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Choosing an ISP for Gaming
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1Gbps! 10Gbps speed! That sounds really good and fast for my online gaming! No.

If you are choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for gaming, do not choose simply based on the speed they are offering.

Many ISPs (especially in the Asian region) have extremely bad peering causing your online gaming latencies to be higher than normal. The problem could be magnified 400% worse depending on the ISP.

Some ISPs peering are so bad that a connection to a server located in the same country as the ISP has to go through all the way to another country and loop back.

For example, the ISP I am currently using (Singtel), gives an ping of ~350ms for a server located in Europe. That is a big difference. Once I used a VPN with a good peering, the ping drops all the way to 160ms which is acceptable.

How to Choose an ISP for Gaming

1. Test your Ping using the ISP

Perhaps visit one of the ISP's sales offices with your smartphone and connect to their Wifi to test the ping.

Simply download a app such as Ping and enter the server IP address.

Note that testing ping via Wifi introduces additional latencies of up to 50ms extra. Where possible, use a desktop PC that is wired to the router for accurate results.

2. Do not go purely for speed

It DOES NOT matter for online gaming

You do not need 1Gbps speed, even 10Mbps is sufficient for online gaming.

The 1Gbps only comes to play when you download the game, not when you play the game.

Speed should be a factor, but not the highest priority.

3. Overlook the freebies

Some ISPs throw in freebies such as WTFast services (which costs an exorbitant US$9.99/mth after the free period) or powerful routers with multiple antennas.

While such routers can improve the wireless range and connectivity, they will never come with the speed enjoyed with a wired connection

4. Do not simply go for Gaming plans

For me, they were personally a marketing term.

I found that their peering was sometimes worse than other normal ISPs

5. There may not be a perfect ISP

You will need to accept this. Some ISPs give very good connectivity for a particular game while giving a bad ping for another game.

Sometimes this can be resolved by emailing them to request for better peering. 90% of the time in my case, they will send a email back asking for IP addresses, tracerts, netstat reports when all these tests can be done on their end. After I send the requested reports, they will say that "it is the best that we can do" when the problem is clearly there.

Alternatively, VPNs can solve the problem

But it adds extra charges and will also add a small additional latency as compared to routing through your ISP.

Here is a guide on how to setup a Windows VPN with Digitalocean (not the best for peering especially their Singapore datacentre, but for illustration) for US$5/mth that only forwards the IP address you specify to the VPN. In reality, it's less than 50 cents/mth if you only create the droplet when you need it.

Alternatively, you can try Mudfish which is very cheap but can be risky if your game downloads stuff using Mudfish. Mudfish works on a credit system which works for playing the game, but can use up the credits fast if you download a game using it

TIP: Are you from Singapore? You may want to try out MyRepublic for your gaming needs. Europe pings via MyRepublic is the best I have seen although I strongly recommend you test them before signing up as it may vary depending on your game.

Do you have more to share? Comment below!

Last Updated 21 Oct 2019.

Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your queries in the comments below.

This document is Copyright(©) 2019 by G.Ganesh. Visit Bootstrike.Com (http://bootstrike.com).

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