If you use your broadband connection for gaming, there’s some key factors you need to think about – and it’s not all just about download speeds.
Choosing the right connection will banish buffering, and genuinely give you the edge over other gamers online.
Our connections are perfect for gaming, because you won’t be sharing with your whole street, we offer low latency, no data limits, and high download and upload speeds.
Here’s what you need to know…
Speed isn’t the most important factor, but in this case faster is always better, particularly if other people are using the internet at the same time.
You will need a connection that offers download and upload speeds of at least 10mb/s.
Some areas of Cumbria aren’t able to access this kind of speed via BT’s old infrastructure, but don’t worry, Solway Comms can help if you are in our operating area.
If you’re gaming online you will need an unlimited data allowance, particularly as entire games and software updates are carried out online.
Multiplayer gaming uses a lot of data. Playing popular online game, World of Warcraft, uses around 10 megabytes-per-hour (MB/h) when playing solo, but when playing with or against other players, the number can jump to around 40MB/h or higher
Some providers charge a lot of money if you go over your allowance – we have got more on how much each internet activity uses here.
No traffic management
Your provider should allow you to play at full speed any time of the day is often the best option, no ‘traffic management’ at peak times.
Web traffic management is when broadband providers adjust your download or upload speeds for certain tasks at certain times. This is normally during peak times and is likely to explain why your connection is slower at certain times of day.
Certain activities are put in a sort of ‘fast lane’. They’re prioritised, and have access to greater capacity and faster speeds. Others are put in a slower lane – imagine that happening when you’re a few seconds from victory!
Choosing a local provider like Solway Comms is a good move because we use our own network of wireless masts to provide a fast and reliable connection all the time.
A quality router
If you’re playing wirelessly then you will need a router that gives you the best speed reliability and range.
You also need to think about where it is placed. If it is being used by multiple people, in general, go for the middle of your home (the middle floor and as close to the middle of the floor plan as possible) to maximize Wi-Fi coverage and performance. Leave it in the open instead of stashing it out of sight.
Reliability and strong tech support
You need your provider to provide fast and effective support if your connection is down, and you don’t want to be stuck on hold to a far-flung call centre if you do suffer any issues.
We pride ourselves on good customer service, and have a local team of customer service professionals and engineers to deal with any queries you have.
The contention ratio indicates the number of people sharing the same bandwidth – you could be sharing with your whole street. The lower the ratio, the better performance you will receive.
To make as much cash as possible, budget providers can pack 50 or more people on to one line (ratio of 50:1). The best gaming broadband providers have lower contention ratios, decreasing lag as well as speeding up connections.
Solway Comms can provide you with a DIA connection, meaning you aren’t sharing with anyone else at all.
Low latency and packet loss
You might not be as familiar with these terms but for the smoothest and most responsive connection they are important.
In simple terms, latency is the amount of time it takes for a data transfer or a download to actually start, which in time-critical gaming is just as important as the speed of the download.
In gaming, this might be the delay between you pressing a button on your controller, and the results of that button-press being seen.
Latency is measured in milliseconds, and anything over 100ms can potentially cause problems when gaming. Ideally, the latency on your connection will be as low as possible, with under 50ms preferable, and under 20ms regarded as excellent. Our connections provide a latency of under 20ms.
If you want the ultimate connection for gaming, you need a Solway Comms Direct Internet Access connection.
You won’t be sharing with the whole street, will have the edge over other gamers, and won’t need to limit your gaming for data allowances.
Get in touch or find out more here.