Video games - Xbox and PS4

Home broadband for gamers:  Everything you need to consider

It’s no secret that internet gaming has taken over a majority of homes, thanks to its popularity which spans across a range of ages and genders. What this means is now people are specifically looking for home broadband packages that will allow them to enjoy PC gaming in their spare time without the hassle of a lagging connection or slow download speeds.

So, what exactly do you have to keep in mind when comparing broadband packages, and deciding which one will be the most suitable for someone who enjoys PC gaming? Read on to find out.

Monthly data allowance

Whether you enjoying playing offline or prefer to instead stream games, you’ll want a home broadband package with a generous monthly data allowance, ideally, one that offers unlimited data usage per month. This is because cloud gaming and downloading games will both eat up large amounts of data, with the download of a single data often being enough to max out broadband packages with smaller data caps.

Internet speed

While the speed of your broadband connection doesn’t have an effect on gameplay when it comes to PC games, these days most gamers prefer online gaming which does require a fast internet connection, especially if you are a fan of online multiplayer games. A fast internet connection will also come in handy if you find yourself regularly downloading games for offline play as these are often very large files which can take far longer to download, should your internet speed not be up to scratch.

Latency and packet loss

Latency and packet loss can both significantly impact your gaming experience.

Put into simple terms, latency refers to the response time of a connection, the speed of which can massively impact an online gaming experience through a delay between when you press a button and when that action is actually registered on screen. As gaming relies on quick reflexes, the last thing you want is your broadband connection letting you down at a crucial moment.

Latency isn’t the only issue you could run into when it comes to data transfer. Packet loss could also affect your gaming experience. When this happens it means that data has either been discarded or lost in transit while travelling to or from a server. Common signs of packet loss include your game freezing or staggering during play and while some minor packet loss is to be expected, it this occurs too often, online games could become unplayable.

With both latency and packet loss, you want to look for broadband providers that have the lowest levels of both, as this will significantly improve the quality of your play.

Contention ratio

Contention ratio is something most internet users have never heard of, let alone gamers, but a phrase that you’ll definitely want to keep in mind. The ratio shows how many other internet users share the same main broadband connection as you, within your immediate areas. As an example, a contention ratio of 100:1 means that 100 houses are all sharing the main. While this isn’t usually a problem, during peak times it can significantly reduce your download and upload speeds as everyone else will be using the line at the same time as you. Thankfully, the contention ratio is becoming less and less of a problem these days, especially with the introduction of fibre optic lines that can handle much higher user demand without a drop in speed.

Photograph by The Xomil