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Teaming up with friends who may be physically located all over the world is great. Engaging with hundreds of other people in a virtual world is fantastic. Having that fun disrupted by network lag, connection latency, and random disconnects is very uncool. While an internet connection is often subject to the whims of your internet provider, there are still many things you can do with your local router and network setup to optimize your gaming experience.

Many home internet providers provide a combined modem and router device that you might be using for your home network and Wi-Fi.

Some of these ISP-supplied routers do offer the type of control and software adjustments that are outlined below, but many do not. A router is a type of computer. Just like any other computer, a router has processing and memory hardware that is handling all of the connections coming in and out of it.

The more devices you have connected to your router, the more robust your router needs to be in order to handle the network effectively. A simple router will have a hard time keeping up with so many connected devices, resulting in notable impacts to speed and connectivity.

Both connection types have their perks and limitations that will influence what works best for your needs. Generally speaking, a wired connection between a router and other devices is done by an ethernet or network cable. If your wires end up needing to be longer, you may need additional hardware to boost the signal along the way, or accept the potential drop in speed.

In an ideal world, your home is wired up with high-capacity cables and ethernet RJ45 jacks throughout your home. Additional devices will tend to then be wireless to avoid the mess of running cables through the house.

Also, connect a computer directly to the modem with an Ethernet cable and run a SpeedTest opens in new tab to assess the speeds from your ISP. While the initial download of the game, as well as the patches and updates, use significant bandwidth, the actual gameplay uses surprisingly little data, contrary to what many folks would think.

Video streams such as NetFlix can consume 3GB per hour for high definition video. Gaming, on the other hand, consumes data on the order of 20MB to 80MB per hour of gameplay, depending on the game. With such low data requirements for online gameplay, getting a faster internet connection is unlikely to yield significant benefits unless there are other simultaneous users on the connection.

The real key here is to keep bandwidth dedicated to the game, and to not have lower priority traffic stealing bandwidth. While a video stream relies on a continuous stream of large packets of data in the download direction, online gaming is based on small packets in both the download and upload directions.

The gameplay of MMORPGs is also exquisitely sensitive to lost packets, and losing a single one can cause the game to stall. For first person shooters and racing games opens in new tab , the emphasis is on minimizing latency, which is a measure of the time it takes for a packet of data to go from one point to another.

With the need for a stable, secure, and low latency connection, serious gamers will espouse the benefits of a wired connection. If you have a bunch of CAT5e lying around, use that. Wired Ethernet should be your first choice when it comes to connecting your PC to your network. However, given the configuration of so many houses, only the most dedicated will be moved to renovate just for network considerations.

A router is the grand poobah of a network, and These routers, while fine in their day, are also not designed for multiple devices; they aren’t designed to handle all of the smartphones, tablets, and media streaming devices that clog up a modern home network.

So get a good router. Now that we have our computer connected and the ISP issues worked out, we turn our attention to further optimizations that can be done to the network. With so many devices competing for the your bandwidth, you need a router that has some technology to help shape the traffic baked into its DNA. QoS prioritizes important time-sensitive data over less crucial data streams.

That can result in games that stutter and stall while the rig is grabbing some updates. On the other hand, with a gaming router that supports QoS, gaming can take priority over other types of data, resulting in smooth gameplay even when other traffic is hogging bandwidth. While QoS is a sine qua non of a gaming router, all QoS is not equal. The first is to have the router prioritize by device, and the second approach is to have the router prioritize by application.

While D-Link and ASRock models we looked at prioritize by device, this is the less preferred strategy. Related information How to open or forward a port on a router. See the firewall , port , Windows Defender Firewall pages for further information. Microsoft Windows help and support. Network and network card help and support.



Best firewall settings for gaming.How to set up your home network for optimal gaming performance

The gateway’s default firewall settings block unwanted access from the Internet. Most people don’t need to change the default settings. Describes the ports that you must open in Microsoft Windows Firewall for a multiplayer C: \Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\ Sometimes due to the built-in firewall of the router, you will need to open ports. You may do this by either doing Port Forwarding or Port Triggering.