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The gaming industry has been at the leading edge of software development for the last couple of decades. You could make a solid argument that the increased complexity and hardware resource demands baked into modern video games have fueled better, faster, and more capable gaming hardware. The same could be said for the need for faster and more reliable internet speeds for online gaming.
However, it’s not just the demand new games put on “minimum system requirements.” Gamers, too, expect more from their devices and internet connections to remain competitive in any online, multiplayer games.
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Ask any gamer what the most aggravating part of online gaming is, and they’ll tell you it is lag. (A close second would be noobs.) There’s not much more frustrating in the online gaming world than buffering – especially at critical times where your ping rate could determine whether or not you win the round. After low latency, gamers rely on internet speed to maintain their edge.
With serious gamers in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best internet options for gamers and what to look for before you choose an internet service provider (ISP) to ensure the best gaming experience. Ideally, you’ll want a good fiber internet plan with a decent download speed, unlimited data, and low latency. If fiber is not available to you, there are plenty of other cable providers that provide ample service for online gamers.
Best Internet Providers for Gaming
For the best gaming on the internet, these providers have the best availability, equipment, and speeds to accommodate even the most demanding games, like massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.
Bottom line: The faster your internet speed and the lower the latency, the better your online gaming experience will be.
Xfinity: Fastest Cable Internet Speeds
Xfinity internet plans provide ultra-fast cable internet in 40 states, offering no-contract options and impressive download speeds. One thing to note with cable internet providers is that while latency is low, it can fluctuate when there is more network traffic.
Additional Xfinity perks include customizable plans, advanced WiFi equipment, and symmetrical speeds up to 3 Gbps. Xfinity does have monthly data caps of 1.2 TB, but for an additional monthly charge, you can upgrade to unlimited data.
AT&T: Best Internet Bundles
AT&T internet plans often have huge internet deals and discounts for new customers to help reduce upfront costs. You can save money and simplify your payments by bundling AT&T services including internet, DIRECTV, phone, and home security.
For gamers especially, AT&T fiber is an excellent option. Their plans are competitively priced, uncapped, and range in speed from 300 Mbps – 1 Gbps in select areas. Where fiber internet is not available, AT&T offers other internet plans ranging from 5 Mbps – 100 Mbps.
Cox: Best Gaming Router
Cox internet is an excellent option for high-speed cable and fiber internet plans, with download speeds reaching 1 Gbps and upload speeds up to 940 Mbps. Latency is good for gamers, with a ping rate averaging 25 milliseconds.
Better yet, Cox offers tiered plans specifically designed for elite gamers. Its advanced router helps reduce lag by up to 32%, improve jitter, and lessen ping spikes for a smoother gaming experience.
Frontier: Best Ping Rates
Frontier internet plans are incredibly fast, with speeds between 500 Mbps – 2 Gbps and unlimited data at competitive pricing. It also has some of the best ping rates at 15 milliseconds compared to other internet providers. Frontier is ideal for gamers, though availability depends entirely on your location.
Kinetic: Cheapest High-Speed Plan
Kinetic by Windstream internet plans offer some of the best speeds at low prices. You can generally find a decent gaming plan for under $40/mo. They offer fiber internet plans with symmetrical speeds up to 1000 Mbps, unlimited data, and no annual contract requirements.
Spectrum: Best Customer Support
Spectrum internet offer three high-speed plans that meet online gaming requirements, ranging from 200 Mbps – 1000 Mbps. No matter which plan you select, Spectrum keeps things straightforward. There are no data caps, no annual contracts, and no equipment fees you have to worry about. They also have the best-rated customer support and are available in 41 states, including Hawaii.
While many plans can handle online gaming, the best internet plans are fiber internet as they provide the fastest speeds, data options, and ping rates of all internet connection types. If you are a more serious gamer or prefer the streaming option, you’ll need an even faster fiber plan.
For quick reference, you’ll want to pick an internet plan that provides:
- A minimum of 100 Mbps.
- Maximum latency of 100 milliseconds.
- No data caps.
Have a look at our resource on the best speed for online gaming for in-depth information about the minimum speed requirements by game type and gaming platform.
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