Online games can be a great way to relax and get away from it all. Many of the most popular games feature online multiplayer modes, bringing together thousands and thousands of people to play. And when you’re going to play online, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, you don’t want internet interruptions while playing.
A fast and reliable internet connection can help minimize disruption and reduce latency and latency. A strong internet is all the more important as games become more complex, for example, in fast-paced first-person shooters.
But how can you be sure your internet is up to the task? It is important to select the right provider, the right package and the right type of connection. This article contains the information you need to make a good choice.
Internet speed is measured by two factors: download speed and upload speed. Download speed refers to the time it takes for your game console (e.g. Xbox or PlayStation) or computer to receive information from the game server. Download speed refers to the time it takes to download information from your device to the server. Then you have a third factor, latency, which is the time it takes between initiating an action on your gaming device and having that action recorded by the internet-connected service.
For example, if you click a button to fire a gun or throw a punch, you want that action to register in-game as soon as possible. A low latency rate can help ensure this. However, if your internet connection is overall slow, it might not matter as you’re struggling to load enough data to make the rest of the game playable in the first place.
Most modern game consoles recommend internet speeds of at least 3 Mbps to ensure a user-friendly experience. But that’s the bare minimum – and most home internet plans are many faster anyway. However, there’s so much more to the decision than just looking at a single number.
Having at least a 25 Mbps connection is a good rule of thumb. If you want to optimize your gaming experience, look for speeds of 100 Mbps and above, which allow for much faster uploads and downloads.
Megabits per second (Mbps) is a standard measurement used for Internet bandwidth or connection speeds. The higher the number of Mbps, the greater the bandwidth and the faster the Internet connection.
With high Mbps, you can enjoy a simpler experience. Movies will stream faster, you’ll be able to download photos and other online files more easily, and you’ll be able to play without interruption.
It is important to note that most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) advertise download speed only. You will also need to look at the fine print to find the download speed. While most internet services offer faster downloads than downloads, if you’re looking to game, the download speeds are quite substantial. You want to find a service that offers good, reliable downloads.
Fiber optic (or simply “fiber”) internet is the fastest type of commercially available internet. It relies on electrically resistant glass fiber optic cables to transmit Internet data. This distinguishes it from DSL Internet (which uses copper wires over the telephone system) and Cable Internet (which uses television coaxial cables).
Most fiber internet plans currently offered have speeds of 200 to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps), although some offer speeds as high as 2,000 Mbps (2 Gbps). Another benefit of fiber internet is that it is more resilient to interruptions due to weather or power outages, as the systems are generally newer and completely underground, even in residential areas.
With fiber internet, download and upload speeds in Mbps are more likely to be the same. DSL and cable generally offer competitive download speeds, but much slower upload speeds.
Another major advantage of fiber internet for gaming is low latency. Internet fiber is usually a dedicated line directly to your home, not shared with multiple homes in the area, so your internet is delivered quickly and consistently. Having consistently low latency is great for multiplayer games.
Although it has great benefits and offers the best online gaming experience, be aware that fiber optic internet is not even available in the majority of cities in the United States. It is particularly difficult to access rural areas, as it requires a whole new deployment of infrastructure that is expensive to put in place.
If you’re a serious gamer, you shouldn’t take your choice of internet connection lightly. Even if you’re just playing for fun, you want to be able to get the most out of your hobby with an appropriate internet plan that ensures a user-friendly experience and minimal frustrating interruptions.
So how do you choose the right internet plan for your needs?
Compare providers in your area
There are many internet service providers in the market, including Spectrum Internet, Frontier, AT&T Fiber, Verizon Fios, Xfinity Internet, and Cox, to name a few. Many towns also have local providers or a municipal internet service run by the local government. However, not all major providers operate in all areas – carriers usually have a monopoly in one geographic area.
If you live in a rural area, in particular, the variety of ISPs available may be limited to just one. A quick search online will allow you to see which providers are in your area so you can create a list of possible options.
Once you have a list of suppliers, do your due diligence. Start with the gears, of course. Check out these downloads! Next, research each provider’s terms and conditions. Will they lock you into a contract? What do termination fees look like? How difficult is the setup process (for example, will it provide an optimized router and modem)? What is their customer service?
It’s a good idea to read customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect. You can also ask friends, family, colleagues, and others in your area for advice on the best internet service providers.
Check speeds and plans offered by available providers
Once you have narrowed down your list and chosen a potential ISP, check what types of internet they offer. Most providers offer several options, such as DSL Internet, Cable Internet, Fiber Internet, etc.
Once you’ve decided on a type of internet, start evaluating the different plan options available. Most providers offer plans with varying levels of Mbps. They may also have a data cap – multiplayer online games use many of data, and that can be a concern.
Again, be sure to read the fine print of any plan. For example, if you have a set data limit included in your plan, you don’t want to be surprised by unexpected overage charges when your monthly bill arrives.
Choose a plan you can afford
Finally, consider price when choosing a home internet option. High-speed internet is a great bonus, but you don’t want to go broke paying for it.
The good news is that fast internet connections are becoming more and more accessible. While you might not be ready to shell out big bucks for the best internet service available (like a top-tier fiber plan), you can still have a solid gaming experience with a lower-tier plan – make sure you simply that it meets the minimum requirements you have set.
Think about your router and home access
The best internet connection can be wasted if you don’t keep in mind how you get that internet from the modem to your computer.
For the best gaming experience, you want to use a wired connection. Ideally, you’ll run an Ethernet cable from your router directly to your PC or game console.
However, most people will want to stick with the simplicity of wireless. If you must use Wi-Fi, make sure you have a great gaming router (or mesh Wi-Fi system) that can handle the data speeds you have. A typical budget router won’t be able to support a connection above 100 Mbps, and even top-tier routers often won’t handle more than 300 Mbps. So be sure to read the specs of a potential router before buying something that won’t work for your speeds.