The ultimate guide to connectivity for gamers

For any gamer having a stable and fast connection is vital. This is the case whether you are playing Fortnite on a gaming laptop or Forza Horizon 4 on a high-end bespoke gaming PC. Having the right connection matters.

That is what this article is all about. Choosing the right connection for your needs and getting the most out of it. If you want to know if fibre optic broadband for gaming is better than a regular ADSL/DSL broadband connection that is delivered using a copper cable, just read on.

Enough speed for a smooth and fast exchange of data

A smooth interchange of data between you and the gaming server is necessary for you to be able to enjoy flowing, uninterrupted gameplay. To ensure that happens your internet connection needs to have enough bandwidth to be able to send the necessary data back and forth in an uninterrupted stream.

Establishing how much speed your household needs

When working out how much bandwidth you need, bear in mind how other people in your home use the internet. If on a typical Saturday 3 of you play MOBO games while a 4th person streams Netflix downstairs, you are going to need a lot of speed to enable everyone to enjoy those activities at the same time. To work out what you need use this guide. It lists out how much download bandwidth each activity consumes on average. Just list out the most speed-hungry activity each family member does and add up the Mbps each one is likely to use. Then add a little extra capacity and shop around for a broadband deal that meets that need.

Establishing what the ping rate is

You also need to check what the minimum ping rate is. A high ping rate is one of the biggest causes of latency, which can cause lag and jittering. First, go online and establish what the ideal ping rate is for the games that people in your household play.

You then need to do some searches to establish which providers offer the best ping rates. Unfortunately, many networks still do not share this data. But you can often find out on comparison sites or via reviews and forum posts. Also, read on to find out why a fibre optic connection reduces the chances of your experiencing slow gameplay as a result of a high ping rate.

Is fibre optic really better than a copper connection for gamers?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes, at least on paper. Data travels faster along a fibre optic cable than it does along a copper one. Hundreds of times faster. Click here to learn more about the speed advantages of fibre optic.

Faster data transmission rates result in a fast ping rate, which means far fewer latency issues. That is why it is not unusual to get ping rates of under 25ms using a fibre optic cable. Whereas for an ADSL connection that is delivered over copper rates of less than 40ms are rare. The older the cable the more likely the speed will be slower and the ping rate higher.

When fibre optic cable is used the signal is also cleaner. There is no risk of static noise degrading the signal. It is also a lot more secure than copper because it is very hard to tap into.

The potential drawbacks of playing over Wi-Fi

Having a hard-wired connection to your server is always going to be better than playing over Wi-Fi. It is simple physics. A signal that travels through the air has to go through or around any physical objects it meets. Each time it does that there is a risk that the integrity of the signal will be degraded. The strength of the signal can also be diminished by the radio waves transmitted by other devices or appliances. For example, the radio waves emitted by some microwaves can be enough to interfere with a wi-fi connection. So, if you can do so, always connect your gaming PC or laptop to the router using a cable.

Boosting your wi-fi signal for better gaming

If you really want to play over Wi-Fi, consider playing somewhere that is close to your router. Generally speaking, the closer you are the better the signal will be. If it is not viable for you to do that, consider changing the position of your router or installing a network signal range extender.

Choosing the right broadband provider and connection time is important. If you do not choose wisely, changing to another provider before your contract expires is likely to prove to be very difficult. Leaving you and the rest of your household stuck trying to play games using a slow and clunky connection for 18 months, maybe longer.