In recent years, internet gaming has increased in popularity exponentially. This guide will take you through a few things to take into consideration to ensure you get the very best online gaming experience. And maybe even you give you an advantage against the competition.
Choosing gaming broadband:
- Speed- Obviously, you are looking for the fastest broadband connection possible.
- Download allowance- Download limits are soon reached when gaming intensively, so if you‘re a high internet user you might prefer an unlimited package.
- Low latency - Latency refers to the time it takes for a press on your joypad to register in the game you're playing.
- No throttle - Because gaming is a bandwidth heavy activity, some ISPs will slow down your connection. Try and find one that doesn't use traffic shaping.
- Low contention ratio If lots of people are using broadband from the same exchange as you, you'll get a slower connection and suffer from lag while you're gaming. To ensure that doesn't happen look around for a broadband provider with a low contention ratio.
- Freebies - Some providers, such as Virgin Media, offer extra incentives for gamers.
Gaming broadband ISPs
The following broadband providers excel in offering great-value gaming broadband packages:
- BT's fibre broadband Infinity products are fantastic for online gaming, offering speeds of up to 76Mbps in most parts of the UK and low latency rates to ensure minimum lag between the moment you press your controlpad and the moment the command is registered. If you're lucky to be in area covered by BT's pure-fibre network, you can sign up for 330Mbps broadband and really supercharge your gaming.
- Virgin Media's super fast fibre optic broadband packages minimise 'ping' to provide customers with the smoothest gaming experience possible. The top of the range Virgin Media broadband product offers 152Mbps.
- TalkTalk's cable broadband offers comparable speeds in line with BT Infinity.
- PlusNet offer excellent support for gamers using their PlusNet Pro package, which prioritises gaming traffic to ensure your experience isn't compromised.
Gaming consoles and broadband:
- PS4, PSP, PS3, Wii or Nintendo 3DS - Pretty simple to connect too and these three have wireless capability - just make sure your wireless router is compatible.
- Xbox One - This also supports wireless broadband, so it's very easy to connect.
- Xbox 360- You're going to need to buy a wireless adapter, or connect directly to a modem.
- Playstation 2, or Xbox, or older- You may have to buy additional hardware such as a network adaptor.
- Some internet games require subscription payments even after you have bought the game. Mostly these are MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) such as the hugely popular World of Warcraft. This is because when you play these games you involve yourself in a community that needs maintenance, the cost of which is covered by your subs.
However, if you just want to race someone on the other side of the world on Mario Kart DS, then your DS will connect immediately through a wireless network straight out of the box and there's no need to pay a penny.