Interested In Online Gaming? Your Computer Needs Reliable Internet

Posted on: 27 July 2015

The worlds of high-speed Internet, computer processing power and the entertainment industry have combined in unique ways to create a special niche of gaming: online gaming. From First-Person Shooters (FPS) giving the thrill of wartime strategy to the fantasy realms of Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Games (MMORPG), there are many different games out there that can give you an awesome gameplay experience with people all over the world. To be ready for the gaming experience of a lifetime, you'll need a computer and Internet support that can handle the gaming demands. If you don't want to buy every random suggestion for better online performance, keep a few online gaming needs in mind.

Why Does Internet Matter For Gaming?

Getting connected to a game is only the start. In order to be effective at your game and to stay connected to a game, you need more than a fast connection; the Internet needs to be consistent.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) focus on raw speed because speed is what matters for most Internet users. Watching online videos, visiting websites and checking email only require a certain amount of consistency to guarantee that the Internet connection doesn't disconnect. Some ISPs are still failing at this basic task. Online gamers, unfortunately, need more.

When you play an online game, there is a continuous process called a handshake. At its most basic form, an Internet handshake takes the form of four steps:

  1. Your computer contacts the game server through the game.
  2. The game server acknowledges your presence.
  3. The game server sends a response.
  4. Your computer receives the response.

These four steps are performed constantly and at a fast pace. There are messages being sent back and forth between your computer and the server, such as what your character is doing, what other players are doing and what is happening with the non-player characters (NPCs, such as monsters, computer-controlled soldiers or treasure chests with random loot).

Just like downloading a file or a video, these messages are information that needs to go across the Internet. It needs to happen quick enough to feel like real-time action, otherwise you or the game server will lag. Lag is usually represented by players running in place, abilities not running, disconnecting or suddenly being dead when your computer catches up with the server's messages.

Is It The ISP Or Your Computer?

If your computer's upload (sending from your computer to the Internet) or download (receiving from the Internet to your computer) are too slow, or if the Internet connection has constant data that is too short to completely disconnect you, lag can ruin your experience. A computer services professional can work with you and your ISP to find out if you need a better Internet package or other improvements.

Internet speed and consistency problems are not only caused by poor ISP performance. If someone else on your Internet connection is using too much of the available Internet capacity (bandwidth), you may not be able to send and receive updates to and from the game server fast enough. If you have a virus, it could be stealing a lot of information or downloading more files to corrupt your system, which can use up Internet capacity.

You may even have outdated or damaged equipment. Networking devices such as routers and modems change every few years with massive leaps in speed, and can be physically damaged due to heat from a lack of cleaning or poor design. Before buying any new devices or Internet speed upgrades, contact a computer services professional to sort out the real problem.