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How to get the best internet for gaming

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.

Table showing time to download games at different speeds
How long to download a 100GB game for various internet connections

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.

Location

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.

Your ISP

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.

Your router

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.

ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 gaming router
Gaming router with go faster antenna!
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.

The best internet for gaming
  • 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

Get reliable internet to your home office. Wherever it is

Home office setup

So you have set up that swanky new home office at great expense and now you have realised the internet is flaky at best, and non existent at worse. So, how can we get the Internet from the box that BT or Sky or Virgin gave you to your new office. Well, let me give you 3 options.

1. Powerline Adapters

If you have ever called your internet provider to whinge about the fact that your WiFi doesn’t reach where you want it to reach then often they will offer to send you an adapter to fix it. What they will send is a powerline adapter. This is a device that uses the electrical cables in your house to send the internet from one plug socket to another plug socket.

A diagram of a powerline adapter setup
A simple powerline adapter set up

There are lots of advantages of using powerline adapters but also lots of disadvantages. The main advantages are that they are cheap, costing as little as £40 in some cases, and they are very easy to set up. Sounds perfect! However, as usual in life, lets get on to the disadvantages. They only work sometimes and when they do work, they are only ok. If you have perfect conditions then powerline adapters work great, giving you great speeds and reliability with no problems but conditions are very often not perfect. If for example all your wiring circuits in your house are not on the same circuit, as is often the case if you have had an extension, then a powerline adapter isn’t going to work. Other things that you have plugged into your system will often effect the adapters such as washing machines and fridges meaning that just as your important zoom call is starting your connection drops in quality (and therefore speed) and you are buffering from here until your spin cycle is finished!

A powerline adapter recently removed from a property
BT Powerline adapter

Power adapters definitely have their place and are often a good place to start but be aware that they are not a fix all for every problem or situation. As the owner of a company who provide other solutions to this problem I am obviously biased but I do spend a lot of time going into houses to install a proper network after someone has got sick of trying to fix the problem with powerline adapters and given up.

2. WiFi that really reaches

Often home offices are somewhere out of the way. In the loft or the garden shed or the back bedroom. This is great for peace and quiet but not always great for a stable WiFi connection. This is something we at Yorkshire Home Networks can fix!

a home office in a lake
Is your home office in the middle of a lake?

By running a wire from your existing router to somewhere else in your property and then adding a device called a WiFi access point we can add WiFi coverage to any area.

WiFi access point diagram

Modern WiFi access points are often the perfect way to extend WiFi around the home as so many of our devices connect wirelessly. A modern WiFi access point from a company like Ubiquity will totally outperform your current internet router, which you got free from BT or Virgin and will easily give coverage to a whole floor of your house never mind just your home office.

WiFi access point

At Yorkshire Home Networks we can add a WiFi access point to your office, wherever it is to give you total, reliable coverage.

3. A wired Ethernet network

In almost every medium to large office environment in the country you will find a socket to plug your computer into via a wire. This is an ethernet network and is the gold standard for any office and also the best option for most home offices.

In option 2 above we mentioned running 1 wire and adding an access point on the end to provide more WiFi. Well, instead of an access point we can add a switch, then we can add many different things all at once.

office ethernet network using wifi and ethernet

Above, we show two desktop computers and a printer connected via ethernet cables and multiple phones and a laptop via an access point but in actuality, virtually anything can be connected to your network

Ethernet cable

Another benefit of ethernet is that the connection is more reliable. However good your WiFi, sometimes devices lose the signal so a wired connection is always best. If you do something like a crucial zoom call that really needs a rock solid signal throughout, then get yourself a wired network.

At Yorkshire Home Networks we a can design and install your network with no fuss and no mess. The disruption to your normal internet coverage can be kept to an absolute minimum with some systems changed over in less than 10 minutes. Why not give Paul a call on 07958 792048 or send us a message via our contact page. Or email us at yorkshirehomenetworks@gmail.com

Self Build Networking

Currently over 13,000 people self build there own homes in the UK each year. This allows them total control of what goes in to that home and therefore is the perfect time to add a WiFi or Ethernet network which will future proof that home for the ever increasing amount of data we need and the devices around our house need. Also increasing the value of the property and giving it that extra something that the next house on the street may lack.

A plan of a house for planning network

Planning

When you are building your own home planning is the key and this extends to planning your network. Listing the items that need data and if they accept a wired or a wireless connection, or both is key to understanding how much and where you need to run wires.

a diagram of a  simple home network
A very simple home network

When we initally think of a network it might look like the diagram above but in reality the modern home needs more and more connections and almost any device can now be “smart” to some extent.

Some of the things that need a connection are

  • TV’s
  • Games consoles
  • Home cinema equipment
  • Wireless Speakers
  • Virtual assistant like Alexa and Google Nest
  • iPads
  • Mobile Phones
  • Smart doorbells
  • CCTV cameras
  • Baby Monitors
  • Fridges
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Network storage Hard drives
  • Printers
  • Smart locks
  • Thermostats
  • Smart Lights
  • Zoned heating controllers
  • Smoke alarms
  • Smart plugs
  • Smart blinds and curtains

This list is not exhaustive and could already be well over a 100 items that need access to the internet and each other in todays modern home

A diagram of a  complicated home network
What a modern home network is more likely to look like in reality

What to install

Now we have a list of what we are going to connect and where these items will live in the home we can start to decide what we need to install to give us those connections. The diagram above will give you an idea of a typical installation in a home and show some of the devices needed to reliably give coverage.

The internet that comes into your home needs to be split up and shared around all the devices that need it and to do this we use a switch. The internet comes into your house and into your internet router (which is often provided by your internet provider), this then feeds a switch which we re going to use to send data all around your house.

Each house is different and therefore each network is too but it is often useful to have more than one switch in a house. For example if we have 5 items on the top floor of your home that would benefit from a wired connection then we can either run 5 wires straight from the main switch or we can run 1 wire from the switch to the top floor and then add a second switch and connect the 5 items to this switch. They will then share the single wire running downstairs.

When to install

The ideal time to install a network is along with the electrical first fix. This is the best time to hide all the wires internally under plaster work just like hiding electrical cables.

Once all the plaster work is complete and then straight after the second fix electrics it is time to install the second fix networks. This will often be before the house actually has an internet connection to the outside world so it may require some configuration once that connection has been made.

Other things to think about

  • You may only need 2 connections behind your TV now but you can bet your bottom dollar that in a years time you will realise you need 3. Always think about some redundancy even if it just means putting in the cable but not terminating it. Cable is relatively cheap to install at the first fix stage.
  • Carefully look at the data rates that the types of cable can transmit and choose the grade of cable carefully. Nearly always over specify the cable.
Speeds of Ethernet cables Cat5 Cat6  Cat6a Cat7
Speeds of category’s of network cables
  • Why not give us a call to help you with the design or installation of your self build network. Have a look at our contact page and send us a message or give Paul a call on 07958792048