How to Test the Quality of Your ISP for Online Gaming

By | January 24, 2016

One of the benefits of living in the modern age is the awesomeness of gaming. The graphics are amazing, the worlds are wide and the Internet speeds are fast—most of the time, anyway.

If you’ve ever had the signal cut out in the middle of an important battle, causing you to get killed and let down your entire team of close friends, then you know the pain of a poor Internet connection all too well. No matter why you’re using the Internet, you want it to work properly, but it’s especially important when your game is on the line. That’s why testing the quality of your Internet connection on a regular basis is a good idea.

A Solid Connection: Quality Internet for a Smooth Gaming Experience

It’s obvious that you need a good connection to the Internet if you want your game to run smoothly. However, the level of quality you’ll require is dependent on the type of gaming you’re into. If the games you enjoy are very simple, you’ll be able to get away with a bit less. If you enjoy complex, fast-paced games, such as first-person shooters, then you’ll need a higher-quality connection.

Good options for gamers include:

  • Cable.
  • DSL.
  • Fiber optics.

The ping rate measures how quickly information travels between your computer and the game servers. The lower the ping rate, the faster the information moves. It’s best to avoid satellite connections, because the ping rate will likely be too slow. Experts recommend ping rates of 100 m/s or less, speeds of one MB per second or higher or data plans of at least one GB. Anything less, and you’ll likely be dealing with choppiness or other problems.

How to Test for Quality Internet: Four Recommended Websites

If your current ISP is too slow for gaming, you’ll need to start thinking about other options. However, if you’re having problems, you should first determine that the issue is the ISP themselves and not something on your end, such as your wireless router. You can do this by utilizing a testing service.

  1. Bandwidth Place – This website offers a quick and simple way of testing your ISP. Go to the site and click “start test,” and you will be able to see your Internet speeds.
  2. Pingtest – This site tests users check their ISP latency and jitter. It also provides an analysis that shows how well your ISP can handle the various things you do, such as video streaming or gaming online.
  3. Speedtest – This is one of the most popular online testing tools. It allows you to select your server and test your ISP speeds by checking how fast you can upload and download things. You can also checkout ISP speeds all around the world and compare to see how your ISP measures up.
  4. Speed.io – You can check your speed, number of connections per minute, stability and ping rates using this tool.

Once you figure out what’s going on with your ISP, you’ll be able to determine if you want to continue with your current company or look for an upgrade with a new provider. Bigpipe is a popular option with gamers in New Zealand. Getting started with a new provider can be tricky, because you won’t be able to check your ping rate until your Internet is already up and running. However, most providers will let you cancel your new plan up to 30 days after installing your service, so if you test things out quickly, it shouldn’t be a problem. You pay good money for your Internet connection, so if it isn’t meeting your needs, don’t be afraid to make a change.