Best Broadband for Gaming £ 28 / m – Compare Providers
About broadband for gaming offerings
In this guide
- Online multiplayer games
- Develop your digital library
- Live stream your gameplay
- Cloud gaming and on demand
- High speed online performance
High speed for online multiplayer games
Whether it’s teaming up with friends for all kinds of challenges or taking on random players from around the world in competitive modes, online play is an integral part of the gaming experience for many people. . Speed isn’t as important as you might think – as anyone who played Quake, Counter-Strike, and Phantasy Star Online over dial-up connections at the time will know, online games can run just fine on a relatively modest environment. data budget.
There are advantages to having faster speeds, but you are unlikely to notice much of a practical difference between, say, a 50 Mbps connection and a 350 Mbps connection, especially when everyone’s speeds will affect everyone. also the overall performance.
More important things to look at are the details which are usually not as widely advertised as general speeds, such as packet loss, latency, and jitter. Ofcom reported almost universally low latency levels from all major vendors tested, with all vendors reaching around 20 milliseconds, with Sky and Virgin beating it just by dropping below 15 milliseconds.
Packet loss – where some data may not reach its destination, possibly manifesting as a lag or other glitch movement – is a somewhat different story, with much more variable results across the board and notable differences between them. general and peak performance. BT comes in slightly ahead here, with an incredibly low packet loss rate of just 0.05%.
Virgin’s fastest packages are on the lower end of the spectrum, hitting just under 0.2% – still not that great, but statistically 3-4 times more likely than the more stable competitors to experience damage. data problems. Jitter also sees Virgin come out in last place, although there is little to choose from among the others as they are all reassuring.
While lightning-fast options like Virgin’s VIVID bundles may seem like the best fit for paper-based online gaming, they’re actually among the weakest in tests in areas more important than pure speed. More casual gamers might not notice much of a practical difference, but avid users will likely see slightly better overall performance than BT and Sky.
Broadband to develop and maintain a digital library
The games are getting bigger and bigger. Massive fixes are rife, while the games themselves have even started to surpass the 100GB mark. If downloading digital games to your device or updating them as quickly as possible is your main concern when it comes to gaming. game, download speed will be more or less the only factor that really matters.
With that in mind, the first clearly are Virgin and BT, whose high-speed plans outperform the competition several times over. A file download of around 10 GB would take over three hours on the fastest standard broadband lines, compared to around 20 minutes on 67 Mbps fiber and less than five minutes on Virgin’s fastest 350 Mbps.
You’re unlikely to ever really get the highest advertised speeds based on traffic from providers and traffic from services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, but the faster options will usually outperform the others. You’ll also need an unlimited plan to accommodate all of those huge downloads – most services now offer uncapped data as standard.
If you’re primarily concerned with how fast your games are, the best logical choice is a super-fast line, which means going with BT or Virgin Media – the former seems to perform slightly better in other aspects of the game while the latter offers faster raw. speeds for faster downloads, so assess both based on your own needs.
If these options aren’t available to you, most of the high-end fiber options will offer roughly comparable speeds to help you stay in your favorite games, with that same Ofcom report suggesting that BT and Sky are the most likely to provide maximum speeds closest to these. ad.
Compare gaming broadband
High speed to stream your gameplay live on Twitch, etc.
Letting game fans around the world watch you play has become so popular that the biggest names can make a good living from streaming, so naturally a whole generation of budding streamers want a piece of that pie. If you like to live stream your game, good download speeds will be your main requirement – the faster the better, as you’ll want to keep your stream from stuttering or struggling when speeds inevitably drop a bit.
Stable 1080p streaming requires an approximate download speed of around 6 Mbps, so you’ll want to get a little higher than that. Keep in mind that using any online gaming functionality will also require some of your available bandwidth, so it’s a good idea to give yourself as much headroom as possible.
Most entry-level fiber plans on the market offer download speeds of 9-10 Mbps, so each of them should meet the minimum requirements for streaming. Upgrade to high-end fiber plans and those download speeds double to 20Mbps, making these high-end options the best for budding streamers. Virgin is wasting another life here, as only its high-end options can match these types of download speeds – you need VIVID 200 (12 Mbps download) or VIVID 350 (20 Mbps download).
Download speeds between providers using the Openreach network are fairly consistent, so there isn’t much to choose from between the various high-end fiber options available – all of the major carriers here offer download speeds that comfortably offer the bandwidth needed for streaming with plenty of room to spare. Note, however, that Virgin’s download speed ratio is significantly lower than that of other providers, meaning you’ll have to take their more expensive plans to see the same kind of download speeds as the 76 Mbps plans.
High speed for cloud gaming, downstream gaming, on-demand games
This emerging sector of gaming is only expected to grow as digital infrastructure improves, and that’s a real test of upload and download performance. In its simplest form, this uses remote hardware to run game content, sending images and sound to the user while relaying their inputs to the host machine in order to execute their commands. Sony’s PlayStation Now service is a good example of this kind of streaming, with a declared minimum requirement of 5Mbps, which means it’s only really viable over a fiber line if you’re looking for half-decent performance.
Again, the majority of the major vendors using the Openreach network mean that there is little difference between them for this type of gaming use – in fact, latency becomes a more important thing to consider as there is has inherent latency in this kind of remote gaming solution, so layering too much extra stuff can make some games virtually unplayable. And so we are referring to those factors which were discussed in the online gaming section earlier, as they will all affect the quality of the streaming game.
Again, it’s BT and Sky that top the charts here, but not much more than the others in terms of practical use. And once again, Virgin is showing a weaker performance than its peers.
Best overall broadband performance online
Another factor to consider when choosing a gaming provider is the quality of the router provided. BT’s Smart Hub is rated as one of the best when it comes to wireless performance, but it’s known to not play well with some gaming devices – including the Xbox One – without some tweaking. It’s also worth noting that gamers looking to use their own hardware might not be able to do so with all vendors – they each provide compatible hardware to new users, but not all existing routers will be compatible with all. services, so do your research first.
Reliability is also important, as there is nothing more frustrating than losing connection in the middle of the game, especially since some competitive games will treat this as an early disconnection and punish it accordingly. In a recent Ofcom report Sky has taken the lead to avoid interruptions and disconnections, with Plusnet and Virgin at the low end.
Each individual case will be different, depending on the quality of your line, the distance from your local cabinet, and many other small factors. As a result, it’s impossible to come to a full conclusion as to what will be best for you and your individual gaming needs, so you’ll also have to do a little research on your own if you’re looking for something specific.
Strong performance in most areas means BT and Sky are the best overall suppliers for gaming in general. If, however, fast access to content is most important to you, Virgin’s faster speeds will allow you to get your games faster than any other provider, but keep in mind that its performance for most others. aspects of the games are weaker than its competition.
Back to offers