Human beings are equally abled no matter where on the planet they are, but the technology they create is a different story. This inequality is even more prominent in the internet service industry where every internet provider is famous for something unique to them. For example, Spectrum internet is so widely available that the majority of the American population can find it in their area. Optimum offers great prices for brilliant speeds, Frontier offers fiber-optic internet to select areas, and the list could go on but, I think I have made my point.
When it comes to gaming, this difference becomes even more significant because every online gamer understands how essential a reliable and high-speed internet is to their gaming experience. However, finding out the fastest internet connection available to you could be a bit tricky. In this article, we will go through the factors to keep in mind when choosing an internet service provider for online gaming and will let you know the speeds all types of internet connections provide.
Ping and Speed
The most important aspect of an internet connection for gamers is the ping. A low ping plays a much bigger part in online gaming than download and upload speeds. I am sure the seasoned gamers out there already understand what I am saying, but for the newbies, I will explain what we are talking about. Ping is the lag you face while playing any online game. Your gaming data is constantly transmitted between you and a remote server while you enjoy your favorite game online. The time taken for this data to be transmitted to the server and then back to you is known as the ping. It is measured in milliseconds and it goes without saying that the lower this time the better.
A ping lower than 100 ms is recommended for optimal gaming experiences but the problem is that internet providers only advertise their download and upload speeds. For you to find out the ping, you have to use the internet connection. Therefore, if it is possible, try to check with a friend or neighbor who is already using the internet connection under your consideration and get their opinion. It would not matter even if you were using a 2Mbps DSL connection you’ll be fine if the ping is low.
Data limits are directly dependent on your usage. The more the usage, the more data you will require. If you are a light user who occasionally plays games, you will be fine with a 100GB or below data allowance. However, if you are an avid gamer, then you may need an allowance up to 1TB or better yet unlimited data. It is better to have a little more data than is necessary so that you do not get a huge amount of overage fees on your bill by the end of the month.
Downloads and Gaming
Gaming on its own does not require much data; however, downloading the game that you love to play is what sucks the juice out of your internet connection’s data allowance. When playing games online, you are approximately using the same amount of data you use while browsing through Facebook (if you do not start watching endless cat videos).
Downloading games on the other hand is a different story. Usually, game files can be up to 50GB in size that would use up a similar amount of your data allowance when being downloaded. It is a good idea to gauge the number of games you download each month and then decide upon the data limit you need. If in doubt, it is better to pay a little more for unlimited data than to pay overage fees.
Avid gamers swear by gaming routers. However, any high-quality router would do for anyone who does not game professionally. Just look out for a few features and you will be good to go. Features that would help you with optimal gaming include gigabit Ethernet ports, QoS or network prioritization, and dual-band technology.
Internet Connection for Gaming
Now that you know about all the aspects that play a role in an ultimate gaming experience, let us look into the different internet connections available in the market. I will discuss them in order of speed, starting with the fastest.
This is the fastest type of internet available in the U.S. with speeds going up to 1Gig. The special thing about fiber optic internet is that the download and upload speeds are symmetric which leads to a lightning-fast internet connection. If you have fiber optic internet available in your area then there is nothing better than this for gaming. The only downside is that fiber optic is still available in limited locations and can be pricey.
Cable internet is also quite fast with speeds going up to 500Mbps that is more than enough for gaming. However, it is not as fast as fiber optic, probably because of the asymmetric speeds where the upload speed is much lower than the download speed. If fiber optic is not available in your area or it is too expensive for your budget then the cable is the next best alternative. It is widely available and comes at reasonable prices.
DSL speeds go up to 50Mbps making it much slower than fiber optic and cable internet. However, as I was saying earlier if you are receiving a good ping on your connection, even a slower speed would work fine for your online gaming. Among the wired internet connections, DSL has the largest coverage because it is provided through the telephone lines already available. Due to this, the speeds provided also vary according to the distance between the telephone exchange and the user.
4. Satellite and Dial-Up
Even though the satellite is available to 100% of the population in the country and dial-up is available anywhere there is a telephone connection, these two are not recommended for gaming. The speeds are too slow and they do not fulfill the above-mentioned requirements either. Therefore, it will be best to avoid them if you would like to play games online.
As per our entire discussion above, it can be assumed that if you want to play online games without pulling your hair, it is best to stick to fiber-optic or cable internet. However, if you do not have those available then DSL would also do, but satellite and dial-up connection must be avoided if possible.