As technology advances, the options for choosing an internet service provider grow year by year. Dial-up used to be the main transfer type, but now customers can connect to the internet via cable, satellite, DSL, fiber optics and fixed wireless. Let's take a look at the different choices to see which transfer type is the best for online gaming.
Choices for an internet connection
- Fiber: The best solution is a fiber connection. With fiber, you won’t have to deal with much lag, and your upload speeds will be just as fast as your download speeds. The two most widely available providers that have fiber internet are AT&T and Frontier. AT&T and Frontier both offer fiber download speeds as fast as 1000 Mbps. To find out which fiber providers are available in your area, type in your zip code here.
- Cable: Next up is cable, which is the next best option after fiber. Cable providers offer speeds up to 1000 Mbps. Unfortunately, the bandwidth is normally shared with other people in your area, which means the speed can decrease or be throttled by the provider during peak use. Overall though, cable is the best option if fiber isn’t available in your area. Ping with a cable connection is usually around 20-50ms. Xfinity and Spectrum are good options for cable since they offer download speeds similar to fiber.
- DSL: The next option is DSL. This will only work for gaming if you live close to the provider and have an internet connection with download speeds of at least 12 Mbps. DSL sends the signal through phone lines, and the quality of the signal deteriorates over distance. If you live too far from the provider, you’ll probably experience intermittent connection dropouts. The ping for a DSL connection is usually between 100 and 300ms. Unless cable and fiber are unavailable to you, we wouldn’t recommend DSL for gaming.
- Fixed Wireless: Fixed wireless will be a suitable connection for gaming in some areas. The strength of the connection depends on several factors, like weather, your distance from the provider’s tower, and how many people are using the fixed wireless connection at once. When too many people are using the same fixed wireless connection, you might experience lag and a slower connection.
- Satellite: Satellite internet is not a good option for gaming. There will always be a lot of lagging with this connection, which will make your gaming experience very frustrating. Satellite providers also have very small data limits, so you might run out of data very quickly if you game regularly. As the slowest connection around, you won't be able to do any serious gaming.