Rural Internet for Gaming

Rural Internet for Gaming

What is Rural Internet?

Rural Internet describes Internet access available in the countryside or mountainous areas. Lately, there have been discussions of a digital divide, as many people living in rural areas have no reliable Internet options, with only slower Internet providers in their area. For example, people in rural areas usually cannot stream video games or participate in online gaming without dealing with lag or an unplayable experience. Here are some of the best sources of internet for the middle of nowhere.

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How Fast Is Your Internet?

What Are the Different Types of Internet Services?

Dial-up Connection – Outdated Internet Service

Dial-up Internet was the leading option from the 1990s to the early 2000s. Nowadays, only people with no other rural Internet options would use it. Dial-up uses your telephone network to connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using a phone number. Then a modem decodes these audio signals to connect. Dial-up has a speed of up to 56 kbps. If your dial-up connection had this speed consistently, it would take around five hours to download only 1GB of data. However, it usually takes much longer.

It is generally impossible to game with a dial-up internet connection as the speeds are too slow.. 

Broadband Connections – High-Speed Internet Services

Some rural internet providers have broadband, which transmits high amounts of data. There are several varieties of broadband Internet service providers available. Usually, DSL, fiber, and cable are the top three. More on them later.

Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless internet services are fast internet solutions for rural and underserved communities. Internet is sent from a central access point (typically provided using fibre optic lines) to an individual receiver located at businesses, farms, and homes. Broadlinc is proud to be rapidly expanding our fixed wireless internet services across Kentucky, providing affordable, faster internet for gaming.

Technology used can be proprietary long-range WiFi, Fixed 4g/LTE and Fixed 5g signals on towers and receivers at your home tuned for a direct stable connection. Fixed Wireless can provide superior latency and bandwidth performance to satellite, DSL, Cable and even some fiber services. 

One of the advantages of fixed wireless internet access is the low ping rate. This reduces gameplay lag and puts even the most rural farmer in a position to PwN nOoBs.

Fixed wireless Internet is recommended if you’re in a remote location or live in rural areas that lack DSL service or cable, $39.95-$99 monthly.

Mobile LTE or 5G Hotspot

This Internet connection comes from 4G LTE towers or 5g mobile phone service provider using a tabletop device with a sim card, or your existing cellphone. This internet plan is ideal for rural areas as an alternative when only satellite or DSL is available. Mobile hotspot service offers reliable connectivity without the latency or high costs associated with satellite Internet. One drawback that is to be noted, most mobile hotspot plans are throttled after reaching a monthly usage quota.

Satellite Internet

Satellite Internet is one of the most popular rural Internet options when there are no phone or cable lines available. Using a satellite dish, a satellite Internet user obtains access through a receiver that picks up those signals.

Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks. Most Satellite service tends to have a high ping rate, increasing the incidence of game lag. Satellite providers also tend to have extremely restrictive data caps and throttle speeds aggressively once those caps are reached each month.  Finally, most users find that satellite is the most expensive internet service option available to them.

DSL

DSL (digital subscriber line) uses telephone lines and a phone jack connection. It’s available in many rural areas, and when it comes to rural Internet, it’s much faster than dial-up. About 88% of the population has DSL Internet providers in their area. Speeds are limited by distance from the telco’s equipment meaning most often a rural experience ranges from 3-12mbps. Most users will resort to this only when no faster Internet providers are available.

Cable Internet

Cable Internet, as the name implies, uses coaxial cables. It’s how cable TV is also brought to people. Cable is much faster than the previous options, going up to 1,200 Mbps. It’s also available to most of the US, covering 89% of the country, and found in almost every residential neighborhood and in some rural areas. The technology allows for full offered speeds all the way to the end of the line unlike DSL.

Fiber

Fiber optic internet, also known as fiber internet or simply fiber, is a broadband service that uses fiber optic cables to deliver fast internet speeds that can reach multi-gigabits per second with very little latency. However, fiber Internet is costly and is only available in 39% of the US. It has been limited to large metropolitan regions and is not a viable option for rural residents. Even in cities, coverage is sometimes uneven and there is an abundance of dead areas. It limits its capabilities and many individuals and communities face this problem today.

