Fast broadband and gaming go hand in hand today, but finding the right package to receive the ultimate gaming experience is not as simple as just choosing the fastest connection available to you. There are certain things a gamer needs in order to thrive, and we will look into them below.
First and foremost the download speed is of paramount importance. Being able to download files and gain access to gaming servers quickly is important to gamers due to the large amount of data a lot of newer games require. Having fast fibre broadband in your home decreases the chances of latency with gaming as even if others are using the Internet in the household, the connection should be sufficient enough to still support high speeds for gaming.
Fast download speeds are also important for downloading files. How many times have you gone to play a quick game on something like Call of Duty or FIFA and you are required to download a 2.5GB update before you can start playing? This happens a lot and can be quite frustrating if you just want to pick up your controller and start playing. Sometimes this can be a big enough problem for some that they give up gaming for good, I would know, I’ve seen it happen. A fast fibre optic broadband line, therefore, is key to enjoying your gaming sessions and is the first place to look.
Like download speeds, it is important to have fast upload speeds too, especially if you are considering hosting gaming sessions from your home PC. Fast upload speeds allow external users to access your server and download any content from it that may be required to play the game with as little lag as possible.
The majority of broadband providers will offer unlimited download usage as standard today, although there are still some that will have caps on how much you can download per month. Some providers often offer as little as 25gb per month, and for gaming, this is not very much at all. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to even download a game before you even get round to playing it on that limit. Unlimited bandwidth allows you to download as many games and updates as required to enjoy the game to its full potential. If you’re really into gaming, I wouldn’t even consider a broadband service with a cap.
Traffic management is a service that restricts speeds and access to households when there are a lot of connections at that time. You may have noticed that often in the early evening your broadband connection may slow down. This is due to the fact that there are may other users accessing the Internet in your area and the infrastructure cannot support full speeds for everyone. If you are a serious gamer, this can be extremely frustrating. One minute you are dominating the game and the next you are nothing but a bystander watching everyone else climb the kill ranks while you struggle to connect to the server.
Some broadband provider now have packages with no traffic management. Meaning that even during peak times they will not restrict your speeds and you can continue to use the fibre broadband to its full potential.
This is the amount of time it takes for a download to start and is something that a lot of gamers will be familiar with. The lower the latency, the better performance you will have. Sometimes referred to as a ping speed, in gaming, it is very important as it is what defines how long it takes for the servers to register your key press or movement.
With a high latency you may have pressed a button, and on your screen it may show that you killed that particular player or scored a goal, but once the server catches up, it will show something completely different.
This is one of the most frustrating areas of online gaming and is why it is probably the number one area of importance when searching for a broadband supplier.
Latency is measured in milliseconds, and anything below 50ms is considered good and below 20ms is considered excellent. UK Broadband generally has latency lower than 30ms according to Ofcom, and on superfast fibre packages, this is often a lot lower. You can find out what your latency is currently like using a service like SpeedTest.Net. This will give you a ping score and give you a good idea what your current latency is like with your existing broadband supplier.
Most broadband providers will now offer superfast fibre broadband, and you can find out what is available in your area from our homepage. However, there are some providers that offer packages that will suit gamers more and the current best provider is Virgin Media due to them being able to offer much higher speeds than other broadband ISP’s.
Virgin Media offer a package called VIVID 200 Gamer broadband. This package offers fibre broadband speeds of up to 200mb per second and upload speeds of up to 20mb per second. These speeds are more than sufficient for most gaming today and will also allow for you to be prepared for any future gaming needs.
Virgin also offer no traffic management with this broadband package which will mean that you can play for as long as you want without witnessing any slow down on your broadband. It’s almost like you are a Virgin Media VIP customer.
Again, like most suppliers, Virgin Media offer unlimited broadband with this package which means that you can download as much as you want whenever you want. This package costs just £50 per month for the first 12 months and £58 per month after that. There is an activation fee of £14.99. The price, however, does include the cost of a phone line charges.