Lag Less, Play More; 5 Ways To Optimize Internet Speed For Gaming

You’re racing your car and are at the last bend or playing a first-person shooting game and you’re a single shot away from becoming the last man standing. Suddenly our screen freezes for a split second and whoops it’s all gone, you either smashed your car in the wall or you were shot before you could actually tap that button and make the kill to win it all. Looks like your internet gave up on you or slowed for a split second? Read on and get that win!

Need for Speed

Speeds around 15-20 Mbps should be enough for your gaming needs right? Sure, if you live on your own. However, if others are sharing your internet connection for browsing, or streaming a video or of course, more often than not, downloading a file. All of this eats up your bandwidth resulting in slower internet speeds for your gaming needs. More devices connected means greater bandwidth sharing and you getting less speed than desired.

Lightning-fast speeds may not always be the answers for lagging but it sure will give you the results you look for when it comes to your gaming experience. Higher speed and more bandwidth guarantees smoother gameplay!

Test it

Don’t just pay the bills for the internet you use. Keep an eye out to know the speeds you actually get. Run a speed test and if the download speed falls below 10 Mbps then you are bound to have lag. Get in touch with your ISP and have it sorted.

Ping it

Ping and latency is the key to smoother gaming experience. Latency is the time taken for your data packets to get to the server. A ping is the total time taken by a data packet to leave your device, travel to the server and return. Since the time is key, both of these are in measured in milliseconds. Why is it important here? This is how you measure “lag”.

While playing, data not only needs to be transmitted from your device but it has to received it as well. This real-time two-way communication makes latency and ping vital. When playing against other gamers, half a second is all it takes to wipe out your avatar.

Broadband plans offered are based on bandwidth, which makes it difficult to know the latency and ping status of the ISPs. Run over to your neighbor, get to a ping testing website and be sure that you get the right connection for your gaming needs. Here is a quick guide to help you check ping and latency numbers.

Latency/ping numbers 1-30ms (milliseconds) are great and should give you a great gaming experience.

Latency number between 31and 60ms is still good. You may experience lag depending on the game you play.

A latency number in the range of 61 and 100 is just okay. You are going to have lag in every game you play.

A latency number of 100ms and higher is terrible and you may not be able to play at all.

Get Wired

Ethernet is the best way to prevent packet loss and to make sure that you get the best speed. Wi-Fi is prone to disconnections, interferences, and lag. This is not where it ends you may also experience total internet loss. Every second matters, imagine you running around going to check the reason for your internet outage. Come back having it fixed with the game over message flashing on your screen. Get yourself a wire and minimize the chances of any weak signals and interferences.

Stable, secure and fast connections are not just enough. In most cases, CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cabling proves more stable with less interference. If you have a bunch of CAT5e lying around, use that. However, CAT6 offers less interference over longer distances than CAT5e. The following chart will give you a better idea of the network speeds supported.

CategorySupported  Bandwidth/Speed
CAT610 Gbps
CAT7100 Gbps

Traffic Control

Let’s be honest, you’re not the only one in your home that uses the internet. Your partner might be streaming movies, seasons or shows on Netflix. Or your children might be watching their favorite animal doing funny things or their favorite cartoons.  Not to mention downloading large files. All of this takes away the sweet bandwidth you pay for and creates lag.

Now that we know the trouble, what should be done about it? If it were road traffic a traffic cop would show up and regulate the traffic to resume the flow. Data might not work exactly like cars, but the analogy is apt enough to help clarify the concept of lag. Just as vehicles need to be routed appropriately we need a device that does this for data.

Quality of Service or QoS is bandwidth management to a priority device. Yes, this is possible you can get the lion’s share of the bandwidth that your house gets. This can either be done by getting a device that prioritizes one device over the other or simply one application against the other.

Drivers Ready to Roll

There always something going on in the background that causing slow internet. Drivers and firmware have the ability to not only slow down the system but also eat up all-important bandwidth. Keep an eye on their updates. Disable auto-updates and keep them updated to avoid lags caused by downloading during the game.

Optimizing your network can be complicated and is often learned by trying and failing. These tips can surely be helpful to keep your network up and running smoothly. So lag less and play more!