Important Internet Factors For Online Gamers
Online gaming is probably the most accessible, data-filled way to understand how sensitive the internet can be. Since your gameplay at the very least relies on a connection--but often relies on a stable connection--anything but the most stable connection can lead to serious annoyance and a drive to know more. Here are a few internet factors that matter for gamers, along with troubleshooting scenarios to keep in mind.
Understanding Speed And Internet Use
Many internet advertisements boast high speeds as a major selling point, but that's only part of the picture for online gamers. Although you shouldn't deal with a slow internet connection either, it can be hard to figure out which speeds matter--or why your game still has problems with the fastest speeds available.
Home internet use can be thought of as pumping water from a well. The well isn't infinite, and it can only go at a certain speed. Connect a hose to the pump and you can get a solid feed of water to do one task, but add multiple hoses and each hose will have a slower speed than using a single hose.
If you're playing online games and doing nothing else on the internet, you only need a fast enough connection for the game. Unfortunately, not many people do single tasks on the internet; many households--even single-person households--will play a game while browsing the internet, playing a video on YouTube, streaming something on Netflix or Hulu, or downloading files.
You'll need a fast enough connection for everything, and that takes a bit of calculation. Thankfully, the average internet speed in the United States is faster than most people need to do all but the most bandwidth--the term for internet capacity--intensive activities. This usually means downloading huge games, movies, and other files on a nearly 24-hour basis while performing other tasks.
The meaning of "huge" is always changing, but as 2018 begins, a few dozen gigabytes (GB) is usually enough to keep a connection busy and hampered. If you're not downloading 10-20GB files on a near-hourly basis, the average speed is fine.
Consistency And Online Gaming
With online gaming, your data need to reach the server in time, and the server data needs to reach you in time. This is especially important in persistent world online games such as Rift, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy. It's extremely important in shooting games such as CounterStrike, ARMA, and Call of Duty, where a single bullet can end your gameplay.
Such games achieve real-time gameplay by measuring information response time in milliseconds. There is a bit of correction in the hundreds or tens of milliseconds to the point where many gamers seek a millisecond count of under 20ms--or more accurately, anything over 20ms being garbage--but some games such as persistent world games have longer combat goals and allow more time for delays.
If your connection is delayed because of hardware or general internet services issues, such specific measurements won't matter. The worst connections on wireless internet or on highly-corrupted connection streams will reach the hundreds or thousands of milliseconds, or disconnect.
At your computer, all you can do is scan for viruses and make sure that no one else is downloading too much. If you have a low internet connection of less than half the national average, it's time to upgrade. Beyond that, just contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help and check to see if other players are having issues with the game itself.
Contact an internet access provider to discuss speed, consistency, and performance issues with specific online games.