How To Improve Your Internet Speed For Gaming

Posted: Jun 4 2019, 11:18am CDT | by


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How to Improve Your Internet Speed for Gaming
How to Improve Your Internet Speed for Gaming

Want Faster Internet for Gaming? Here’s How to Get It

If you’re gaming online, much of your experience is going to be determined by the quality and speed of your internet connection. With a bit of technical expertise and a willingness to invest, you can sharply improve your internet speeds and have better online matches.

In some cases, artificial limits will prevent you from getting top-of-the-line internet speeds. For example, if you live in a rural area, you may be limited in terms of internet service providers (ISPs) or in what type of internet is available.

However, the vast majority of gamers can make at least a few tweaks to improve their overall online experience.

Internet Factors to Consider

There are three primary factors that play into the quality of your online gaming experience:

1. Speed. Most people think about the raw speed of their internet before any other factor. While speed is important, it isn’t the only factor necessary to consider, and it doesn’t need to be robust. Games have varying levels of demand for download and upload speeds, but the vast majority of games have minimal requirements. For most modern online games, a download speed of 3 Mbps or more and an upload speed of 1 Mbps or more should do just fine. Higher speed may help you achieve more consistency.

2. Consistency and stability. You’ll also need to think about the consistency of your connection, and how stable it is. Even if you’re getting 100 Mbps download speeds, it won’t much matter if your service cuts in and out at inopportune times.

3. Ping. Latency is a major factor in online games; a high download speed may still be problematic if you have a high ping, or round-trip time for data sent across the network. The higher your ping, the longer it takes for your internet to send and receive data in discrete chunks, even if those chunks are large. If your ping is less than 30 ms, you should be in good shape. A ping of 31-60 is tenable for most games, and shouldn’t create a noticeable delay. A ping of 61-100 may introduce some minimal lag, but may still be manageable. A ping of more than 100 should be avoided.

You can check your speed and ping using just about any online speed test.

How to Improve Your Internet Quality

If you’re interested in improving your performance in any or all of these key areas, there are several steps you can take:

  • Upgrade your service. The first option, though costly, is to upgrade your current internet package. Higher tiers of internet service typically come with higher download and upload speeds, higher consistency, and may come with a shorter ping. Switching to a better ISP or upgrading your service may be exactly what you need to get better speeds.
  • Get off of Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient, but transmitting data through the air is inherently slower and less consistent than transmitting via cable. If you’ve been using Wi-Fi for most of your gaming purposes, consider upgrading to a cable; it may be less convenient to set up and manage, but it will result in much faster and more consistent internet speeds. It will also guard against router problems interfering with your games.
  • Upgrade your ethernet cable. If you’re using an old ethernet cable, consider upgrading it. Older, category 3 cables, will only allow a maximum data transmission speed of 10 Mbps, while newer cables, like category 6, can allow 1,000 Mbps or more. Better ethernet cables will also contain better conductors and connection points, giving you a better overall connection to the internet. Even high-quality cables are relatively inexpensive, so they are worth the investment.
  • Discontinue simultaneous running apps. Your internet speed can be easily compromised if other apps are hogging bandwidth. This is especially true of content streaming apps like Netflix or Spotify. When gaming, close all other apps and programs that might be using the internet, and check to see if the people who live with you are also using the internet.
  • Test your connection and contact your provider. On a regular basis, test your internet speeds to see if you’re getting the level of service you’re paying for. If not, contact your ISP and tell them you expect better.

If your internet connection speed is ideal and you’re still having issues with a specific game, it could be a problem with the game itself, or with your PC or console, rather than the internet. Consider uninstalling and reinstalling the game, contacting other gamers to see if they’re experiencing a problem, or trying other games to see if they have the same issues. Improving internet speeds and gaming performance are trial and error processes, so be patient as you work to optimize your setup.

This story may contain affiliate links.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/68" rel="author">Larry Alton</a>
Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.




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