Advantages & Disadvantages of Cable Modem Connections

Cable modems provide Internet access using the same cables that transmit cable television. Cable modem connections are faster than dial-up and DSL connections, and can provide Internet as a standalone service. Despite these advantages, there are certain drawbacks to cable modem Internet connections. Unfortunately, many of the disadvantages of cable modem connections are a direct result of their advantageous qualities, making the two inextricably linked.

Always Connected

A cable modem connection is always connected to the Internet. This is advantageous because you do not have to wait for your computer to "log on" to the Internet; however, this also has the disadvantage of making your computer more vulnerable to hackers. Since your computer is always online unless it is turned off or manually disconnected from the Internet, hackers have more time to gain access to your computer and any files that may be stored on it.


Cable modems transmit and receive data as digital packets, meaning they provide high-speed Internet access. This makes cable modem connections much faster than traditional dial-up connections.


Cable modems have the potential to receive data from their cable provider at speeds greater than 30 megabits per second; unfortunately, this speed is rarely ever realised. Cable lines are shared by all of the cable modem users in a given area; thus, the connection speed varies depending upon the number of other people using the Internet and the amount of data they are receiving or transmitting.

File Transfer Capabilities

Downloads may be faster, but uploads are typically slower. Since the same lines are used to transmit data to and from the modem, priority is often given to data travelling in one direction.

Signal Integrity

Cable Internet can be transmitted long distances with little signal degradation. This means the quality of the Internet signal is not significantly decreased by the distance of the modem from the cable provider.


Cable routers allow multiple computers to be hooked up to one cable modem, allowing several devices to be directly connected through a single modem. Wireless routers can also be attached to your cable modem.

Rely on Existing Connections

Cable modems connect directly to preinstalled cable lines. This is advantageous because you do not need to have other services, such as telephone or Internet, in order to receive Internet through your cable modem. The disadvantage is that you cannot have cable Internet in areas where there are no cable lines.

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