If you’re a serious gamer then you’ll already know that the speed of your internet connection can be a matter of life or death, literally. But its not just about how many megabits per second you’re getting. Many things affect your overall experience and we will look at each in detail below to give you the best chance of winning the game.
Speed Matters but it isn’t everything
The actual speed of internet you need to play a game online is surprisingly low. If nothing else on your network is using the internet (highly unlikely these days) then you could get away with only 10 – 20 mega bytes per second (mbps). But things are never that simple as we will see.
Firstly in lots of cases today we download the game we are going to play, and even if you’re the sort of person who rather buys the disc then you will still need to download hefty updates. In the case of the latest games these downloads plus updates can easily hit 100 gigabyte.
As you can see from the table, with a 10 – 20 mbps connection you will be waiting 10 – 20 hours for the download which isn’t ideal.
The Ping Rate
Ping rate sometimes called latency is the time it takes to send a packet of information from your computer to another device and back again and is measured in time, typically milliseconds. As most gamers know ping is king. If your ping is too high it can make a game unplayable or just mean you get shot in the face more often than is fun. In terms of ping the lower the number the better.
Ping is effected by various things, some things you can easily control and somethings you cannot. Lets have a look at a few things and see if we can control them or not.
The closer you are to the gaming server of the game you want to play the shorter the travel path of your packet of information and therefore the lower the ping. This is not something we can easily control and I don’t think many people will be moving house just to get a few more kills.
Different internet service providers use different technology’s and different cables to provide you with your data and these will have an effect on the ping rate.
You can see from the above images that BT’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) always has a much faster ping, about 8 milliseconds compared to 18 milliseconds on Virgin cable service. This is an inherent property of the technology used and is not something the home user can alter. If a lower ping is what you want, and it can make the difference in games then choose your provider carefully! If you want some more information on the average ping rates of different providers then have a look at the Ofcom yearly broadband performance report which has a load of information in it but put simply if you can get fibre to the property then that is going to beat just about anything else.
Plenty of companies would love to sell you the worlds most gamiest gaming router possible with 10 antennas and go faster stripes and claims of “2.5 Times faster Wi-Fi!!!”. In reality these routers don’t often deliver exactly what they claim. We are not saying they are a bad idea but don’t expect miracles. They will often claim to give you something like “the fastest ping possible!” which in reality doesn’t mean anything. We think that for they money they cost (often £200 -£400 pounds) you can get much better results by investing that money in other parts of the chain.
To Wi-Fi or not to Wi-Fi
Don’t get us wrong Wi-Fi is getting faster and faster and we love fast Wi-Fi. We spend half our time installing fast Wi-Fi into peoples homes but an ethernet cable is faster than Wi-Fi. There is no getting around it if you want the best internet for gaming (and we are guessing you do because that’s why you are reading this) then ditch the Wi-Fi and get a wired connection into your gaming device. We would suggest a Cat6, Cat6a, or Cat7 cable between your router and your gaming device.
If you require help with connecting your system with ethernet cables then why not give us a call on 07958 792048 or contact us via our contact page.
So then what’s the best setup for gaming.
So moneys no object. You are building a gaming set up from scratch and you want the best. You’ve got your dual RTX 3090’s and your overclocked Intel Core i9 and so much RGB that you have coach loads or tourists driving past your house to see the colourful lights! What else is going to get you those kills.
- First of all Fibre To The Premises gives the best speeds and lowest ping rates
- Secondly a decent modern router. If you are exclusively gaming then a gaming focused router is a good idea otherwise a specialist router, not the ISP provided router would be a good idea
- Thirdly an ethernet connection between your router and your gaming PC or console is going to preserve those low ping rates you are getting into the house from the fibre connection.
If money is an object then the one thing that most people can do to improve there internet is to remove Wi-Fi. Run an ethernet cable from your router to you PC or Console. This can be very cheap if its a short run with Cat7 cables available for under £10
If your situation is a bit more difficult that just buying an ethernet cable off amazon and you are lucky enough to live in Yorkshire then why not give us a Call us at 07958792048 or drop us a message via our contact page or via the google “ask a question” button. We are experts at finding a route for cables, usually on the outside of your house that isn’t visible