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The Best Internet for Gaming and Gamers

The best gaming ISP for your needs isn’t always the fastest residential Internet plan, but let’s be honest — in most cases, it is. Lagging Internet and slow download/upload speeds can quickly turn an evening of gaming fun into a nightmare.

The best gaming ISP for your needs isn’t always the fastest residential Internet plan, but let’s be honest — in most cases, it is. Lagging Internet and slow download/upload speeds can quickly turn an evening of gaming fun into a nightmare.

With that in mind, we’ve analyzed key metrics from some of the best gaming ISPs, like:

  • Download and upload Internet speed for gaming
  • Latency
  • Cost
  • Caps on data
  • Availability in your area

Continue reading to learn how to identify the best Internet for gaming in your area.

What to Consider Before Choosing the Best Internet For Gamers

Before finding the best Internet providers for gamers, you must first identify your needs. Consider the following before signing a new Internet service contract:

  • How many people use the Internet at your residence?
  • How and when does everyone use the Internet?
  • Will you be gaming at peak Internet hours or early in the morning or late at night?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Can you handle a slight lag?
  • Do you plan on streaming gameplay videos?

Your answers to the questions above provide a blueprint for the best Internet for your online gaming needs. When you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s a lot easier to pick the right ISP for your gaming needs.

Best Gaming ISP Overall — Xfinity Internet For Gaming

Is Xfinity fast enough for any type of gaming? Absolutely.

Xfinity offers the perfect combination of Internet speed, availability, and affordability. Xfinity routinely ranks as one of the fastest Internet service providers in the nation.

Further, Xfinity high-speed Internet is available in most major cities. Learn more about Xfinity Internet packages below.

  • Internet Connection: Cable Internet
  • Latency: <1 ms – 30 ms ping
  • Download Speed: 50 Mbps – 1200 Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 35 Mbps
  • Data Cap: 1 TB or slightly more
  • Cost: Starting at $29.99 per month

Best Cheap Gaming Internet Provider — Spectrum Internet For Gaming

Is Spectrum Internet fast enough for gaming? Yes, Spectrum Internet speeds are fast enough for most gaming experiences.

Fast Internet speed for gaming doesn’t have to be expensive. Spectrum Internet is affordable and fast enough for most gamers. Further, since there are no data caps, you can game as much as you like. Learn more about Spectrum Internet plans for online gaming below.

  • Internet Connection: Cable Internet
  • Latency: Up to 35 ms ping
  • Download Speed: 200 Mbps – 400 Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 20 Mbps
  • Data Cap: Unlimited
  • Cost: Starting at $49.99 per month

Best Internet For Gaming In Rural Areas — Armstrong Internet For Gaming

Is Armstrong Internet fast enough for gaming? Without a doubt.

Armstrong offers one of the fastest fiber optic Internet connections available in rural areas. In case fiber optic Internet isn’t your thing, Armstrong also offers a cable Internet package as well. Learn more about Armstrong Internet plans for online gaming below.

  • Internet Connection: Cable Internet or Fiber Optic Internet
  • Latency: 8 ms – 35 ms ping
  • Download Speed: Up to 940 Mbps
  • Upload Speed: Up to 20 Mbps
  • Data Cap: Mostly Unlimited, but some data caps apply
  • Cost: Starting at $34.35 per month

How to Choose The Best Internet For Online Gaming

The best Internet for gaming depends on your habits and the type of games you play. For example, a person who plays solitaire online doesn’t have to worry as much about speed, latency, etc. as a person who regularly plays online with a PS5 or Xbox One.

When selecting the best gaming ISP in your area, keep in mind the following:

  • Upload and download speeds
  • Latency
  • Data caps
  • Your Internet equipment

Learn more about each below.

1. Check Upload and Download Speeds

Not everyone requires radically fast Internet. However, your Internet should be fast enough to handle online gaming, video streaming, and video calls simultaneously. That’s especially true if multiple people share the Internet in your residence.

Generally, we recommend starting with download speeds of 100 Mbps or more for even casual gamers.

Upload speeds are typically not as important when gaming online. However, if you enjoy uploading gameplay sessions online, you should opt for at least 10 Mbps upload speed.

2. Check For Low Latency

Latency, also known as “lag,” describes how long it takes a network to communicate. In other words, the length of time it takes for a gaming network to receive data (a “ping”) from your console and vice versa. Generally, the slower the lag, the worse it is for online gaming.

Acceptable latency for online gaming ranges between 20ms – 100ms. Latency above 100ms can work for some games. However, most games on next-generation consoles require much lower lag rates for an enjoyable online gaming experience.

3. Know Your Data Cap

Contrary to the name, unlimited data doesn’t always mean unrestricted amounts of high-speed Internet. Rather, many ISPs that offer “unlimited” data caps actually just offer a high (but limited) amount of data.

Depending on the provider, customers who exceed data cap limits may experience very slow Internet or total loss of Internet. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to inquire about data caps before you sign a contract.

Some Internet providers like Spectrum and Optimum offer truly unlimited data caps, but most others don’t. If your ISP caps data, you should be sure that you have at least 1TB before the cap kicks in.

4. Use The Best Equipment For Online Gaming

Even the fastest residential Internet plan won’t be sufficient if you don’t optimize your Internet equipment for online gaming. A quick online search for something like “how to optimize WiFi for gaming” can yield great results.

In the meantime, here are a few tips for optimizing your Internet equipment for gaming online:

  • Update your equipment software and upgrade if necessary
  • Choose an ethernet cable over WiFi when you can
  • Optimize WiFi settings to prioritize Internet speed for your gaming console
  • Keep the path between your WiFi router and gaming console close and clear

How To Find The Best Internet For Online Gaming In My Area

Identifying the best Internet for gamers in your area isn’t as easy as it used to be with so many ISPs in the field. Don’t worry. We’ve done the hard work for you. Whether you’re moving to a new address or just curious about current Internet promotions in your neck of the woods, SmartMove can help.

Enter your address to find the best Internet providers for online gaming in your area today.

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