How to Choose the Best Internet Connection for Online Gaming

Whether playing online games competitively or casually, having a good internet connection is important. Here's how to pick the right one.

Online gaming is a highly-competitive arena. Aside from polishing your skills on a regular basis, you need to make certain your system runs like clockwork. Next-gen consoles and PCs are mean beasts all right, but without solid internet, they are not worth a dime.

That is why you have to choose an appropriate internet connection to support your gaming habits. This is not as easy as it may sound and there are various factors you need to take into account.

Get Yourself Connected

Now, online games like League of Legends or DotA 2 do not eat up bandwidth that much, unless you are using video-streaming services such as Twitch. This means that the speed of your internet connection may not be as pertinent to your needs.

One thing you need to remember, though, is that upload speed is what impacts your ping the most, and if it is below 1Mbps, you will struggle with engaging in competitive gaming.

The choice of internet service provider (ISP) is one of the chief concerns in regards to this. You often hear others advising people to shop around for the best offers and find a plan tailored to their specific needs. But, what does this mean exactly? Should you seek AT&T U-Verse providers or avoid bundles?

First off, note that there are two basic methods of delivering internet connection to your location: Wired and wireless.

A wired connection is more reliable, since it does not employ treacherous airways to reach you. Wireless connection, on the other hand, increases your latency -- it's the price for “no wires” benefit. Hence, wired options are preferable when picking a connection for your gaming needs. Yet, even when you decide to go for a wired connection, you are not in the clear. You still have to ...

Give Weight to Quality

Namely, you have to select the type of medium for your connection. Here, the situation is as clear as day: Fiber is a safe bet, as this technology helps you steer clear of ping problems. Only when fiber is not available in your area should you muse on other options.

Note: Bear in mind that multiple services on a single line always undermine your efforts.

3 in 1 packages are tempting because of discounts, although they affect your ping and online connection times. Problems most often occur when all services are used at once and your overall bandwidth becomes clogged.

Similarly, you should keep an eye on the routes and hops ISPs use. Cheap bandwidth options that serve multiple users are to be avoided. This is a valuable lesson about the importance of service quality.

Slow performance is not as worrisome as connection interruptions. Therefore, your top priority should be to keep the latency low. Look for a quality connection that can handle back and forth communication between a game and multiplayer servers.

If you are uncertain of how to proceed, feel free to utilize internet speed tests. Besides speed, these tools give you an insight into latency and jitter, factors that make or break internet quality.

Flawless Gaming Experience

Few thrills in the world can rival the adrenaline-pumping action of games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Battlefield and similar FPS titles. You line up for a perfect headshot, and your connection fails you just as you were getting ready to gloat (Ez). To avoid headaches and reserve them for your opponent's, cover all your bases when picking your internet connection.

Never lose sight of quality and reliability, your guiding lights in the online realm. Strive to get more bang for your buck and kick your game into overdrive.

What are some of tips you have for choosing the right internet provider? Let us know in the comments below!

Published Dec. 6th 2016

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