In many households, gaming is an important aspect of daily life. As more exciting features are added to video games such as online multiplayer, or video game streaming, these become more dependable on a powerful internet connection. But how powerful is good enough for gaming? And, what are the best internet providers for gaming in 2017?
Factors that we Consider
It is not only about having a fast speed connection. It is also about stability and reliability. Because when it comes to an online multiplayer, if you cannot pause it, you can’t either ditch it. So, to select the best ISPs for gaming we consider:
- Latency. More than how fast a connection downloads, the time that it takes for data to travel matters more.
- Packet loss is when data fails to reach its destination. This happening will really affect your gaming experience.
- Actual download speed (compared to advertised). Arguably, download speed is the second most important thing when it comes to gaming. Not all companies deliver the download speed they advertise. Using data from the FCC report, one can see which companies actually deliver and in what percent. Optimum, for instance, delivers more than advertised while clients from Windstream only get 42% of what is advertised. Now, a 3 Mbps connection is the least you need, just make sure that if somebody is binge-watching Netflix, they leave you enough bandwidth.
- Actual upload speed (compared to advertised). This is also important and it has an effect on latency. This is important if you are streaming your video gaming. But even if you do not, you might want to know which companies are actually delivering on this.
Considering all of the above aspects, it was not really too hard to select the best. Here are the winners.:
- Verizon Fios was easily found to be the best ISP for gaming. The latency of this provider is at around 15 milliseconds and when it comes to actual/advertised speed ratio, it goes at 92%. Fios also has really good upload speeds and their packet loss is at a very low 0.20%.
- Optimum (former Cablevision) has the lowest latency of all the ISPs studied. Latency is about 14 milliseconds, it has an actual/advertised download speed of 101%, and has a packet loss of 0.10%. The reason why Optimum is not our first place is that being cable internet, it suffers congestion during peak hours. When it comes to availability, it is worse than Verizon, which is shortly available itself.
- Comcast Xfinity. When it comes to online gaming, many believe that Comcast Xfinity is the best. The worst downside of this company is the terrible customer service. It has a latency of 22 milliseconds, it delivers 92 % of actual-to-advertised download speed and has a packet loss of 0.10%. The reason why it is considered the best is that it is available in much more areas than the first two. So, this one is probably available in your area.