ga('send', 'event', 'Server', 'Cloudways');

How to Find Fast Internet for Gaming

The speed of your Internet connection could make a huge difference in whether you get to take part in the latest online games and streaming content. With more households using the Internet for gaming and TV viewing, the need for fast Internet is growing at a rapid pace.

Whether you’re a gamer yourself or have a few active gamers in your household, you will want to find the best high-speed Internet package out there to keep up with all the current and upcoming gaming trends. The good news is that there are several options available for most customers interested in upgrading their ISP for gaming.

Choosing the Best Connection Speed for Gaming

There are a few important factors that you should pay attention to when looking for a new ISP for gaming purposes.

Wired vs. Wi-Fi for Gamers

Any experienced gamer will tell you that wired Internet is better than wireless. It may seem like a step in reverse for those who are not familiar with online gaming or streaming since so many people use the wireless Internet these days. But wired Internet that involves connecting your PC or Laptop directly to your Internet router or modem using an ethernet cable is the best option for lag-free gameplay.

Connection using an ethernet cable ensures that you have the fastest speeds possible since you have a direct line to your Internet source. This is true for any type of Internet use, such as streaming content or downloading large files. A wired connection is always the fastest and most secure option.

Fiber Optic Internet is the Top of the Line for Gaming

Fiber optic Internet service, also known as FiOS, is the fastest option currently available in the industry. It offers impressive speeds that are perfect for any type of online gaming. You can play for hours with no lagging or interruptions and there is also no data caps, so you never have to worry about your speed slowing down. FiOS speeds are reported to be as fast as 1000 Mbps, which is a Far Cry from your typical 100 Mbps offered through broadband service providers.

So, why would anyone who loves online gaming or binge-watching their favorite shows on Netflix choose anything but fiber-optic Internet service? The main reason is that it is not available in most areas. Fiber Optic Internet service is still in its early stages; therefore, it has only been installed in select cities, typically major metropolitan areas. If you live in an area where it is available, it would be in your best interest to take advantage of this high-speed Internet service that so many others would love to have. Another benefit is that it typically doesn’t cost much more than what you are already paying for high-speed service.

Consider Both the Upload and Download Speeds for Gaming Online

The download speed is how quickly data is pulled from the server. Your upload speed is how fast you can send data to others. For general Internet use, and even with streaming, it is usually fine to focus only on the download speeds when comparing new plans and ISPs.

But when it comes to gaming, you will want to find a service that offers both high speeds downloading and uploading. This will help to ensure that you enjoy smooth gameplay with less lagging and other delays. Remember that your upload speed does not have to be the same as your download speed for it to be effective and fast.

Download Speed vs. Ping

Taking a closer look at the optimal download speeds for gaming, for most gamers, a minimum download speed of 3 Mbps will work. Download speeds are faster because the majority of what we all do online such as loading websites or streaming content requires downloading.

Ping or ping rate refers to how fast you get a response from your Internet connection after you have sent out a request.

The Suggested Ping Rates, Download, and Upload Speeds for Top Gaming Consoles

Microsoft Xbox One

  • Minimum Download Speed: 3Mbps
  • Minimum Upload Speed: 0.5Mbps
  • Maximum Ping Rate: Less than 150 ms

Nintendo Switch

  • Minimum Download Speed: 3Mbps
  • Minimum Upload Speed: 1Mbps
  • Maximum Ping Rate: Less than 150 ms

Sony PlayStation 4

  • Minimum Download Speed: 3Mbps
  • Minimum Upload Speed: 1Mbps
  • Maximum Ping Rate: Less than 150 ms

PC or Mac

  • Minimum Download Speed: 3 to 6 Mbps
  • Minimum Upload Speed: 0.75 to 1 Mbps
  • Maximum Ping Rate: Less than 100 to 150 ms

What is Latency?

Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel. It could be described as the time between pressing a button on your game controller and the time it takes for the game to respond. You will experience high latency when there is a delay between your actions and the game’s response, which is often described by gamers as lagging. It can be the difference between successful gameplay and losing one life after another when you need to rapidly fire but there are pauses in between shots.

Latency is measured in milliseconds, and that may not seem like much, but any serious gamer will tell you that it can make a very huge difference especially with the fast-paced shooter style games. Therefore, you will want to avoid any Internet service plan that is known for having high latency if possible.

What is Packet Loss?

Now that you understand latency, it’s time to learn about packet loss. This occurs when the data doesn’t reach its destination while transferring. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is a big issue with gamers when it occurs. Whenever you hear someone talk about drifting or their game suddenly pausing for no reason, they are experiencing packet loss with their connection.

