Is Fiber Internet Really Better for Gaming?

There may be no other
group of heavy internet users that’s more passionate about their internet
connection than gamers. Yes, I’m talking to you,
shooters and strategizers, and raiders and, of course,
look I’m not fooling anybody, I am one of you. Do I need to retell the story of how I dug 50 feet of trench out to my home studio, because I was sick of lagging
during Starcraft and Destiny? Yeah. Anyway, they say that fiber is
the ultimate connection type, if you can get it. But, how true is that? Well, let’s dive in. Now, don’t forget to like and subscribe, and hit the description
for a link to our give way, that’s going on right now. Look, first of all, I’m not going to get super technical
in my explanation here. This is just the basics,
for basic people like me. – Now, let’s start with
what your options are. DSL, cable and fiber. Yes, dial up and satellite
are out there too, but neither tend to work
as well for online gaming. So, what are the differences
between the primary three? First up, DSL. DSL runs along your phone line. It’s been around for a long
time and it has gotten better, as the years have gone on. Frankly, it can be a really good option, if you’re really close to your ISP, because the primary
weakness of DSL is distance. The farther you are from your ISP, the slower your connection. Cable internet runs through copper wire on a coax connection, and it tends to be much faster than DSL,
at least historically. Cable doesn’t rely on proximity
to deliver a strong signal, so it doesn’t really
matter how far you are from your provider, as long as that line can reach your house. But, cable is not without it’s weaknesses. Like DSL, the existing
cable infrastructure, is starting to show it’s age, which can occasionally affect reliability. But, the biggest weakness
of cable is that, unlike DSL, cable is a shared connection. Think of it like a tree,
with the cable company laying trunk lines which
split into branches that head through a
neighborhood, or down a street, and then individual lines
shoot off of those branches. So, if you have a lot of
people sharing a branch, and when everybody logs on
during high traffic hours, everyone’s signal is gonna
slow down significantly. Finally, we have fiber, which
is a wire made from glass, or plastic, instead of
the traditional copper, of cable or DSL. Now, I’ll skip the science lesson, which frankly, I’m not
qualified to give anyway, and I’ll just say that because of the type of wire it
uses, fiber is fast. Like really, really, fast. Gigabit internet speeds
are just the beginning of what fiber’s capable of delivering. But, fiber’s biggest strength,
from the point of view of most of us consumers, is
that it’s generally symmetrical, instead of asymmetrical. An asymmetrical connection,
like what you usually get with cable or DSL,
means that you might get a 100 megabits per
second of download speed, but your upload speed is only,
say 10 megabits per second. That means you’re receiving
data really quickly, but you’re sending it much more slowly. Fiber’s symmetrical connections though, mean that generally, because
you’re getting gigabit download speeds, you’re also
getting gigabit upload speeds. Now, for gamers who are
constantly both sending and receiving data to keep up
with the game in real time, you can see how attractive this would be. Especially if you’re
say, a Twitch streamer, and you need those upload
speeds for your live streams. There’s only one problem with all this. Believe it or not, after
everything I just went through, speed isn’t even the most important thing for a gamer to worry about. Especially if you’re not streaming. It’s not that speed isn’t important, but it is secondary to the
three most important internet terms for a gamer to know. Latency or ping, packet loss and jitter. Now, latency is simple. It’s the amount of time
it takes for a signal to make a round trip between you and your internet service provider. When it comes to latency, lower is better. So, 300 milliseconds of ping,
probably not gonna work. 20 milliseconds, you’re doing fine there. Incidentally, this is
why satellite internet, with it’s satellite orbiting
22,000 miles away from you, has a hard time keeping
up with real-time gaming. Packets are the bundles of
data that are being sent back and forth between you and your ISP. Naturally, you don’t want
those packets getting lost or corrupted in transit, which
would mean that they need to be resent, increasing your latency. Again, the closer this number
is to zero, the better. And finally, jitter. Jitter is the change in
your latency over time. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if your latency is usually
sitting at 20 milliseconds, and then it suddenly plummets
to 10 or jumps to 30, then those data packets are
going to arrive out of order, and it creates a whole new kind of mess. So, the dirty secret is this,
speed matters in gaming, but not nearly as much as
some marketing materials would have you believe. Gaming actually requires
relatively low speeds. Sometimes less than a
single megabit per second. What matters more is how
reliable are your connection is when it comes to latency,
packet loss and jitter. And, any of our three connection types, can deliver good results
in those categories. So, who cares about fiber and it’s fancy super-fast symmetrical speeds, right? Well, the thing is,
fiber often, not always, but often performs better in
those other categories too. Fiber networks tend to
be newer, more reliable. The only problem here is
that it’s really expensive, and difficult to get
infrastructure in place. Believe me, I should know. Google fiber was being
installed where I live in Salt Lake City but,
even the almighty Google, decided it was too rich for
their blood and abandoned the project right before
they got to my street. Yeah, that one hurt. Anyway, where was I? Right, so fiber isn’t
necessarily better for gaming, but it often is, simply
because of how reliable it tends to be. So, if you wanna check
how reliable providers are in your area, League of Legends,
the popular online game, has a pretty great tool called lag report, that ranks your possible provider, so that you lag as little as possible, on your quest for ladder dominance. All right, you know how it goes. Like, if you liked it, and
don’t forget to subscribe. And, for even more detailed
information on internet speeds, and how to get the best ones for gaming, or anything else, go check
out our stuff on



    What type of connection do you use? Is it reliable enough for you?

  • David Cole

    Simple answer is yes, but with Limitations of distance.

  • Praju vada

    Love Ur channel I cutted my cord already following ur channel from few weeks good job!

  • kamil douglas

    short answer yes it is


    You are partially right on the coax I'm a cable guy, cable also has fiber nodes that send signal out to amps then to taps and if you have a good cable provider you shouldn't have any problems like that

  • Bowser McNoodle

    Love my fiber connection.

  • Thomas Summers

    Fiber still uses the DSL platform to work Fiber is just DSL advanced.

  • Ed Reid

    The way my Wi-Fi decided to stop, freeze, buffers… ruins my gaming experience…

  • Jose P

    Having 1000+Mbps Fiber connection isn’t going to make you a God at Fortnite. Having the lowest latency is what matters and decent internet speeds like 25mbps. And Always Use LAN cable never WiFi. People who complain about lag are the ones who are on WiFi and their routers are far away from their console at the other end of the house 😂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *