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Game Lag: Five Steps to Reducing Lag in Online Video Games


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301w ago - Tired of pulling a trigger in Call of Duty: World at War, then watching your gun fire five seconds later? Sick of adrenaline-fueled Halo 3 matches playing out like slide-shows?

Well, the GamePro editors have five secret tips to help you reduce or eliminate lag, and make online gaming more stable and enjoyable.

Without further ado, here are five proven ways to fix a laggy game experience!

1. Shut down all PC downloads and sharing apps.
File-sharing programs such as BitTorrent are infamous for eating up bandwidth, and will guarantee you a choppy online gaming experience on your game system.

Big downloads, such as Apple Store TV shows or movies, will also slow down your online game. If you're playing online, try to limit any PC Internet use beyond simple web browsing or e-mail.

2. Cable internet beats DSL every single time.
There's a reason a DSL connection costs less than cable internet: it's slower and less stable. In fact, some industry groups have recommended stripping DSL of its "broadband" label because it can only handle a fraction of the speed of a cable connection.

DSL is fine for speedy web browsing, but cable reigns supreme for online gaming. Cable internet is also relatively inexpensive if you're already a cable TV subscriber - ask your provider for package deals.

3. With Wi-Fi, placement is everything.
Your wireless Wi-Fi router has a limited range, and consoles can be pretty picky about that signal (especially if the Wi-Fi has to go through a wall).

Try to place your console close to your router to get the best results. If you're still seeing a strong signal, yet experiencing lag, try changing your game system's location in the room, or flipping it horizontally or vertically.

4. Hardwire it!
Though wireless Wi-Fi is more convenient, a hardwired Ethernet connection is unbeatable for online gaming - it's faster and more reliable. The downside: an ugly cable that leads from your Internet router to your game system.

If your cable or DSL jack is located close to your entertainment system, you'll definitely want to use an Ethernet cable for maximum performance. Even if the Internet jack is located far away, you may consider running the Ethernet cable under the carpet, along a wall, or under floorboards to conceal it.

5. Choose top-quality internet hardware.
Don't expect top-level gaming performance from that cheap $20 internet router you bought at CostCo. Instead, spend a little more and get a quality router from a trusted manufacturer such as Linksys or DLink.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo also have preferred hardware that is guaranteed to function perfectly on their systems - that information is available on their Web sites.



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CyanCaze's Avatar
#2 - CyanCaze - 301w ago
Kraken, I am going to assume you are from a smaller country. Because this article was written for the USA and Canada. For some reason smaller counties have faster internet services for cheaper. IDK why?

At any rate, you are correct. DSL has a few more advantages then cable. For instants, Cable has a limited bandwidth, Meaning if you have a 5 MPS Service, if someone decides to start downloading something on another computer. Your bandwidth will go with it. However say you have a 2 MPS Speed DSL service and someone decides to download something from another computer, you still have a 2 MPS Where as with cable it would be cut. So in term, if you live in a house with many people on the computer at the same time, DSL is the way to go.

Also believe it or not, the best internet you can get that is "Affordable" Is Verizon FiOS Internet. Not high speed, it needs to be FiOS. Of Course, for the low low price of $1000 a month you could get T3. (Sarcasm)

Verizon internet link: [Register or Login to view links]

Kraken's Avatar
#1 - Kraken - 301w ago
Mostly a good article except that number 2 is blatently false. A 10Mbit DSL connection will beat a 5Mbit cable connection "every time." Sure the slowest speed of DSL (768k) is way slower than the slowest cable, but at high speeds they are about the same, assuming nobody else is using the bandwidth for cable.

You see, with cable everyone in a neighborhood shares a single "node". If a few other people are running torrents, your internet will slow down. It is largely for this reason that I stick with DSL even though it actually costs more with the useless phone line they made me get.

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