother Nature’s annual blast of wintry weather. By utilizing these smart devices and a reliable fiber internet connection from Medina Fiber, we bet you’ll cope better than you ever have before!

To learn more about how smart technology and high-speed fiber internet can work together to improve your quality of life and save money, follow Medina Fiber’s social pages!