Did you know that there are currently 1 billion online gamers across the globe and this figure is only set to increase to 1.3 billion by 2025? With that many gamers out there, if you’re new to the gaming scene and maybe even want to pursue this professionally, you’re definitely going to want to make sure that your internet connection doesn’t get in the way of your gaming experience.
A few ways to ensure you’re getting the most suitable package to serve your needs is to talk to a Spectrum CS (For Spanish users ES) representative, do a little research online or talk to a few seasoned gamers.
With most ISPs emphasizing higher download speeds as a better internet connection, consumers on average tend to equate speed with better internet performance. Though in reality, this isn’t the case. So we are going to break down the three key requirements to a smooth gaming experience:
- Download speed
- Upload speed
Your download speed is essentially the speed at which information is retrieved from the internet to your device. While bandwidth, which is often mistakenly referred to as speed, refers to the maximum volume of data that can be sent over an internet connection in a certain period of time and is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
Contrary to popular belief online gaming isn’t as big a strain on your bandwidth as streaming a video because the information being retrieved in the case of a game is processed by your computer’s graphics chip rather than streamed. Generally, a download speed of 3-5 Mbps is workable.
Defined as the speed at which data travels from your device to a remote server. High upload speeds can be useful if you store data online e.g. in iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive. However, when it comes to online gaming, upload speeds aren’t too important. In fact, an upload speed of 1-2 Mbps should do the job.
Latency (Ping Rate)
The prime factor in deciding whether your gaming experience is going to be pleasurable or painful is latency. Latency is the length of time it takes for data from your console or computer to travel back and forth from a server. The ping rate is used to measure latency by measuring the time it takes for a ping of information to travel to a remote server and back to your PC or gaming console.
So if you press an action on your console, latency is the time it takes for your action to be sent to the online server and performed in the game. When your game lags or hangs and you find your game character disappearing or teleporting, it’s because you have high latency.
Solutions to High Latency
The first step to avoiding high latency would be to check the way you’re connected to the internet and make any changes accordingly. Here’s a list of the four main types of internet connections and changes you can make for a more enjoyable gaming experience.
The most reliable connection with the least latency is that of fiber-optic with symmetrical internet speeds ranging from 50 to 2,000 Mbps, and a latency of 11-14 ms. However, the only drawback may be that it is not currently available everywhere.
- Cable Internet
The next best option after a fiber-optic connection is cable internet like Windstream internet. Not only is this alternative cheaper but it also has wider coverage. Cable internet download speeds range from 15 to 1,000 Mbps and experience a latency of 15-35 ms.
DSL internet averages download speeds of 1-100 Mbps with a latency of 25-43 ms, which makes it usable but not the best, especially for a fast-paced online game.
- Don’t go wireless
If you use satellite internet, it’s likely to have high latency, unsuitable for online gaming with an average download speed of 12-100 Mbps but a latency of 594-624 ms — completely unfeasible for online gaming.
We hope that the explanation given in this piece can help you make the most informed choice. Remember latency is key to a good time!