Online gamers know the importance of having a solid internet connection. You got yourself a supposedly better NBN connection but your games still lag and have the occasional rubber banding, now what?
As an avid online FPS gamer myself, I know how important a solid internet connection is. Without a low latency internet connection my opponents take advantage of the situation and I get fragged more often than I would like to.
When it comes to online gaming the following factors determine the quality of your online gaming experience. Jitter, latency and packet loss. I guess it would be a surprise to many but internet speed is not a major factor (unless of course you are on 56k dial up).
Jitter, Latency and Packet Loss
The most important components affecting online services like gaming, media streaming and voice is most certainly jitter, latency and packet loss. For a internet connection to be good for gaming, it needs to have low latency to the destination endpoint, low jitter and 0% packet loss. But what is Jitter, latency and packet loss you ask?
What is Jitter
Jitter is a variation of packets in your internet connection. A good internet connection will have low consistant jitter.
What is Latency
Latency otherwise known as ping, is the measurement of packet duration from a source to destination network. Latency is expressed in milliseconds or ms for short.
What is Packet Loss
Packet loss is when network data packets are lost in transit from source to destination or vica versa. Packet loss is expressed in percentage. The higher the figure the worse the connection. A good internet connection should have 0% packet loss.
When you play online games and suddenly you experience rubber banding, skipping of frames, freezes or disconnects, it is a clear indication that you are experiencing jitter, packet loss or latency issues. If the source of the above mentioned problems derives from your internal network in the form of other users saturating your internet connection then a good quality router can help eliminate the issues you are having.
How To Eliminate Jitter, Packet Loss and High Latency
When you have a household full of internet hungry Youtubers and Netflix addicts that pushes your internet connection to the limit, you are most likely going to suffer as a result in online games. Whenever an internet connection comes close to its upload or download limits jitter goes up, latency goes up and packet loss might go up.
What you need is a router that has built in smarts to combat the effects of maxing out your internet connection. This clever technology is called Quality of Service (QoS). QoS is a system that manages the data packet flow to minimise jitter, packet loss and high latency. QoS does this by prioritising traffic into different classes based on the service type and bandwidth needs.
NBN Capable Gaming Router With QoS Under $100
My recommendation for a NBN compatible gaming router is the Ubiquiti Edgerouter. The Edgerouter has an easy to use interface and most importantly have an option to enable QoS in the form of Smart Queue Management. Smart queue management will de congest your overloaded internet connection, it will automatically prioritise and balance internet traffic.
The Smart Queue Management option is located under the QOS tab. Enabling it will require the user to specify the internet connection upload rate and download rate.