How to set up your home network for the best gaming experience

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Have you ever experienced lag while playing an online multiplayer game? In a fast-paced first person shooter, you fire a shot at where you think an enemy is, only for the game to stutter for a second and you are suddenly dead. Lag, or latency, is basically when your internet connection is not performing well enough to process the data that the game is feeding it in real-time, resulting in you lagging behind the rest of the game. It is hugely frustrating and can ruin the fun of online gaming completely.

With approximately 2.2 billion active gamers across the globe, technology is being designed to cater to gamers. iPad’s and other devices will allow you to download apps, and many of the most popular games will now have this option for mobile players. With the rise of live, in-play gaming, genres like casino are continuing to grow. Stakers offer casino games that can be played in your browser, and can offer players a modern day take on many of the classics.

There are so many different types of online games, and they can all be affected by lag. In a racing game you could crash when it happens, in an RPG you could use the wrong spell and in an online casino game, you could miss what someone else has bet in a round of poker. Here are ways to minimize lag when you’re playing online to make sure that you don’t miss out.

Test your internet

This is the first step in diagnosing any issues with your connection. The key to a good internet connection is the bandwidth available. Think of your bandwidth as a physical pipe – the wider the pipe that higher the bandwidth. Connect an ethernet cable directly between your PC and your router and go to SpeedTest to have a look at your connection speed.

Get in touch with your provider

After you’ve tested your internet speed and have found it to be slow the next step might be to get in touch with your internet provider. If you were promised 50Mb download speed and you are only getting 4Mb then you have a right to complain about your service. That could result in them offering advice of their own on how to improve the performance, or perhaps they will encourage you to upgrade your service. The final decision, if you are still dissatisfied, is whether or not to switch provider.

Go wired

Even though we live in an age where wireless is all the rage, when it comes to online gaming, nothing beats a wired ethernet connection. A wired connection is faster and more consistent than a wireless one. This may be easier said than done, depending on where your PC or console is and where your router is located in the house. However, you can get very long ethernet cables which you can tape down to skirting boards to avoid them being a trip hazard.

Invest in a good router

You don’t have to use the router that your service provider gave you. You can have something better. Your router is like your connection to the main power grid – if it isn’t performing well then it can lead to issues. Standard issue routers are okay for dealing with the ordinary requirements of household internet use, but gaming will test it a bit more. Additionally, with so many smartphones, laptops and tablets in the average household, browsing the internet and streaming films, it is quite a lot for a standard router to cope with.