If you are serious about winning at your favorite first person shooter or MMORPG, you need an Internet connection that can keep up with your commands. Gamers once had to lug their computers to LAN parties just to share the experience, but the emergence of broadband and DSL connections allowed players from around the world to go head to head. However, these connections are not quite as fast as professionals and serious hobbyists need them to be during a big match. A millisecond of lag could mean the difference between a championship win and a major loss. Investing in fiber optic connections may be worth the cost if you want to take your gaming to the next level.
Electricity Vs. Light
DSL Internet is offered in nearly all areas now because it can be delivered over the copper lines already run for phone services. All data is transmitted as electricity, which moves very quickly over long distances. However, the speed of a spark on a copper line simply can’t compare to the speed of light. A fiber optic line sends your commands to the game server using modulated light. There’s no interference to cause your request to be lost along the way.
Many gamers struggle with their Internet service providers over bandwidth. The biggest companies providing DSL now put limits on how much bandwidth each account can use in one month. If you play a few hours of a modern game with friends, you may already be bumping into your limit. Fiber optic lines deliver vast amounts of bandwidth due to the efficiency of the light transfer. This translates to higher download speeds, but it also means that very few fiber optics providers try to limit the amount of data their users transfer. This is crucial if you dedicate hours each day to your favorite games.
Running a speed test will provide your upload and download speeds, but it will also show a measurement of the latency of your connection. This is a term used to describe how many milliseconds it takes for your computer to communicate with a server. Lower numbers are better, and players that can’t manage to get a connection that has a latency under 90 ms will not be able to enjoy any of the high paced games that require quick reactions. Fiber optic lines provide better latency than DSL connections, reducing the chance for lag that ruins your game.
Fiber optics lines were once only run to big businesses, but many providers are expanding their coverage in even the most rural areas. If you have a fiber optic provider in your area, consider upgrading to a faster connection for a better gaming experience.