Best Broadband for Gaming
If you are an avid gamer, you know that a speedy and dependable internet connection is a must-have. Slow download speeds, high latency and lag can all ruin your gaming experience. That's why it's crucial to choose the right home broadband deal. With most broadband contracts being a significant commitment, you want to avoid getting stuck with a service that doesn't meet your needs. With this article, we want to answer some of the most asked questions about broadband for gaming and point out things to remember when choosing the right deal for you.
What are the best types of broadband for gaming?
There are several types of broadband available on the market. One is ADSL broadband which uses copper phone lines to provide an internet connection. It can provide download speeds of up to 24Mbps. In contrast, fibre broadband uses fibre-optic cables, offering speeds of up to 900 Mbps. However, your average speeds will largely depend on your area. Before deciding on the type of broadband you would be interested in, check the availability.
For gamers, we believe full fibre broadband would be the best option as it offers faster download and upload speeds, resulting in less lag and smoother gameplay. There are several fibre broadband deals available that are worth considering. For instance, we feature many broadband providers who offer attractive fibre packages, some with additional perks such as gift cards and no up-front costs.
Some of our favourites are Virgin Media M125 Fibre Broadband and Sky Broadband Superfast. Both offer a range of good speeds, no up-front costs, and perks that will save you money.
However, it's worth noting that while fibre broadband is ideal, ADSL and mobile broadband can still provide adequate gaming performance, especially if you can get good speeds with ADSL broadband in your area and are the only one who uses broadband in your household.
So what speeds are needed for gaming?
The minimum recommended speeds for online gaming are 3Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, but it's important to note that these speeds may only provide a somewhat seamless gaming experience.
If you want to avoid lag and interruptions while playing online games, opting out for a faster internet connection is best. A download speed of 10-25Mbps and an upload speed of 5-10 Mbps is considered ideal for online gaming. These speeds should provide a smooth experience with minimal delays.
However, it's worth noting that the number of devices connected to your internet can also affect your gaming experience. Consider a faster broadband package if multiple people in your household use the internet simultaneously or if you have multiple devices connected at once. This will ensure your internet connection can handle the additional traffic without slowing your gaming experience.
Ultimately, we recommend considering your and your household's usage habits. If you're a serious gamer, consider the fastest possible speeds available. However, if you're a more casual gamer or only play occasionally, you may be able to get by with slower speeds.
If you do end up with a slower broadband package, how can the speed affect your gaming?
Slow average download speeds can mean longer wait times for downloading games, while slow uploads can cause lag and delays during online gameplay. Another factor to consider is bandwidth.
Bandwidth is how much data can be transmitted over the internet in a given time. It determines how quickly information is sent and received. In the context of gaming, bandwidth is significant because it affects how quickly game data is transmitted between players and servers. If multiple devices are connected to your broadband and using up bandwidth, it can lead to slower speeds and a worse gaming experience.
One term that gamers might be familiar with is latency. This refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the game server and back. High latency can cause delays in gameplay, making it difficult to react in real time. High latency can be a major disadvantage in games where split-second decisions are crucial.
How can a broadband connection be improved for a smoother gaming experience?
Other than choosing or switching to a higher-speed broadband package, there are a few other ways to improve your speed.
Wired vs Wi-Fi
One option is to use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi, as wired internet connections tend to be more stable and faster. This is because a wired connection uses an ethernet cable to connect your device to your router directly. At the same time, Wi-Fi relies on a wireless signal that can be affected by interference and distance. With a wired connection, you will experience fewer drops in connection and lower latency.
On the other hand, Wi-Fi can be more convenient and flexible since you don't need to worry about cables. However, if you choose to use Wi-Fi for gaming, ensure you have a strong and reliable signal by putting your router in the centre of your home and minimising interference from other devices.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of Service is a feature on a router that can help prioritise your gaming traffic over other less important traffic on your network, such as file downloads or internet browsing. It works by setting rules for different types of traffic and assigning them to different priority levels.
For example, you can set gaming traffic to the highest priority level while file downloads are assigned a lower priority level. This means that when limited bandwidth is available, the QoS feature will ensure that gaming traffic gets the bandwidth it needs to function effectively.
QoS can be configured on your router or modem, and different routers may have different QoS settings and options. It is worth checking whether your chosen broadband provider supplies you with a router with such features or can give you an uprade.
Additional tips for choosing broadband for gaming:
Choose a broadband provider that offers unlimited broadband packages, as traffic management can affect your broadband speeds. As a gamer, you will always need a reliable and stable internet connection; any slowdowns by the throttled connection can result in lag and an overall worse gaming experience.
Choosing a broadband provider offering Speed Guarantee can benefit a gamer. Speed Guarantee promises to deliver a minimum speed to your home, giving you peace of mind that you'll have the speeds you need for gaming. Additionally, if the provider fails to deliver the minimum speed, they may offer compensation or the option to leave the contract without penalty. Make sure to read the provider's terms and conditions carefully to understand the details of the guarantee, such as the minimum speed promised, any exclusions or limitations, and the process of making a claim if the speed isn't delivered.
Some of our favourite broadband providers who won't throttle your network and provide a minimum speed guarantee are Sky and Now Broadband. They also offer fantastic fibre packages at competitive prices. Furthermore, you can check out broadband packages and compare the prices above; some deals offer additional perks and different contract lengths, so there is something for everyone!