As a competitive online gamer, nothing slows you down like a poor Internet connection. Find out how you can improve your Internet speed with this guide.
One of the biggest bugbears for serious gamers is Internet connectivity. Nothing slows you down more than poor 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi Internet connections. Fortunately, there are plenty of hacks that you can implement to improve the uptime, speed, and reliability of your Internet connection. Granted, the speed at which you can download content is limited to the Internet service you are paying for.
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) package details the type of connection you have access to. While most folks don’t believe there’s a whole lot they can do about changing the performance of their Internet connectivity, there are plenty of hacks you can implement. For example, a little tweaking of your DNS settings, updating your software, implementing general fixes to your PC, Mac or mobile, and various other little fixes can get you riding the information superhighway at light speed.
Gamers often rely on Internet speed to make snap decisions. For example, if you find yourself in a firefight in a first-person shooter game the last thing you want is an Internet connection problem. All it takes is a split-second interruption to miss that crucial headshot. Much the same is true for sports games where an interception is waiting to be snatched out of the air and an Internet connection problem results in a failed play.
These types of inconveniences are game changers – they can make or break your performance. Frame freezes are an all too common occurrence with slow Internet connections, and they can have you pulling your hair out at the most inopportune times. Ask any gamer and they’ll tell you in no uncertain terms, typically with expletives, how utterly frustrating Internet issues can be. Take a deep breath. Exhale. You are about to read the holy writ of Internet repair.
#1 Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself – What’s Your Speed?
Players are happy with speeds of 15 Mb per second – 20 Mb per second. That tends to work fine for most RPG, MMORPG, and other social games. Remember, modern-day homes have multiple devices connected to the Internet. The IOT (Internet of Things) brings several smart devices into place such as refrigerators, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, alarm systems, cameras, and personal computers.
The more devices that are hooked up to Internet at one time, the slower your speed. All of this activity places somewhat of a strain on your bandwidth capacity. If you have a big family, or shared Internet, you may want to upgrade your speed to at least 20 Mb per second. Fortunately, lightspeed Internet isn’t a requirement for gaming. But if you are looking to enjoy frictionless connectivity, you may want to look at fibre broadband.
#2 Hook up a Gaming Router
Gaming routers are designed expressly for serious gamers – that’s what makes them better performers than standard routers. There are several features on gaming routers that can enhance the quality of your online gaming experience. For example, QoS allows you to give priority to the traffic volume being fed through your console. When you’re setting your network up for optimal gaming performance, you want to be sure that the quality of service i.e. QoS is adequate. This technology permits routers to function as data traffic officers.
By prioritizing Internet connectivity and flow to your gaming devices, you can easily make gaming a priority with your Internet service. This results in much smoother gameplay and reduced bandwidth hogging from other users on your network. In other words, you get to call the shots about who uses the Internet and how much bandwidth they get to enjoy. In close combat situations, sports contests, brain games and other multiplayer online games, you want to be sure that you get to act when split-second calls are required.
#3 Conduct a Speed Test
Often, the speed you are promised isn’t quite the speed that you are getting with your Internet. Luckily, you can get an average speed for your Internet connectivity by running a speed test for the upload/download speeds of your connection. This will tell you exactly how quickly your connection is. For gaming purposes, it’s not the upload speed you need to worry about since that requires uploading files to the Internet. Rather, you should be focused on the download speed. If your speed drops beneath 10 Mb per second, you are going to start experiencing a lag and that will impact your gameplay.
#4 Make Sure Your Programs Go Easy on Bandwidth Usage
You may not know which programs and applications are using up your bandwidth on your PC or mobile gaming device. Things like app updates, chat and security scans can reduce your bandwidth capacity for games. This manifests in the form of a lag while the games are taking place. It’s especially important to give permission to programs that use up significant bandwidth. That way, you shouldn’t have a problem with gaming. Navigate to the task manager, and you’ll see the list of programs that are currently running. You can cancel them if you don’t need them, and that will free up more bandwidth for your gaming sessions.
Next time you’re under the gun – not in a shooter game, but in a game of Texas Hold’em poker, and you’re getting ready to fire a pair of bullets from your starting hand, you won’t have to worry about bandwidth problems causing you to miss a crucial raise, re-raise, or all-in situation. As a poker player, it’s important to have uninterrupted access to your multiplayer game to prevent being shunted out of a high-stakes pot. The last thing you want is a pair of cowboys in your starting hand being shoved out of a pot because of poor bandwidth capacity. Luckily, the tech specs for online poker gaming aren’t quite as resource heavy as interactive recon missions, but you still want to be sure that you’re suitably equipped with the right bandwidth.
#5 Secure Your Network and Improve Your Connectivity
Nobody wants a security breach on their Internet Wi-Fi connection. Don’t give out your password to friends, neighbours, or employees; in fact, many companies heavily invest in services to increase password security/safety. Any time downloads are conducted, this eats into your bandwidth and slows you down. In a high stakes contest, you can’t afford to be slowed down so limit access to your Internet if need be. Strong encryption (SSL) and limited access are the way to go. If your router is showing signs of slowing down, don’t sit on it – replace it. Check the ADSL light on the modem – does it blink incessantly? If so, get the modem replaced. Try to use microfilters to root out noise on phone lines if required.
That’s 5 tips to help reduce problems with your Internet speed. Happy gaming player!