Leisure and entertainment are nothing short of an oasis in a desert. This oasis usually comprises of activities such as gaming or binge-watching shows and movies, which help add flavor to the otherwise boring routine and rewind the motor preparing us for the dullness that normally tends to fill our days. The reason why over 150 million Americans play video games.
150 million is a huge figure that has not always been this high. Simply because video games were not that sophisticated and/or attractive in the early days. New technology ensures lifelike graphics and mesmerizing sound, appealing to more people every day. The Millennials, born into computers, gaming consoles and internet, have now become the biggest market segment contributing to the creation of a market niche which has witnessed the emergence of professional gaming.
From this development, stemmed the massive rise in the number of people who turned to video games. And this ongoing process fast reached its pinnacle when the internet came to storm the world stage. Slow internet did not impact the gaming community negatively but the ever-increasing speeds offered by Spectrum Online have certainly led to a rapid increase in the size of the mass populace engaged with online gaming.
The increased use of the internet for playing games meant users were bound to face issues. Most would not consider such hindrances seriously but for those really in it, the matter was grave. A slight variation in an internet connection meant losing a game that could potentially carry prize money worth millions of dollars.
An increasing number of gamers around the country came to ask questions that led them to an internet connection which was stable, reliable and fast. A connection they could depend upon, a connection that did not affect their gameplay. Identifying the right internet connection and looking for features that constitute an internet connection best suited to your gaming requirements is not easy. Below are some aspects, from the gamers’ viewpoint, that you must consider before finalizing your ISP:
1. The Need for Speed
The general opinion in this regard is well known. The saying “faster is better” best describes it. This might generally be true for other things too, but speed is important when it comes to online gaming.
Gaming requires data exchange, you resend some and receive some in response. And this exchange is dependent on decent speeds. How fast your connection is will definitely affect your experience. You would, therefore, want your internet service provider to offer speeds at least around 20-25 Mbps.
While its importance is undeniable, speed is not everything. You could choose the fastest internet connection and still not be satisfied. There are a number of things that can affect your gaming experience despite having a lightning-fast connection. Factors like latency, ping, and the choice of the server will play a vital role in defining your overall gaming experience.
2. Latency and Ping in Limelight
Gaming requires you to stream gameplay, upload your data and then receive the response. Essentially, your gaming console or PC sends and receives data packets to and from other devices. The data transmission from your end is called ping and the time it takes for these packets to leave your device and come back is called latency. The lower the latency, the better your internet connection. No matter how fast your internet is if latency is high, it adds to nothing.
Latency is a measure of your network quality and the responsiveness of the server which takes us back to the previous section. When you choose your service provider, ensure latency is minimal and the server you choose to connect to is close to your location. Both these choices will significantly impact your gaming experience.
3. Keep an Eye on the Data
Gaming is about sending and receiving packets of data. Most ISPs impose data caps. More gaming means more downloads, more uploads, and greater consumption of data. You may be thinking data caps aren’t that easy to reach. Think again, especially with the rest of the family consuming data through surfing, streaming and downloading.
Once the data limit is breached you will either experience slower speeds, disconnection or expensive recharge to get more GBs. ISPs with no data caps take precedence over those that implement it. When you choose your internet connection, keep an eye out for data caps and gauge the data allowance against your usage. You’ll know which one to choose.
4. Wired Against Wireless
Looking for an internet connection is no child’s play. Add gaming requirements and you have a complex problem. To get the optimum experience you will need to go into details that you may have previously ignored. One of these details is to check the method which your future ISP uses to deliver the internet service.
Broadly speaking there are two categories of connection, wired and wireless. A wireless connection commonly employs a satellite while wired options include cable, fiber optic and the age-old copper lines. While they all have their advantages, fiber optic is the latest technology which offers greater speeds with reliability ensuring a smooth experience.
Wireless connections may offer you flexibility and prove to be the only option in remote areas, but they come with their flaws. These satellite internet connections offer slower speeds with lots of complications like high cost, data caps, and a large number of factors that slow down your internet. When you have an option, always go for a wired connection.
5. Dedicated vs Shared Connections
As I said earlier, choosing an internet connection for your gaming needs is a multi-faceted task. Your ISP could offer ideal speeds, have wired connectivity, and afford you the liberty of no data caps but still, go wrong. Digging a little deeper reveals that ISPs prefer multiple connections on a single line. This helps them save cost which translates into higher profits.
The shared connection uses a single line to serve multiple users and it directly affects speeds as well as latency. When considering ISPs always go for the ones offering dedicated lines. This may cost you a little extra but the experience would be priceless!
Internet connectivity and its stability is about the right combination of hardware and software. Going for the latest versions of hardware is pivotal as that would be better equipped to handle your needs – not only fast but efficient as well. You will be able to experience optimum speeds offered by the ISP, the lag will reduce, and the ping would be lower too providing you with a stable connection. Some modems would offer you features that even let you prioritize devices getting you the lion’s share of the available bandwidth or internet speed. Always go for the latest!
Getting an internet connection is never easy and selecting the right internet service provider for your gaming needs can be tougher than you think. You will have to look for the best network, speed, data allowance and hardware on offer. Compare your options, weigh the odds and decide. Ideally, you should get all the requirements fulfilled but not all providers offer everything everywhere. The right solution would be to go for the best possible combination for a smooth online gaming experience.