DOCSIS 3.1 Technology Explained
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You might already be aware that DOCSIS 3.1 technology is the best on the market for cable modems. Without a doubt, it is heavily featured and recommended by tech reviews all across the internet. Yet, it is important to understand why DOCSIS 3.1 is the best that you can get. In order to do that, you need to know what the technology behind DOCSIS 3.1 is and how it works.

DOCSIS Protocol

First, let's take a look at what DOCSIS is. DOCSIS stands for "Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification." It is the standard used in cable internet technology that allows the transfer of data over cable lines. Since the first version of cable internet was introduced in 1997, there have been several updates to the technology, leading us up to now, where DOCSIS 3.1 is the best on the market.

The coaxial cable that was initially used for a cable television connection was used to instead bring across internet data. As our demand for faster internet speeds has continually increased, cable internet has been keeping up, which is how we wound up with DOCSIS 3.1.

Why DOCSIS 3.1 is the Best

When you are shopping for a cable modem, you certainly will come across modems that are either DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1. DOCSIS 3.1 is the best protocol on the market for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is considered "future safe." 

As you have certainly come across, technology is continually going obsolete. We all have to update our phones or computers every couple of years to try to keep up with the ever-changing technology. It can be infuriating to say the least. One of the areas that we do not often consider updating is with our modems. If you have not changed providers, it might never have crossed your mind. But if your ISP updates the internet speeds for your block and you have an old modem, you might find yourself without any internet or with consistent poor speeds.

With DOCSIS 3.1, you will have more time before needing to update a modem. The DOCSIS 3.1 protocol allows download speeds up to 10 Gbps and upload speeds up to 2 Gbps. These speeds are not even offered by cable providers at this time. Therefore, the modem will be capable of faster speeds and it is just waiting for cable technology to catch up.

Buying a Modem

Once you understand why you need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, you will naturally want the best DOCSIS 3.1 modem possible. You cannot simply pick up the first modem that you see and hope that it works for you. All cable internet connections need a cable modem, but not all cable companies work the same. You will need to be sure that your modem will work well with your cable company and that you will not come across any unfortunate headaches in the process.

Your cable company might try to trick you into renting a modem from them, but unless you have to, you will be better off buying a DOCSIS 3.1 modem that works for your needs. When shopping, consider whether you want a built-in router, the amount of streaming devices that it can handle at once, and whether the design will work well for your needs.

How is it Faster?

The reason that DOCSIS 3.1 is so much faster than DOCSIS 3.0, is in part because of the advanced signal process techniques. These techniques use a frequency spectrum and increase the available spectrum for both downstream and upstream data transfer.

DOCSIS 3.1 works by using a higher-order modulation to transfer data, resulting in more efficient data transmission. It works through prioritization as well as by splitting data into narrower bits, allowing more to be transmitted across the same frequency band.

Other Benefits

The DOCSIS 3.1 protocol also has other benefits, including better security. This is because the new security features are certificate-based, requiring authentication and secure software before it will download from the internet.

Additionally, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem has reduced packet latency, which is used for voice quality or online gaming. It works by minimizing the amount of lag that is experienced during online video chatting or gameplay. This is because the technology has better queuing mechanisms, giving priority to the devices that need it the most.

DOCSIS 3.1 is also backward-compatible with DOCSIS 3.0 technology, so even if your cable company is still relying on DOCSIS 3.0, you will be able to use your more powerful DOCSIS 3.1 modem. As a bonus, you do not need any special equipment to hook up a DOCSIS 3.1 to your cable. 

Finally, a DOCSIS 3.1 modem supports light sleep modes when the internet is idle. This will reduce the device's power consumption greatly, making it a better choice for the environment.

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