How to supercharge your internet connection for cloud gaming
Call it a first world problem if you will, but a stable and speedy internet connection has become something we expect, if not demand, in today’s society. If there are any noticeable fluctuations, anomalies, or compromises to our advertised download speeds, rage quickly ensues. When our internet is working properly, however, we barely give it a passing thought. Funny that!
Of course, we all use the internet in different and more demanding ways. If you browse the web, play YouTube videos, f.e. from us, or watch Netflix in 1080p, you’re unlikely to encounter many problems that may need troubleshooting. But when it comes to playing online, streaming or cloud gaming in particular, your connection can make a monumental difference to your overall experience. Stability, latency, throughput and reliability are all suddenly factors you need to consider.
If you want to supercharge your internet connection for cloud gaming, then, it’s crucial that you do everything possible to ensure you’re taking advantage of the speeds your internet service provider has promised. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to achieve the best connection possible, shall we?
Yes, it’s incredibly convenient, and yes, you can probably use it anywhere in your house, but a Wi-Fi connection should be your last resort when it comes to cloud gaming or online gaming in general. And that’s because Wi-Fi is inherently prone to interference. If your download and upload speeds are fluctuating, you’ll notice the effects in the form of lag, hitching, video artefacts, or at worst, a complete loss of connection caused by interference.
But that’s not all. Using Wi-Fi also increases ping and latency, which affects how long it takes for traffic to get from one device to its destination. Latency is already particularly impactful for cloud gaming, so any steps you can take to reduce it will only improve your experience.
While gaming over Wi-Fi has its limits, then, if you do opt for a wireless connection you should always choose the 5GHz band over 2.4GHz whenever possible. The 5GHz band is usually far less crowded than 2.4GHz, which is commonly used by many older devices, baby monitors and wireless routers. 5GHz also offers much better throughput, meaning you can access greater speeds than the 2.4GHz channel. The downside of 5GHz, however, is that it uses shorter waves, so its range and ability to penetrate through walls and solid objects could be an issue depending on where you play.
If you’re still using the router that came free from your internet provider, you may be missing out on greater speeds and overall stability, particularly if you use Wi-Fi. Your router may only support older Wi-Fi standards, which can prevent you from getting the best possible speeds from your devices. Cheaper routers also tend to have weaker Wi-Fi coverage, leading to black spots or problem areas when used in larger homes. Make sure your router supports the latest Wi-Fi standards, including the 5GHz band to really reap the benefits.
Nothing can beat the stability and connection speed of an ethernet cable. If it’s possible to run a cable from your chosen device to your router then you absolutely should. Wired connections offer lower latency, prevent random disconnects due to interference and are faster than even the best Wi-Fi standards available, although that gap has closed in recent years. You’ll also benefit from more consistent speeds, which is always a win when it comes to cloud gaming or playing competitively online.
Plug it in
It’s clear, then, that wired is the way to go. Lower latency and a consistent connection are immensely beneficial when cloud gaming, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re always getting the best possible speeds from your service provider. Simply put, it pays to plug in, so grab an ethernet cable and get gaming!