When it comes to competitive gaming, it only takes a second for near victory to become a total defeat. One of the biggest factors that lead to this kind of defeat is internet lag, sapping your in-game speed regardless of how on-the-ball you were in real life.
And if you live in rural areas, it's more difficult to find reliable internet for gaming than you would in urban areas. So what type of internet will give you the best speeds for gaming?
Well, you've come to the right place. We're here to tell you all about the best internet for gaming in rural areas! So strap in, cause we're starting now!
Before you slap down a whole lot of cash for an internet service that doesn't fit your needs, think about what level of internet speed you need for your household.
A general rule of thumb is that you want a minimum of 3 megabytes per second for your download speed, a minimum of 1 megabyte per second for your upload speed, and a minimum ping rate of fewer than 150 milliseconds. Multiply the upload and download speeds by the number of players you will have using the same internet connection to get your minimum requirements if you have multiple gamers in the house.
The ping rate is especially important because it determines how fast your input gets to the game server in an online game. So if you and your opponent press the same button at the same time, whoever has the better ping rate will do the action first in-game.
Keep in mind that these are the minimum speed requirements. Other people in your house using your internet for anything will slow the connection some too, and the stronger the connection the better the results. Different games also require different speeds, as an FPS like Overwatch or battle royale games like Fortnite need more speed than a strategy game like Hearthstone.
Finally, if you plan to stream your gaming sessions over sites like Twitch or Mixer, you will want to up your speed requirements a fair bit to compensate for the extra strain on your connection placed by streaming.
One of the internet connection methods you can disqualify right out of the gate is 4G LTE. Considering your connection gets cut off at about a 20GB limit, you better be gaming only twice a month if you use the internet for everyday life too. Couple that with this service being under a lot of stress from the sheer amount of people accessing it at once, and 4G LTE is far from the best option.
Another service to avoid is satellite internet. The primary reason is that in rural areas, signals have to travel a large distance to get to the satellite, leading to ping rates that will tank your online gaming speed to abysmal levels. Satellite internet also tends to rank in the more expensive types of internet, so it'll be a relief on your wallet to skip out on it.
Something else to keep in mind with satellite internet is its vulnerability to weather conditions. So if you live in an especially windy or stormy area, satellite internet is not your best bet. A grounded internet connection is a strong alternative if you have this problem.
Using any type of hotspot will not give you the speed you need to game online at the appropriate speeds. So give hotspots the cold shoulder as an option too.
So now that you know what types of internet connection not to use, what choices do you have to deliver on the internet speed and quality you need?
One option is DSL or Digital Subscriber Line internet. This operates off of your phone lines but uses different frequencies so that phone use doesn't conflict with its level of performance.
The biggest pro of DSL is its general accessibility. Since it operates off of phone lines, it's easy to implement in almost any household and sits on the lower ends of the price spectrum. It also runs fast enough to handle most multiplayer games with a solid connection and boasts both fast ping rates and no slowdown based on how much data you use.
On the con side, if your area is very rural, DSL will not offer the speeds you need for more demanding online games in the Overwatch vein. If this in the case, you're better going with a connection like fixed wireless. It's also worth noting that some areas will get such low DSL speeds that installing it is almost pointless, so getting a test done before you commit long-term is a smart idea.
Now fixed wireless internet...what is that? Well, fixed wireless grants you internet access by broadcasting radio waves that transmit internet signals to a receiver installed in your house. You then send broadband signals from a router back out and you've got an internet connection.
Fixed wireless is affordable and offers you some of the best speeds the internet has to offer. Despite its similarities to satellite internet, fixed wireless is more reliable to boot since it goes from the ground up and is not subject to weather conditions.
The one thing to keep in mind (however) is that your house needs to be within a certain proximity to a fixed wireless tower for this method to work. If one is in your area, however, you're golden!
So now that you know what the best internet for gaming in rural areas is, it's time to sit down and start saving the world from the forces of darkness! However, if you want to know more about having a stable internet connection in rural areas, check out some of the other posts on our blog!
Now, if you'll excuse us, we have to go. There's a Victory Royale medal out there with our name on it!