If you’re a gamer, you’ll know just how important it is to have a reliable broadband connection. We’ve all been hit by the whirlwind of rage that occurs when our internet connection drops out at a vital moment. Most gamers will also have experienced the sheer tedium that comes when your console announces that essential updates are required and they’ll take at least two hours to download.
The situation is clear, if you’re a gamer, you need a good broadband connection. The slightly more complicated question is what exactly is a good broadband connection? Clearly, speed is important but we’d actually suggest that you consider a few more factors than that. Read on to discover the factors you really should be looking at.
This is the obvious one but it’s still important. A slow connection will be immensely frustrating when you’re trying to play a game. You’ll almost certainly want to go for a high-speed fibre connection if you’re a regular gamer. This is especially important if you have to share your broadband connection with multiple other people in your household then you’re going to need a fast line. 20mb/s might sound ok but if that’s being divided between HD Netflix streaming, two people’s phones and your game console then you’re going to struggle.
If you’re a hardcore gamer and have the option of a cable connection from a company like Virgin Media then you should seriously consider it. These lines offer higher feeds than are available over the BT Open reach network. You are able to obtain speeds of up to 300mb/s in most areas covered by Virgin’s network. The highest speed that is generally available on the BT network is closer to 80mb/s.
Any long-term broadband user will know that you rarely achieve a speed close to the one you’re promised. Some areas aren’t capable of receiving higher speed lines until upgrade work is complete. Use a comparison website such as Broadband Choices to see what speeds are likely to be achievable in your area. There’s no point in paying for speeds that you can’t get.
Gaming is generally a data intensive activity. Alongside the data that you’ll actually use playing your favourite games, you have to consider the gigabytes that will be sucked up by all the updates that most modern games require. A data cap of 20GB just isn’t going to cut it and it’s unlikely that any data capped plan will be suitable. Go for an unlimited plan if it’s at all financially possible. It’s well worth £5 extra a month to avoid the rage that will ensue when you discover you’ve hit your cap for the sixth month in a row.
Other factors to consider
This is where things get a little bit technical so do bare with us. Ping speed is the technical term for how quickly your internet connection gets a response from other computers out there on the internet. If you’re a gamer, high ping speeds are bad because it means that it takes longer for your actions to be transmitted to the server where your game is being hosted. Still with us? Good. Unfortunately, most broadband providers are pretty quiet on the topic of ping speeds. The best option is to choose the fastest connection you can. That will generally result in a lower ping speed.
The other thing you can do to improve the situation is to use wires wherever possible. Yes, a giant ethernet cable connecting your games console to your broadband router might look a little clunky, but it will almost always result in higher speeds and less frustration. If ethernet cabling isn’t possible, then consider using another solution like the electricity cabling in your phone (yes, that absolutely is a thing you can do) instead of relying on wi-fi.
Broadband connections have become an essential part of almost every household’s utilities in less than ten years. If you’re a keen gamer, then the quality of your broadband connection is even more critical. Luckily, taking the steps we’ve described above should help you to ensure that you have a broadband connection that you can truly rely on.