Someone plays Xbox to unwind, their good internet speed for gaming allows for an uninterrupted session.

What Is A Good Internet Speed For Gaming?

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Online gaming is a demanding activity for your internet plan. Whether you partake in mobile, console or PC gaming, your hobby could end up using the bulk of your internet. If you partake in regular online gaming, there are certain steps you can take and things you should know to improve your experience. If you’ve ever wondered what is a good internet speed for gaming, we are here to help. Over the course of this post, we will outline the optimal internet type, download/upload speed, network latency and more. By considering all these important criteria, you should be ready to enjoy online gaming without delay.

Best Internet for Gaming

Currently, the three primary internet types are cable, DSL and fibre. DSL is the cheapest option, and typically offers download speeds between 5Mbps and 40Mbps. Cable is the most accessible internet type. Their prices are right in the middle, as they offer a wide range of internet speeds that can go as high as 500Mbps. Of course, the best internet for gaming is a fibre optic connection. Although fibre internet is the least accessible and most expensive, their speeds can get as high as 1Gbps. We would recommend a fibre optic internet plan if you can get your hands on one. Currently, fibre internet plans from major providers like Bell are some of the fastest internet plans in Canada. If you are unable to get your hands on a fibre internet plan, the next best thing is a speedy cable plan. Either way, you should be using a wired connection via an ethernet cable rather than a wireless connection. This ensures the fastest possible connection, and will greatly reduce network latency during online gaming.

5G Gaming

Despite being a new technology, 5G networks provide some of the most reliable wireless speeds possible. However, when it comes to your 5G connection, there is not much in your control. Realistically, the only thing you can do to affirm the best 5G gaming experience possible is choosing a provider and device. By combining one of the best 5G phones with a powerful 5G network like Rogers’, you can experience the greatest possible online gaming from a mobile device. 

 

Additionally, companies like HTC are introducing 5G routers for homes. These routers connect you to the speeds of 5G from your home or on the go. Although these routers have not yet been released to the public, they could potentially provide some of the fastest wireless speeds for gaming on the market. 

Recommended Download Speed for Gaming

Our recommended download speed for gaming depends on a few basic questions. How many consoles/devices do you want to be able to play simultaneously? Is the game you’re trying to play graphically demanding? How many other online users will you be playing with? Ask yourself these questions when searching for an internet plan, as this could influence your recommended download speed. Due to these important questions, gaming companies struggle to recommend a precise download speed. 

 

Realistically, a download speed of 5Mbps is sufficient to experience online gaming for a single console or device. If you live alone, or do not have several devices using your internet simultaneously, you can enjoy online gaming with a comfortable speed around 5Mbps. Of course, you should consider investing in a bulkier plan if you have several people living in your house. Something closer to 10-15Mbps would be sufficient. If you live with other gamers who will be playing online at the same time as you, something 25Mbps or higher should be enough. Or, if you ever feel as if you want something faster, you can always call your provider and order a plan with higher download speeds.

Best Upload Speed for Gaming

Most video game consoles and developers will only recommend around 3-5Mbps download speed for gaming, and a mere 0.5-1Mbps upload speed. Upload speed is never considered as important as download speed or latency. Of course, the best upload speed for gaming is higher than a single megabyte per second. 

 

When playing an online game, your upload speed determines how quickly information is transferred from your console/device to a server. So, your inputs will transfer over quickly if you have a higher upload speed, and experience less interruptions. Thus, a higher speed may be necessary if you live with several others who are constantly using the internet and slowing down your gaming experience. We understand that nothing hurts more than missing a game-winning point because of lag, and want to prevent it at all costs.

 

Upload speeds should typically be lower than download speeds. You should consider starting with a low upload speed around 3Mbps if you live alone and want to game comfortably. However, you should look into bulkier plans with increased upload speeds depending on how many other people live with you, how many devices are connected to your network simultaneously, and how seriously you take online gaming. Overall, a strong balance between download and upload speeds are crucial in keeping a low latency.

Latency

We have used the term latency a few times throughout this post, but what exactly does that mean? Simply put, network latency refers to the amount of time it takes for your request to be sent to a server and processed by it. If you experience high latency, this process will take a long time. For example, taking a couple of minutes to load a YouTube video on a brand new device could signal high latency. Ideally, we want a latency as low as zero as possible, but external factors could be preventing you. 

 

We understand that these technical terms like network latency may be confusing. However, they are important to understand. If you feel lost with the amount of technical information presented in this article, there’s no need to worry. Planhub’s internet plan searching tool simplifies the process of finding an internet plan. Our service searches the internet for the best deals on internet plans depending on your personal needs and geographic location. Before doing so, users have to fill out a simple questionnaire. This step-by-step process will easily guide you towards finding your perfect internet plan, and will reduce any complications or confusion you have. 

How to Lower Your Latency – Solutions

As we mentioned previously, certain external factors can greatly impact your connection and increase your network latency. Increased network latency could result in “lag” interruptions that completely ruin your online gaming experience. However, there are certain measures you could take to reduce your latency rather than changing internet plans:

 

  • Switch to a wired connection: Even if you have the fastest wireless connection available, it could still experience delays. Using an ethernet cable ensures the most stable connection possible.

 

  • Make sure you’re connected to the closest server: Proximity and distance are very important factors when it comes to ensuring a stable connection. Typically, online games should connect you to the closest server. However, you should check to make sure, you could be connected to a server on the other side of the planet!

 

  • Reset your equipment: The most classic technical solution of all time – turning something off and back on again. As silly as it sounds, restarting your modem and router could lower your latency and improve your online gaming sessions.

 

  • Turn off excess network devices and applications: You can improve latency by shutting off your other devices that are connected to the internet, even if you aren’t using them at the time. Additionally, make sure your online game is the only application running off your console or device for the fastest possible connection.

 

  • Update: Make sure everything you’re using is always up to date. If you continuously ignore software updates, you could experience more lag than usual. Try getting into the habit of performing a software update whenever it becomes available. Not performing this small task could prevent your connection from performing well, even if you have purchased a good internet speed for gaming. 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, a good internet speed for gaming depends on several factors. Figuring out what you value can help you find the perfect speed for your online gaming practices. Regardless, there are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind when searching for a plan. Namely, try to find a faster download speed than upload speed. However, don’t discredit upload speed. If you end up buying a plan where one speed is much higher than another, you could end up with a higher network latency, and frustrating lag spikes. If you still experience lag despite having strong internet speeds, try following some of our tips to improve your situation. 

 

Online gaming should be a fun and relaxing pastime that you can rely on after a stressful day. Unfortunately, a poor connection can totally change it into an aggravating experience that makes your stressful day even worse. If there’s anything you should take away from this article, it’s that investing your time and money in a proper connection is absolutely worth it. Giving up early or avoiding large expenses will only make things harder for you. When looking at things from a “bigger picture” perspective, your gaming skills will thank us for it!

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