When considering a new ISP, you will want to find out what their download and upload speeds are as well as their ping rate. You should also ask about latency and the occurrence of packet loss before you make a final decision if you are changing your Internet plan strictly because of gaming.

Tips for Improving Connection Speed

If you aren’t sure about switching your Internet plan but want to experience higher speeds, there are a few things you can do to help improve your connection speed.

Use a Hard-Wired Connection

As mentioned above, using an ethernet cord to connect your gaming console or computer to your router is the best option for improving your connection speed. Wi-Fi may have its advantages, but it will always run at a lower speed than a hard-wired connection. Keep in mind that some consoles, like the Nintendo Switch, will only connect using Wi-Fi.

Shut Down Any Programs That Use Up Too Much Bandwidth

There are some programs that will use up more of your bandwidth than others, and that can cause your online games to lag. If there is a certain application that demands more of your Internet than others, you may want to shut it down while playing. It's best to close all programs that stay connected to the Internet regularly like email programs or messaging applications.

Maintain a Direct Connection

Do you have other devices connected to your main router or hub? This could add more latency to your gaming session that you don’t want. These additional devices will also take up more bandwidth, especially if they are used to play games on other consoles or stream videos. If you’re having problems with a game or console, you may want to disconnect all other connections if possible until you finish playing.

High-Speed Internet Options for Gaming

There are several options out there available for gaming. If you are strictly looking for a new plan for online gaming purposes, the following can help you meet your high-speed Internet needs.  

Verizon FiOS

Verizon offers high-speed Internet plans that range in price from $39.99 to $79.99. Their download speeds are between 100 up to 940 Mbps.

Their fiber optic Internet plans include:

  • FiOS Internet 100/100 for $39.99 per month for the first year with 100 Mbps download speeds.
  • FiOS Internet 300/300 for $59.99 per month for the first year with 300 Mbps download speeds.
  • FiOS Internet Gigabit Connection for $79.99 per month for the first year with up to 940 Mbps download speeds.

Frontier

Frontier offers high-speed Internet plans that range in price from $40.00 up to $200.00. Their download speeds are between 50 to 1,000 Mbps.

Their fiber optic Internet plans include:

  • Simply FiOS 50/50 for $40 per month for the first 24 months with 50 Mbps download speeds.
  • Simply FiOS 200/200 for $50 per month for the first 24 months with 200 Mbps download speeds.
  • Simply FiOS 300/300 for $100 per month for the first 24 months with 500 Mbps download speeds.
  • Simply FiOS 1G/1G for $200 per month for the first 24 months with 1,000 Mbps download speeds.

Cox

Cox offers high-speed Internet plans that range in price from $29.99 up to $119.99. Their download speeds are between 10 to 1,000 Mbps.

Their broadband Internet plans include:

  • Cox Internet Starter 10 for $29.99 per month for the first 12 months with 10 Mbps download speeds.
  • Cox Internet Essential 30 for $39.99 per month for the first 12 months with 30 Mbps download speeds.
  • Cox Internet Preferred 100 for $59.99 per month for the first 12 months with 100 Mbps download speeds.
  • Cox Internet Ultimate for $79.99 per month for the first 12 months with 300 Mbps download speeds.

Xfinity

Xfinity offers high-speed Internet plans that range in price from $29.99 up to $299.95. Their download speeds are between j15 and 2,000 Mbps.

Their broadband Internet plans include:

  • Performance Starter for $29.99 per month for the first 12 months with 15 Mbps download speeds.
  • Performance Pro for $54.99 per month for the first 12 months with 150 Mbps download speeds.
  • Performance Plus for $39.99 per month for the first 12 months with 60 Mbps download speeds.
  • Blast! Pro for $69.99 per month for the first 12 months with 250 Mbps download speeds.
  • Gigabit for $70.00 per month for the first 24 months with 1,000 Mbps download speeds.
  • Gigabit Pro for $299.95 per month for the first 24 months with 2,000 Mbps download speeds.

Which Internet Service Provider is Best for You?

To find out which Internet service provider is the best option for you, it’s best to look at the amount of time you spend online and what activities you participate in most. If you are an avid gamer, choosing the fastest Internet plan that meets your budget would be your best option.

If FiOS service is available in your area, it is highly recommended that you give it a try as it is the fastest interest service currently available. Otherwise, Comcast and Cox Internet Service offer fast speeds at affordable prices that most gamers are pleased with as well.