Best broadband for Xbox, PlayStation and PC gamers
Online gamers need a broadband connection with plenty of data, speed and low latency. Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP) and plan will give you the edge on the competition.
A fast – and more importantly, stable – connection is crucial to avoid drop-outs mid-play. Ideally, go for an ADSL2+ or cable connection, although a fast ADSL1 (at least 1,500kbps or above) should be sufficient. If you can, you should use an Ethernet cable to your modem rather than the wireless connection for the fastest speeds.
It's best to go for a plan with plenty of data, as downloading demos, updates and online play will eat through a lot of your limit. Fortunately, there are big data plans available from several providers on both ADSL1 and ADSL2+ connections.
Some ISPs – like TPG – offer a straightforward broadband service and this is your best option if you are just after plenty of data at a fast speed, as cheaply as possible.
TPG has some great value plans for heavy users, including unlimited data on ADSL2+ for $29.99 when bundled with a $30 home phone on its own network, or for $79.99 on its Off-Net ADSL2+ plan or for $69.99 on its Off-Net ADSL1 plan at an 8Mbps speed. Your address will determine the type of plan available to you: call us on 1300 106 571 to find out which plan you could access.
Alternatively, you could look at a few ISPs who are offering a little more for gamers.
Internode has a gaming network called Games On Net, featuring, news, views and free downloads, including demos, patches, updates and trailers. These are available for Wii, Xbox, PlayStation and PC owners, as well as other platforms. Internode also boasts Australia's largest public Steam Content service.
Internode also runs a network of 140 servers dedicated to online gaming. While you can access Games On Net through other ISPs, you will have to use up your data quota. Internode can also promise the best possible performance for its own customers, but not for those with other ISPs. Games available include Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Counterstrike.
Internode has some great value Naked broadband plans, starting from 150GB for $59.95, up to $149.95 for a terabyte (1,000GB). If you want a home phone, you could also look at one of Internode's UltraBundles, including Home 60 - 60GB and line rental for $79.90.
iiNet also has a gaming network, which Westnet customers can share: 3FL. Gamers can play Battlefield 1942 and Counterstrike among others, quota free. Updates and patches for many different games and platforms are also available, again quota free. 3FL also offers gaming news and a forum.
Quota-free downloads from iiNet's Freezone (which includes 3FL content) are not subject to shaping, so you can continue to enjoy online gaming even if you go over your download limit for the month and normal internet use has been slowed.
iiNet can also offer VoIP and TV services, making this ISP a great all-round entertainment choice. iiNet offers plenty of data on its plans, including its ADSL2+ Home-2 plan: 200GB for $49.95, split 100GB on peak and 100GB off peak, when bundled with a $29.95 home phone service.
All of these ISPs can deliver great broadband services for gamers. It's important to contact a few different providers when you are looking for the best ISP, as prices and speed varies between areas – in some places, one ISP may be able to offer an ADSL2+ service while another can only offer ADSL1.