How to optimize your internet speed for gaming 

Fezile Biyela
Internet Provider Comparisons

Like most of the world, Americans are turning to the net for their entertainment needs. Whether you’re browsing social media, streaming videos or online gaming — your internet speed has to keep up with you, and your internet plan should be bought with your specific activities in mind.

While everyone enjoys quick and efficient internet, some online hobbies require more bandwidth than others. And playing games online is one of the most bandwidth-intensive activities you can get up to on the net.

So, how can you optimize your internet for gaming? Read on to find out!

Or, if you’re just looking for some of the best internet deals out there, see our comparison page for the quickest way to compare provider offerings.

The growing popularity of online gaming

Online gaming has boomed in popularity over the past few years, and there’s no chance it’s slowing down.

The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have played a major role in the massive expansion of the online gaming industry in 2020 and 2021, with 82% of global consumers saying they played video games and watched video game content during the height of the pandemic lockdowns.

Believe it or not, watching gamers play online is more popular than watching sports for 18 –25 year-olds. So it’s no surprise that the online gaming market is expected to grow in revenue and is sitting as one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

With 2.95 billion people playing online, the results are in, and gaming is no longer reserved for geeks.

What are the most popular online games in 2023?

1. Apex Legends

2. Among Us

3. Fortnite Battle Royale

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

5. League of Legends

6. Call of Duty Mobile ‍

7. Hearthstone‍

8. Minecraft‍

9. PUBG‍

10. Call of Duty Warzone

[Source: ]

10 ways to optimize your internet for gaming and avoid lag

If you’re playing online games –you really do need a good connection. Whether you’re doing it competitively or for fun, a slow internet speed can cost you a win or result in frustrating playing conditions.

So, how can you get the most out of your internet for gaming?

1. Use an ethernet cable

While not as convenient or mobile as Wi-Fi, Ethernet gives you a direct connection to your internet, without lag or high latency. If you want the fastest connection, grab some high-speed cables and get gaming.

2. Check your internet speed and bandwidth

Speed is key. You need to know what speed you’re working with. A slow upload and download speed can decrease your ease of play. If you’re a hardcore gamer playing visually demanding or multi-player games —you’re going to want a speed of 200Mbps for superior play.

3. Check your bandwidth

If you have many connected devices using the internet, you may end up straining the bandwidth - and you'll experience lag and internet traffic. Consider upgrading your internet package or minimizing how many devices are connected at a time.

4. Aim for low latency

Latency (or ping) is the speed in milliseconds that shows the quality of your connection. High latency is basically the delay in the time it takes for your internet signal to “get to you” from your ISP’s server. Low latency will give you a strong, reliable connection for online gaming. You should aim for 20 –40ms latency and you can also improve your latency by prioritizing your gaming device from your router.

5. Move closer to your router, or purchase a gaming router for your gaming console or PC

We’ve given you tips to improve your internet speed, and moving your router is one of the easiest ways to better your connection.

Your router emits a Wi-Fi signal that can only travel so far. The further you are from your router, the weaker and slower the signal becomes —and this is especially noticeable when gaming. If you want to get the most out of your internet speeds for gaming, get closer to your router or upgrade to a gaming router.

6. Close background websites and programs

Possibly one of our simplest tips. Simply close websites and programs you’re not using. This means online ads and pop-ups aren’t eating up your bandwidth —and your Wi-Fi is being used where you need it.

7. Play on a local server

To avoid delays, make sure you’re playing on the server closest to you. This will give you lower latency (delay).

8. Restart, replace or reboot your router

Router technology degrades with time and use. To make sure your router is performing at its best – reboot it, so it’s using the optimal channel for your Wi-Fi, or consider an upgrade if that doesn't work.

9. Upgrade your Wi-Fi internet plan/package

Upgrading your internet plan will not only increase internet speed, but it will also enhance your gaming experience. Gaming is bandwidth-heavy, and if you’re on a 25Mbps line, you’re probably not going to get great gaming internet speeds. Ideally, you should have a 200Mbps line if you’re a big-time gamer. There are several internet providers that offer great packages for gamers - such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Frontier.

