The Best Internet Providers for Gaming in 2017

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.

The Winners

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.

 

 

 

How Much Internet do I Really Need?

We probably just love to boast that our internet speed is so fast it can literally blow off the hairs on your head. But the real question here is if you should be paying more for a faster internet?  What if you are paying for 12 Mbps and, on a daily basis, your household only consumes 8 Mbps of those at the toughest of times?

On the other hand, we like it or not, when it comes to stability, well, let´s just say that internet is like those fad relationships you have been in.  Sometimes you are going super fast and that 45 Gig game downloaded in record time but others, the Roku started to buffer in the best part of the Netflix movie.

Let´s take a look at the advice of some experts regarding the amount of internet you need when it comes to your overall activities.

How does Internet Speed add up

First, little basics.  The bandwidth you pay for gets distributed among your devices based on need.  Now, you can make a partition to assign a certain amount of bandwidth to a specific device, but why would you want to do that?  Plus, not all ISPs might give you enough administrative privileges to do that.

So, in easy terms, if your Netflix device is using 25 Mbps and you have a connection of 30 Mbps, you will have those extra 5 Mbps for the rest of the house.  Which is fine, since not many devices use that much bandwidth.

Video Streaming

Video streaming is one of the activities that spends the most bandwidth.  Netflix says, for instance, that you need a 5Mbps bandwidth to stream in HD.  This is a rough average since you could do with less speed but if that is the only speed you have available, sending an email might make your stream buffer.

Now, if you are planning on streaming ultra-HD at 4K, you might want to consider packages that offer more than 25 Mbps.  That is the amount of bandwidth required for such streaming.

Online Video Gaming

If you are a hardcore gamer and love to do online gaming, our guess is that a 25 Mbps of download speed should be good.  Even if you stream video games, that amount should be enough.  Just remember that online gaming or video game streaming will usually take up all of your bandwidth.

Other Activities

Your ISP provider will probably want you to take up their most expensive package and the fastest speed.  As stated before,  you should consider your household.  Plus, a faster connectivity does not always mean a faster connection.  Some websites might limit the download bandwidth they allow, giving you a slow downloading.  So much for a super fast speed.

Experts agree that, for an average household, you should not be paying for anything above 20×5.  That is 20 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.  If you are paying for a 100 Mbps download speed, you will not always be using all that bandwidth but whenever you have 4 devices all connected to Netflix, for example, you will have what you need at that moment.  This is like having a car that can speed up to 160 mph but you nearly never go at that speed.

The Best Satellite Internet Providers of 2017

As the year comes closer to end, we present the best satellite internet providers of 2017 based on what matters the most:  speed.  Then we consider options, amount of data, and fees.  Now, one must remember that streaming from space means, well, less speed.  But when it comes to sat internet providers, there are two major names in the industry:  HughesNet and Exede Internet.

Now, one must remember that streaming from space means, well, less speed.  But when it comes to sat internet providers, there are two major names in the industry:  HughesNet and Exede Internet.

Let us take a look at 4 of the top satellite internet providers of 2017.  Now, there is a reason why we mention that there are only two giants in the market and that is because HughesNet bought Earthlink and Exede Internet purchased  Wildblue.  Now, with no further ado, here is the list of top 5.

HughesNet

When it comes to internet speed, HughesNet steps far from its nearest competitor, Exede Internet.  While Exede offers a bandwidth of 12 MBps HughesNet offers a speed of 25 MBps.

In 2016, the company offered, through its fourth-generation service (Gen4), a top download speed of 15 MBps.  This year they came stronger with a top download speed of 25 MBps and upload of 3 MBps with its fifth-generation (Gen5) service.

But that is not it.  HughesNet not only increased the speed of its cheapest plan, it did so without increasing the price, which is one of the reasons why it is here at the top of this list.

Exede Internet

The first runner-up used to be the top one.  But that changed in 2017 when HughesNet increases their speed.  Exede Internet´s top speed is 12 MBps, offered in all the plans.  Back in 2016, that posed some threat to HughesNet, but that changed with the company’s increase in speed.

Now, Exede does offer a 25 MBps upgrade but it is not readily available.  If you find that the upgrade is available in your zip code, you have to pay an extra $10 to your plan.  Does not sound like much availability.

DishNet

DishNet has available plans for a variety of uses.  These plans are basic, intermediate, and premium. They pretty much fit any budget.  The base plan, for instance, gives users a download speed of 5 MBps and 1 MBps of upload.  When it comes to data, the smallest offer is 5GB but you get a late-night bandwidth of 50 GB that you can use from 2 am to  8 am.  They are not easy hours truly but they can help you catch up with downloads or with Netflix streaming.

Wildblue

Wildblue has the advantage of having the largest selection of plans so you will surely find something you like.  But compared to other providers, it has significantly less bandwidth.   On the other hand, Wildblue offers satellite internet coverage across the contiguous United States and Alaska and Hawaii.

Earthlink

Earthlink offers more anytime bandwidth than its competitors but the basic and premium plans only offer 1 Mbps for upstreaming. But you can still enjoy a higher bandwidth and satellite internet than any other service in your lineup.  The basic and premium plans can offer a speed of 6 Mbps.