The quality of your broadband connection can be the difference between winning and losing when playing games online. Frame drops, lag, dropped connections and other problems can all be caused by poor quality broadband connections leading to ruined games and frustration.
This article will explain why it is important to use a high quality broadband connection when playing games online while providing advice about factors to consider when choosing a gaming friendly broadband provider.
Data takes time to be sent and received through the internet. The amount of time it takes for this data to be sent and received is known as ‘latency’. Latency is normally measured in milliseconds (ms for short).
Latency is particularly important when playing games, especially fast paced games like shooters and racing games. With a low latency connection, data can be sent and received in less time meaning games will be smoother and more responsive. As such, for gaming, it’s important to use a connection that has the lowest amount of latency possible.
Different types of internet connections have different latency speeds.
The old pre-broadband telephone internet modems used to have poor latency. Information would take up to 200ms to be sent and to be received, meaning gaming experiences were stilted and poor.
ADSL broadband changed things drastically. Latencies improved to the point that it only took 50ms for data to be sent and received. Games became smoother and more responsive as a result.
Fibre broadband is the next evolution of broadband, and it will make a huge difference for gamers. Fibre broadband has the potential to operate at a latency of under 5ms, meaning unrivalled online gaming experiences that are incredibly smooth and responsive.
Poor WiFi connections can also hinder gaming experiences by causing increased latency.
As such, it’s important to use a powerful WiFi router that is capable of using multiple channels to provide the quickest WiFi connection possible.
It is also important to use a router that uses the 802.11n WiFi standard. This standard, introduced in 2009, is quicker and more stable than the older 802.11b/g standard that was used prior to 2009. It allows for quicker WiFi connections with less latency.
Traffic shaping occurs when an internet service providers limits the speed of a broadband connection during busy periods. Traffic shaping can drastically increase latency leading to ruined gaming sessions.
Make sure to use an internet service provider that doesn’t shape traffic. This way, gaming will be smooth and responsive regardless of how many users are using the internet.
When playing games online, it’s important to use a high quality broadband connection to ensure a smooth and responsive gaming experience. An ADSL connection should be considered the bare minimum needed for gaming, while fiber connections are the best gaming connections currently available. 802.11n compatible WiFI routers should be used, too, as should an internet service provider that doesn’t shape traffic.
Sky has a number of broadband services that are great for gaming. You can also use the Sky broadband speed test to see just how fast your broadband is.