How do you call a family meeting? Turn off the WiFi!
OK, the joke has done the rounds, but these days there are probably few truer words spoken in jest. The whole family is becoming more and more reliant on connected tech. None more so than those born since the turn of the century. In the past we had teen tantrums about curfews and overbearing dress codes. Nowadays a slow, unreliable WiFi connection can be the spark that ignites a teen rage. In fact, a BT study last year found that one in eight households argue about WiFi. Therefore, in the interests of familial harmony, here are our tips on the best WiFi setup for online gaming.
Internet connection requirements for online gaming
According to a recent uSwitch survey, more than three quarters (77%) of UK households with online gamers complain of internet issues including disconnections, buffering and slowdowns. This illustrates just how widespread connection problems are.
Firstly, you need to make sure your broadband package is up to the job. This article on broadband for gamers from Carphone Warehouse goes into some detail about what you need to look for. (Though bear in mind their comments about using WiFi extenders may not be viable for many.)
However these days poor WiFi is the more likely cause of connection issues for online gamers. Average connection speeds have increased hugely, with super-fast, and now ultra-fast, fibre broadband packages becoming the norm. But in spite of this, ISP-provided WiFi has struggled to keep up.
How to get the best gaming WiFi: the options
Option 1: Avoid the issue altogether and hard-wire your console
For PC gamers this has long been the preferred option as it removes any issues with WiFi interference. Connect your gaming console to your router via an ethernet cable and you should reliably get your full broadband speed for the optimal gaming experience.
This won’t be a practical option for some, however.
Option 2: Upgrade your router
If you search Google for ‘best WiFi for gaming’ the majority of results suggest upgrading your router. This comprehensive article on the best gaming routers currently available reviews some of the best options. (Most of which, for some reason, resemble an ageing Transformer’s birthday cake. The more aerials the better, right?)
In most instances, these will perform better than the standard router your ISP provided as part of your broadband package. However, as with all wireless broadcast devices, they will be susceptible to interference (e.g. from microwaves, power supplies and other WiFi devices) and blocking materials (e.g. thick walls, metalwork and mirrors).
Fine if your gamer is in the same room as the router. Not so much if they are some distance away from it.
And don’t forget boosters or mesh WiFi systems will likely suffer the same issues. (Just in case you’re tempted by a seemingly quick/cheap fix.) If your home environment isn’t WiFi friendly, you’ll need a different solution.
Option 3: Upgrade your WiFi for the best gaming experience
A wireless solution with good quality WiFi access points hard-wired to your router is the most reliable for uninterrupted gaming. The access points can be positioned to give the best signal where it’s needed. As a result, there’s no need to hard-wire games consoles into the network. These WiFi points provide wireless connections that, to all intents and purposes, are just as good.
Critically, they can be installed to get a signal to even the hard to reach areas of your property. Handy if your resident teen is confined to a basement, extension or other far reaches of the home.
Correct positioning will ensure that you get your full broadband speed on your gaming device. No more lag-induced tantrums.
Get help with gaming WiFi that’s fit for the whole family
If you’re in the Bath and Bristol area and need help silencing your resident teen WiFi whinger, contact us for help.
We install professional WiFi solutions that are reliable and fast enough to satisfy even the most demanding online gamer.