Internet Speed You Need for Online Gaming | Definitive Guide

If you are into online games, web streaming, or you work from home, you know your internet speed is essential. You might be wondering how much speed you need for online gaming? How much speed do you require for streaming smoothly? It’s not an easy question to answer since Internet access is a moving target. At times, you will experience lightning internet speed on your gaming tablet or laptop, and sometimes you will experience slow tortoise speeds.

You want to make the most out of your broadband bundle, so if you’re a frequent gamer, getting the right internet gaming speed is essential to reduce latency, to enjoy online video games. If you’re a professional gamer, in this article, we have discussed everything you need to know to have the best gaming experience every time, along with some troubleshooting tips.

Factor To Consider In Internet Speed for Online Gaming

While each game and device has specific requirements, the three factors that most affect the game lag are download speed, upload speed, and latency. When you’re deciding how much speed you need, you should know about the following three factors to have a smooth gaming experience.

Download upload speed

1. Download Speed

Download speed is the rate in which data transmits from the internet to your device or game console. The maximum rate that you will download data is the bandwidth, expressed in Megabits per second (Mbps). The more bandwidth you have, the faster you can download big files.

All devices on your connection share bandwidth. Most home Internet typically has no trouble handling several standard tasks at the same time. Videos and online games generally use the most bandwidth. The majority of online games require bandwidth ranging from 1 to 5 Mbps. You will usually experience the highest download speeds at night when the internet traffic is low.

Bandwidth is typically a game-related matter only when you decide to download a massive game. Bandwidth is directly proportional to your download speed, the more the bandwidth, the faster download speed you will get.

2. Upload Speed

The upload speed is the speed at which your computer transmits data to the server. For example, if you are uploading a photo on Facebook. The upload speed is the time it takes for all the information within your post to travel from your device to Facebook’s server.

The best speeds for Internet uploads for games are always much higher than other activities because the information from your gaming system is continuously forwarded to the server when you are playing. When we’re talking about online game sessions, you’ll transfer big files or use video chat, and for that, you will need an even faster upload speed to connect with your team members.

Upload speed is how quickly the computer transfers data to servers. If the upload speed is decent, then your PC will transfer instant input from your console to the software online right when you click the button on your controller, offering the best gaming experience.

3. Latency

To enjoy a smooth lag-free gaming experience, you need to achieve low latency. When the ping is 1000ms or higher, you will experience slow overall gameplay. Games with critical time frames, like FPS and racing games, often suffer drastically from a high-latency experience. All in all, high-latency ruins the gaming experience.

Contrary to common thought, fast internet speed is not enough to keep the latency low.  You might be enjoying a high-speed connection, and even a PC specifically built for online gaming but still face terrible ping values.

You should always run a speed check as not all games show your ping speed. A 20ms ping value or lower indicates a decent latency rate. A rate of 20 to 100ms would still offer you smooth gameplay, but will not provide you with the most exceptional performance, especially in the games where timing is most important. A slower but yet workable ping is 100-150ms, but anything above 150ms would undoubtedly contribute to a visible latency that creates a lot of irritation.

You also have to remove ISP issues. For the best results in online gaming, you need a secure Internet connection over 2Mbps and wired connection. Wireless routers and devices may be perfect for regular usage but do not provide the reliability that an online game requires.

Internet Connection Types for Online Gaming

You need to find the optimal connection type for the perfect gaming experience. Below are some types of connections you can opt from:

1. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL uses regular copper phone lines, which are good since most of us have a house that is wired for a telephone. DSL Internet is standard, even in remote areas, as almost every part of the world has access to telecommunications services.

A maximum speed of 115 Mbps is the highest of any provider and is way over what most users require. Downloading of HD content requires about 5 Mbps while playing games on Xbox requires between 2-10 Mbps. The maximum speed of the DSL differs depending on the supplier and the plan. Expensive plans deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps, and the cheaper ones offer speeds of close to 10 Mbps or less.

2. Fiber Optic Cable

The optical fiber side is a newer technology, in which the data transmits through pulses of light via pipes made of glass. You should know that cable carriers have a fiber optic backbone these days.

While data would appear to travel faster through the fiber, the glass’ refractive properties slow down and are around 31% slower than air travel, so that the speed is more comparable with that of the electrons in a coaxial cable.

There is less need for amplifiers, however, as data-carrying photons can spread beyond electrical connections that have to deal with wire resistance. In terms of bandwidth, fiber connections are superior. As far as gaming is concerned, you can easily download games more quickly, as in most cases, they offer a fatter pipe for download as well as uploads.

3. Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable, also referred to as coax cable, is an electric cable that transmits radio frequency signals from one point to another. The technology has been around for over 100 years, with these cables used primarily for connecting satellite antenna systems to homes and businesses due to their reliability and simple installation.

Coaxial cable transmission speed is 10Mbps (megabit per second), and 80 times higher transmission capacity than twisted cables. Coaxial cables are a common choice because they have a shielded design that allows the core conductor to transmit data while protecting against damage quickly. Coaxial cable functions by carrying data to the center conductor while the surrounding protective layers avoid any loss of signals and help minimize EMI.