10. Get an extender to improve your Wi-Fi connection

If you live in a large space, or your router isn’t powerful enough to reach all areas of your home —an extender will really come in handy. Extenders are little devices that amplify the signal from your router and give you a stronger connection.

What are the best internet speeds for gaming?

“What internet speed do I need for gaming?” Simple - the faster your internet, the better.

While a 25 Mbps bandwidth could suffice for low-graphic or mobile games, we don’t recommend going lower if you’re playing artwork-rich multi-player games.

And, if you are indulging in multi-player games connected to online servers, make sure your latency is low. As low as 20 –40ms latency is what you should aim for, but you can do all right with up to 100ms.

Test your speed and latency here.

Does upload speed affect online gaming?

Yes, your upload speed can affect your gaming experience. A high upload speed will mean less lag and a better gaming experience.

3 ways to reduce ping to improve internet speed for gaming

When you’re indulging in online gaming, the last thing you want is a high ping. A high ping means delays between your device and the server —and that can ruin your game.

A low ping will reduce internet lag and give you a much smoother playing experience. And, there are a few things you can do to help:

1. Use an Ethernet connection

An Ethernet cable gives you a faster and more reliable internet connection for gaming than Wi-Fi does. So, if possible — connect your PC or console to your router with an Ethernet cable for the best possible gaming experience.

2. Update your local network drivers

If you have an older computer or graphics card, updating your drivers can help improve your ping time. If you don’t know how to do this, there's tons of research that exists online to help you. Simply key in your search on Google, and you'll be set in minutes. Thank you, technology!

3. Use a gaming VPN

A gaming VPN will create a private network between your device and the game server. This means there are fewer people on the network —and that can lead to lower latency (ping).

Fiber Internet vs Cable vs 5G: Which broadband type is better for gaming?

The truth is, any broadband type can be good for gaming — it all comes down to your connection speed.

That being said, if you want the most consistent and lowest possible latency (ping), we recommend a fiber wireless connection.

Fiber internet connections are faster and more reliable than both cable and 5G. So, if you’re a serious gamer who wants the best possible gaming experience, fiber is the way to go.

2.4 Ghz vs. 5 Ghz: Which is better for gaming?

The answer to this question really depends on the type of game you’re playing.

If you’re playing a fast-paced first-person shooter, you’ll want the lowest possible latency (ping) — and for that, we recommend 5 Ghz.

However, if you’re playing a strategy game or something that doesn’t require split-second reflexes, 2.4 Ghz should be just fine.

Do I need a gaming PC to play online games?

No, you don’t need a gaming PC to play online games. You can play most online games on a regular computer or laptop.

However, if you want the best possible gaming experience, we recommend investing in a gaming PC. Gaming PCs are designed specifically for gaming and can give you an edge over other players.

What does QoS mean?

QoS (Quality of Service) is a feature on some routers that allows you to prioritize certain types of traffic. So, if you want your gaming traffic to take priority over other traffic on your network, you can enable QoS.

Enabling QoS can help reduce lag and improve your internet connection for gaming.

Enjoy online gaming with the right internet plan

If you’ve been bitten by the online gaming bug, you’re not alone. Masses have moved online for their entertainment and gaming needs.

And avid online gamers know that the right internet for gaming is crucial to great play.

When you want high internet speeds for gamer internet, you can try all the tips and tricks, but if all else fails –you may just be in need of a better deal.

Get great gameplay. See Homelinkd’s great range of high-speed internet deals, here.

Written by:
Fezile Biyela
Digital Writer

Hi, I’m Fez. A chai-drinking, worship-singing, and words-loving copywriter. I’m a digital native obsessed with staying connected with the world around me. That’s why you’re seeing me here – helping you stay connected. Happy reading!

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