The Best Internet for Gaming

internetgaming Separator

by Chris Henderson



While Microsoft recently rolled back its decision to require an Internet connection for their next console, the Xbox One, that doesn’t mean you won’t miss out on some cool features if your box isn’t connected. Same goes for the Playstation 4, or a top-of-the-line gaming PC.

If you’re going to stay connected and play online, you might as well do it right. When looking for the best Internet for gaming you need to consider two factors: consistency and speed.

Consistency

Sure, speed is important (we’ll get to that in a second), but speed won’t mean much if your connection is inconsistent. Nothing is more frustrating than wondering what your connection will be like match-to-match. So who has the most consistent Internet?

According to a 2013 study by the FCC, fiber Internet delivers the most consistent speeds–over cable, DSL and other services. See, look at this super boring chart:

internetspeeds

Now that’s consistent! (Also, if you have Cablevision…I’m sorry)

If fiber Internet is available in your area, you should get it. Now for the bad news: fiber isn’t as widely available as other services, not even close. Verizon Internet service is available in about 15 million homes. True, tens of millions is a lot, but compared to other technologies, it’s not great (yet). Other than Big Red and Google, you’ll find a few local providers offering fiber Internet in and around large cities, or totally random medium-sized cities.

While you’re waiting for fiber to come to your area, you can always go with cable Internet if it’s available. The higher (read: more expensive) tiers will likely deliver more consistency. According to the super boring FCC chart above, Comcast delivers some decent consistency compared to other cable providers. Unfortunately, as it goes with most cable providers, you’ll likely only have one option in your area.

So what does high consistency do for you as a gamer? Think lower latency, less lag and faster connections. Ever played a shooter and one of the players were bouncing around, magically dodging bullets? That’s because of a laggy inconsistent connection. It’s super annoying.

Speed

After about 15 or 20 Mbps, your speed while in a game won’t matter too much (as long as it’s consistent). That means you can go with high-speed DSL or cable Internet and get by. Of course, once again, if you can get fiber, you should.

Speed really becomes a factor when it comes to downloading games and streaming media–two things the upcoming consoles from Microsoft and Sony seem to be promoting. For example, with your average fiber speed, you can download a 5GB game in about 15 minutes. No more setting a game to download in the morning so it will be ready to play that evening. A higher speed will also give you clearer media streaming on services like Netflix, with less buffering and compression.

So, yes, fiber is really as good as you’ve heard. The FCC confirmed it. If you’re serious about online gaming, and you live in a place where a fiber service is available (you lucky dog you), then you should get it. Otherwise, cable Internet or the highest of high-speed DSL will work too.

m4s0n501

    12 Comments

  1. ninjacharlieAugust 19th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Yeah, I wish fiber was in my area. I’ve had Verizon DSL for a while which has actually been pretty bad (consistency-wise). On a good day it looses connection at least once a day and has to be rebooted (a 10 minute wait). However, on a bad day the DSL looses connection 5 or 6 times.

  2. Chris HendersonAugust 19th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Ya, I hear ya Charlie. I used to live in the silicon valley, in California, and I couldn’t even get FIOS there. The best I could get was Comcast. Good news is, FIOS is growing, and will probably become more available over the next couple years.

    Also, you want to be careful of certain providers that claim to have fiber. Often times, their “fiber” is just updated copper lines, and isn’t true/pure fiber, so depending on the provider, cable may still be a better option.

  3. VinncentMarch 13th, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I hate how unavailable everything is. I used to live in a fairly large city with good internet connection for my gaming needs, but once I moved out, the only apartment available was an hour away in one of the tiniest of tiny towns I’ve ever seen. I hate small towns, but it would have been at least more bearable if they’d had some form of reliable internet. My roommate and I now have our gaming computers and absolutely no internet to make them useful anymore. We’ve been searching for internet packages since we’re more financially stable, but nothing the only thing available in this area at all is Mediacom. I’m wondering if Mediacom’s service can even handle my need to play MMOs. My roommate is also insisting upon the cheapest package but that also means it’s the shittiest package. The connection rates suck, and I’ve never had to adhere to a “monthly allowance” of GB. I think that’s ridiculous. Excuse me, but why in the hell would I want some kind of “allowance” of what I can do if I’m paying someone? There’s also the fact that they want you to shell out so much money just for a bunch of nothing that wouldn’t even let me open my game’s starting screen ONCE. I’m hoping this fiber stuff comes around soon because even IT’S cheaper than the shit we’re being offered and it actually works! But my friends in family in Los Angeles don’t even have availability to it, so I’m beginning to think it doesn’t even exist if the big LA doesn’t have it.

  4. FriMarch 29th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Bigg thanks for an incredible piece of games information.

  5. WileyApril 26th, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    What about us ppl who love to play Call of Duty Ghosts online but cannot get fiber optic where we live at and have to settle for WIFI, which is inconsistant, or some type of satalite services like Hughes Net Gen 4 or Wild Blue? Which is the best internet service provider for online gaming for unfortunate souls like me?

  6. DongleApril 28th, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Why don’t we all just bake a cake out of rainbows and good internet speed / consistency?

  7. ZackMay 3rd, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Where would Windstream be on the graph?

  8. Sean KellyMay 23rd, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Thank god FiOS is available where I’m at, over in San Diego. By the way, I tried to see what Cablevision is a month, I couldn’t even see prices because’it is not available’ in one of the largest cities in the world. *facepalm.* But seriously, without this amazing article and that amazingly boring chart, I would be at a complete loss on who to get internet/cable with!

  9. ATT haterMay 31st, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Att sucks do not even consider it.

  10. NykolaJune 24th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    So your saying either Verison or Commcast is best internet?

  11. MikeSeptember 17th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I have fios. Ever since Verizon started pushing it’s “upgrade to fios quantum” sales pitch, my service has been sketchy. I’m supposed to have high speed fios but I sill get a “service disconnected error” on a regular basis when trying to play online. Before they started pushing this “quantum” stuff I never had a problem. Verizon is taking advantage of their monopoly in this area.

  12. TheFinalTextOctober 19th, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Is fiber internet google fiber or there is something actually called fiber

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