4. Satellite

Satellite Internet is an Internet type that offers Internet users on the ground utilizing the dish. The plus side of this internet method is that the internet is accessible in remote areas. Mainly, people do not use the internet through cable or other equipment. Satellites come at affordable prices and wide-range coverage.

5. Mobile Network

It helps the user to access the Internet via a cell network, as the name suggests. These have a poor price-speed ratio and may also suffer from network-based stability problems.

If you wish to have a secure, uninterrupted connection, you should go with either fiber, coaxial, or DSL connections. But, note that while it is a common thought that coaxials are better than DSL, and optical fibers. In reality, a DSL ISP in your region may be faster and more reliable than its competitors that depend on coaxial cables. Before making your decision, make sure you conduct some local research.

Wired vs. Wireless Network

Difference BETWEEN Wired and Wireless Network

Personal and small business computing networks use both wired and wireless technologies. For houses and enterprises, Wired Ethernet was once the preferred option. However, Wi-Fi and other wireless options are currently prevalent in homes, while many businesses still rely on wired networks. Both approaches have benefits over one another.  To help you determine which one is better for you, both of them are discussed below:

Wired Network

The term “wired” applies to a physical cable medium. The cables may consist of copper wire, twisted pair, or optical fiber. Specific types of electrical signals are transported from one side to the other via a wired network. Mostly in wired networks, one internet connection is being taken using a T1 line, cable modem, or using any other means.  This connection is shared between many users utilizing the framework of a wired network.

File-sharing transfer speeds are usually faster with wired networks than with wireless networks. The rate may also vary considerably depending on your location concerning the system. Also, the overall speed of a wired connection is usually much faster than a wireless one. Also, in the case of wireless networks, the network connection gets worse as you move away from the router, which can be a problem in a large building or space.

Wireless Network

The term “Wireless” refers to a medium made of electromagnetic waves or infrared waves. Devices, including mobile phones, wireless sensors, satellite dish receivers, laptops with WLAN cards, etc. all are examples of wireless devices. All wireless devices are equipped with antennas or sensors. The wireless network does not use wires for data or voice communication; it uses radiofrequency waves.

In wireless networks, users can also use other devices that are networked without cording to a port to share files and services. Not having to lay a lot of cables and put them through walls etc. can be a considerable advantage in terms of time and expense. It also makes it easier to add additional devices to the network, as no new cables are needed.

If you are on a budget, need the best performance, and don’t care about mobility, you probably need a wired Ethernet LAN. If you can afford a bit costly connection and you want to connect multiple devices with one network, then you need a wireless LAN.

How Much Internet Speed Do You Need for Gaming?

Best Internet Speed You Need For Gaming

Online gaming is one of the few things that require fast internet upload speed. This is because your activities are uploaded to a server to access and communicate with other players. When no one else in the house is using up the bandwidth, the minimum Internet speed requirements for playing are usually 4-8 Mbps.

Sadly, sluggish internet plans will not give you consistently decent upload speed. If you are the only user using the network, then you will need a 25 Mbps internet plan for low latency surf. Speed is not, however, the only thing relevant in gaming: ping and latency also play a part.

Enhance your Wi-Fi signal to make your internet faster in your house. Restarting your router or moving it will increase the signal and stabilize it. You may also add a Wi-Fi extender or repeater to boost your router’s internet signal for gaming devices. For gamers, it is vital to take care of ping time as you upload and download a significant amount. Target 20 milliseconds or less for ping time, but you can get by with 20–100 milliseconds.

Improve and Secure your Network

You must conduct certain elements to improve your connectivity when your connection is not necessarily on a fibered network.  Usually, if its functionality is slightly weak and has a conventional appearance, you should consider replacing your router immediately.

You should also carefully monitor your modem’s ADSL light. When the LED keeps on blinking all the time, it is an indicator that the ADSL line configuration is faulty, which is why it needs to be changed.

One way to enhance communication is to reduce interference from sources such as wireless speakers, microwave ovens, and smartphone chargers. Be sure to keep these devices away from your modem. Finally, you can use microfilters from the wall jack to the phone and even modem to reduce the unwanted noise on the phone line.

You will suffer a security risk when you leave your wireless internet without protection. The best way to avoid freeloaders from accessing your network is to make sure your password is secure and that your network signals are always encrypted.


Bottom Line

The minimum download and upload speed for PC online gaming is 3-6 Mbps and 0.75-1 Mbps respectively. The maximum acceptable ping rate is between 100 and 150 milliseconds. Now you know everything to ensure a smooth online gaming experience-speed, latency, and connection types.

Other factors like a remote host, an overloaded network, bad weather, etc. also affect the connection. However, you need not worry about it, provided that your connection is sufficiently secure and meets the minimum speed requirements. It is essential to use these figures as a guide only, to realize that PCs come in all types of different varieties, and the kind of machine you use will affect your minimum online gaming speed requirements.

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