Your team is this close to destroying the enemy’s Nexus in League of Legends when, all of a sudden, you notice what appears to be a glitch. But it happens again a few minutes later, and again a few seconds later, and like that, your Internet connection is going, going, gone.
Or, maybe, it’s when your team is in a tight race to get those 50 kills in Halo’s slayer mode when your Internet crashes — more than once. And, before you can really crush it and help bring your team to victory, you’re kicked out for a certain period of time because the online gaming gods think you’ve quit too many times.
As a gamer, you’re naturally wanting the best Internet. But, what factors into the best Internet for gaming?
Most will likely think it’s speed. After all, a slow Internet connection can mean the difference in whether someone is actually enjoying that movie or still waiting for it to buffer. Or, whether your favorite game will even load or you’re stuck in the players’ forum.
Remember that speeds are broken down into download speeds and upload speeds. You’ll find that many of the most popular consoles — like the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 — will have similar requirements for Internet speeds, but, depending on your household and usage, you may likely need more. If, for example, you typically live stream your online games on Twitch, you’ll want an Internet solution with faster upload speeds.
But, Internet speed isn’t the only thing to consider. The real biggie? Latency, also known as “lag” or “ping.”
Ping, measured in milliseconds (ms), is the reaction time of your connection. In other words, it’s how long it takes your device to respond to requests by other devices. This is most important when timing is crucial, like online gaming. A faster ping speed is one that’s closest to zero, but “acceptable” speeds are those under 100 ms. If your ping rates are above 150 ms, you likely aren’t doing much gaming as your connection is lagging. Typically, broadband — which is defined by the Federal Communications Commission as having a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 3 Mbps — is expected to have a latency of below 100 ms and often lower than 30 ms.
Take a look at the recommended download/upload speeds and maximum allowable ping rates for these gaming consoles, according to High Speed Internet:
A couple of things to note here is that these requirements are listed for just one player. So, if you’ve got a few online gamers in your household, you’ll want to multiply the recommended speeds by that amount.
So, where does that leave you? On this National Video Game Day, Kinetic by Windstream is here to help get you the best Internet for your online gaming needs.
Before we get started, you’ll first want to run an Internet speed test. The test will reveal your download and upload speeds, along with your ping rate. You’ll want to do this regularly, by the way. But, for the purpose of this exercise, you’ll get a snapshot of how your Internet is performing.
Are you getting the results you expected? If not, use these tips to combat latency, ensuring optimal speeds every time you play.
1. Get a little closer to your router.
Your proximity to your router will have a significant effect on your Internet speeds and ping rates. The closer you are, the better off you’ll be.
This will also ring true for the wired versus wireless debate. A wired connection — hooking up your laptop to your router with an ethernet cord — will give you the best Internet connection when you’re gaming.
2. Turn off competing devices and activities.
Ensure that nothing else is eating up your bandwidth. Are you also downloading or uploading large files? Is someone else streaming shows and movies? Are all of your smart home devices on?
Other devices that are using your home Internet will affect your gaming speeds and ping rate. That’s particularly the case if you’ve got other high-bandwidth activities, such as streaming on a 4K television.
3. Reboot your router and modem.
If you’re still noticing lag in your games, try restarting your router and modem. To do so, you’ll unplug both, and wait for about one minute. Then, plug in the modem only, and wait another minute. Next, plug in your router, and wait until it’s fully recovered, usually you’ll see green lights.
4. Upgrade your router and/or modem.
Older modems and routers may not be able to handle faster speeds, like gigabit Internet. Make sure that your equipment is capable of managing your online gaming needs. If it isn’t, it may be time for an upgrade.
5. Get a faster Internet speed.
If you find that you’ve tried just about everything and your Internet speed and ping rates still aren’t up to snuff, you may want to look into a faster speed. Kinetic by Windstream offers different speed tiers that reach as high as one Gig. See what’s available in your area by entering your address here.
Try all of the tips above to reduce latency and get the best Internet speeds for gaming.
Your best bet, though? Go all in with fiber Internet and Kinetic Gig. Windstream’s gigabit Internet transmits data using fiber-optic cables, which are less susceptible to outside forces like power outages or distance. And, while it comes in different speed tiers, fiber Internet can reach download speeds of up to one Gig (and have symmetrical upload speeds). You won’t have to worry about lagging the next time you’re on top of your game and about to win it all!
Learn more about how Kinetic Gig can support your online gaming needs, whether you’re playing on a PC, a Mac or a gaming console.