Let’s talk about latency.

Latency is an important element in online gaming. Whilst most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) advertise their speeds (normally as an average), they rarely talk about their latency.

For "realtime" gaming, your internet connection needs to have a low latency to avoid lag (the delay between player input and game response). High latency can also cause poor frame rate and bring the game grinding to a halt. For competitive online games such as Call of Duty & FIFA, a slow response time can be detrimental to the enjoyment of the game.

But whilst an advertised high speed would indicate a great low latency speed, this is not always the case. Traditional copper lines on oversubscribed networks come with a greater overhead of higher latency. They are, at best, 2/3s slower than fibre connections. 

So what is a good speed?

On speedtests, you will see a statistic called ping. This is your best indication of latency on your internet connection.

  • Anything under 20ms is considered amazing for gaming.
  • Between 20-50ms will still provide a great gaming experience.
  • 50-100ms is OK
  • Over 100ms and you're not likely to be getting the best online experience. You'll notice lag and low frame rate on games.

Fixed wireless access networks like Wildanet provide an extremely low latency due to the minimal amount of distance between transmitters and receivers. Our signal travels through the air in a straight line . 
Fibre optic cables however need to follow paths along underground ducting with each bend reducing the speed of transmission slightly. Fibre therefore, tends to have slightly higher latency for this reason. Whilst to the human eye, milliseconds is not noticeable, it is to the console you're using and the speed at which it can process frame rate.

It's not something that many people realise, but Wildanet's fixed wireless network is fantastic for ensuring gaming in realtime.