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4 Ways To Choose A Superior Internet Provider For Gaming

Hardcore gamers are always looking for hardware advanced enough to support their favorites titles. However, many fail to place an appropriate level of attention on the one element that may give gamers an even bigger edge – the internet connection. The right internet service provider (ISP) can spell the difference between a great multiplayer gaming experience and one that is full of lag and pure frustration.

Whether it’s Modern Warfare 3 or World of Warcraft, multiplayer games require a combination of high speeds and high performance. A lack of these two basic attributes leads to lagging heavy enough to make the most patient gamer want to punch a hole in their display. Some ISP’s are able to deliver the necessary speeds and performance that others just can’t. Typically, the ISP’s best suited for multiplayer gaming include one or more of the following elements:

See Also: E3 2012 Crysis 3 Gameplay Trailer

High Upload and Download Speeds

In multiplayer gaming, quick uploading and downloading of information is absolutely essential. Games consistently upload information about a player’s current state. Downloaded information usually focuses on the performance of fellow gamers, be they teammates or competitors. The faster the information downloads, the more accurate reading a gamer can have surrounding the actions of other players. This gives players a distinct advantage, allowing them to use downloaded information to make split-second decisions.

Bandwidth Caps

A number of cable internet providers cap the amount of information that can either be uploaded or downloaded in a given period of time. Going over this limit may be possible, but it will involve some pretty hefty overage fees. It’s important to research potential bandwidth caps ahead of time, for not all services are particularly upfront about how and when they assign fees. Word of mouth may be the best tool for determining the potential for imposed caps. Ask fellow gamers about their cable internet providers and whether they’ve been hit with overage fees as a result of frequent uploading or downloading. The good news is, future data caps may be limited. According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States Justice Department is in the midst of investigating cable providers for excessive usage of caps.

Low Latency

Latency refers to any time delay experienced by a given system. In gaming, a measure of latency will generally include any time taken to encode data for transmission, deliver that data between systems, and finally, the time required to decode the data. If any one of the above processes proves slow, the entire latency measure will suffer. This means that a fast connection alone will not do much for gamers. If systems are not able to code and decode quickly, it really does not matter how fast the data travels from one place to another.

Spam Blocking

Everyone hates internet spam, but this devious form of advertising is particularly detested in gaming circles. When you’re right in the middle of an online gunfight, there’s nothing worse than having progress be completely derailed by the arrival of a pop-up ad. This can be avoided by investing in an ISP that offers superior spam blocking. Of course, depending on the games being used, excessive blocking can also be a problem. Certain ISP’s are so dedicated in their mission to block any and all spam that they end up also blocking legitimate information from gaming sites. The key is to find a balance so that there is adequate protection against spam, but not so much that all downloads are blocked.
Finding the appropriate ISP may not be easy, especially for those living in rural settings. A certain amount of trial-and-error may be required in order to obtain the perfect connection. The effort is worth it, though, for the ideal ISP can make a world of difference in the overall gaming experience.

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