In addition, fiber optic cables are sensitive and because it’s glass is prone to physical damage due to weather, trees, animal damage, which result in disrupted signals and loss of data. It is therefore less reliable than wireless signals due to the need of a perfect connection from end to en

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Common Internet Gaming Terms

Are you using the Internet for gaming? Here are some standard terms you should know about.

Lag

Lag involves a delay between the player’s input on their controller or keyboard and the movement in-game. Usually, lag is caused by poor hardware or slow Internet.

Latency

Latency is an online gaming term involving how much time data is sent to the game’s server, then back to you. Latency is always tied to connection speeds from your end or the server.

Ping

Another term for latency describes the signal sent from one computer to the other. Latency describes how long it takes for the entire process.

Rubber Banding

This is a phenomenon that, due to latency, will make your character appear like they are teleporting when you try to move.

Packet Loss

Packet loss involves small bits of data, referred to as packets, not reaching their destination when you’re trying to connect to a network. Packet loss could be due to a poor connection or for other reasons.

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What To Look For in Internet Service Providers When Gaming in a Rural Area

Finding rural Internet for gaming can be challenging due to the lack of options in rural areas. However, finding the proper Internet for gaming is still possible. Let’s look at what you should look for in the best Internet service providers for rural areas.

Budget 

How much do you want to spend to get Internet access? What prices do Internet providers in your area charge? Look around before making a decision.

Speed 

How fast do you need your Internet speeds to be? On average, you’ll need at least 5 Mbps, but newer games can be much more demanding if you want consistent gameplay. Nowadays, some games need at least 50 Mbps if you want them to run well.

Coverage 

Is the Internet provider you’re looking into providing coverage for your location? For example, many ISPs claim to provide coverage to rural areas, but some cannot access more remote areas. Keep that in mind.

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Determining a good internet speed for your gaming needs

To game without much latency, you need fast Internet access. This can be problematic if you only have a rural Internet service option, but some games are less demanding than others.

Usually, the game itself will provide recommended connection speeds. In addition, what system you play on can have different requirements.

We recommend using an Ethernet connection and not a WiFi connection for the most consistent speeds with any console or computer.

Find minimum speed recommendations for a gaming device

Xbox Series X

At least 25 Mbps is recommended for ideal performance.

PlayStation 5

Around 25-50 Mbps is ideal for gaming on the PS5.

Nintendo Switch

We recommend 20 Mbps.

PC/Mac

It can significantly depend on your PC build and what type of game you’re playing. However, in most situations, we recommend at least 20 Mbps.

Find minimum speed recommendations for game type

First-person shooter games (FPS)

We recommend a speed of at least 15 Mbps. Because you need lightning-fast reflexes, the faster speeds, the better.

Real-time strategy games

RTS games don’t require fast speeds, so we recommend at least 10 Mbps for this one.

Role-playing games (RPG)

Most RPGs can get by with a minimum of 10 Mbps

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games

It depends on the MMO, but most can get by at 10 Mbps

Consider Ping vs. Latency

Ping describes the signal from your computer to the server, while latency describes that and the signal from the network. Sometimes, high latency may not even be your fault but instead the fault of the game’s servers. For example, it could be peak hours or server issues in-game.

Consider Upload Speed vs. Download Speed

You can send information, such as files, game streaming, or communications, with faster upload speeds. Likewise, fast download speeds allow you to download games faster, download updates, and receive information in-game.

It would be best if you had fast speeds on both ends, but generally, you can get away with having slower upload speeds than download speeds. However, in today’s gaming world, games are getting larger, so faster download speeds are the number one priority.

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Written By Brittany Derderian, Director of Marketing

Brittany Derderian is the Director of Marketing at Broadlinc internet services. Her responsibilities include leading the company’s marketing efforts, overseeing and growing the marketing department, consistently identifying revenue opportunities within our established client base and managing consistent growth by securing new accounts, collaborating with the leadership team to uncover insights and strategies to develop and implement marketing and branding strategies for new and existing products, and spearheading the strategic and tactical execution of marketing campaigns, including design of test/control segmentation, implementation of tests, tracking, results reporting, analysis, and recommendations. You can find her on the weekends enjoying the outdoors of Colorado with her husband, Logan Derderian.