- Best Internet Plans For Gamers
- What is Ping?
- What is Latency?
Any gamer will understand just how important it is to have a broadband connection that is fast, stable, and reliable. Nothing ruins a great online gaming session more than spotty internet, especially if you are paying a premium for your plan.
To make sure your connection does not cause you to lose your games next time, be sure you have an internet plan that matches your needs perfectly. There’s a ton of offers you can choose from out there, all coming from a variety of service providers.
But do not just sign up with the telco that offers huge discounts at the moment. It’s also not wise to simply sign up with the network that your gaming buddies use because the service largely depends on your location. If you want to find the best internet plans for your gaming needs, be sure to read through this article so you can explore your options better.
The Best Broadband Plans for Gaming (Standard): Internode
Internode’s NBN50 Unlimited plan is considered to be the best among other broadband plans offering NBN standard speeds of 50Mbps. The plan includes unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about maxing out your monthly data allocation and getting disconnected in the middle of the game.
It boasts a typical evening speed of 42.8Mbps, which is great for all those after-work gaming sessions with your pals. There is a $0 setup fee and you also get to use up to 20 email accounts with spam and virus filtering with this plan that costs $59.99 per month for the first six months. However, you would need to sign up for a six-month contract to avail of the offer.
Your monthly rate goes up to $79.99 per month after the sixth month, around the same time your contract ends so you’re free to stay connected or switch to another provider.
Runners-up: Aussie Broadband and TPG
If you don’t think Internode is the right for you, check out Aussie Broadband and its 50/20 Unlimited - Intermediate Small Business NBN plan. For only $69 a month, you also get unlimited data but with a slightly faster evening speed of 43Mbps.
It’s a little more expensive than Internode’s discounted monthly plan but the contract is completely commitment-free, meaning you’re not tied to the network for several months. The bundle also includes PAYG calls, which you can use to contact local numbers. Plus, you get to benefit from an all-Australian customer support staff.
Also worth considering is TPG’s NBN50 SL Bundle that comes with unlimited data and a typical evening speed of 46Mbps. It’s the fastest evening speed out of the three plans mentioned in this category and would potentially be the best choice at $69.99 per month if not for the 18-month contract.
The plan also includes PAYG calls and a modem, although you would have to pay an upfront fee of $30 for the plan.
The Best ADSL Plans for Gaming: Dodo
In case NBN has not completed its rollout in your location at the moment, there is a good chance you are still using an ADSL connection. And if this is the case, your best option for gaming is Dodo.
With its ADSL2+ Unlimited Metro plan inclusive of a Wi-Fi modem, you can enjoy unlimited data with your connection with $30 per month. Do note, however, that the plan is for a 12-month contract and requires an upfront fee of $24.90.
Runners-up: MATE and Tangerine
MATE’s ADSL2+ #citymates plan is also another workable option. With a monthly rate of $49 and a no-contract policy, you can use as much data as you want for gaming, streaming, and other online activities. The network also offers free assistance for when you need to transition to NBN as soon as the service becomes available in your area.
Tangerine, meanwhile, has the Standard Speed Unlimited plan that lets you enjoy unlimited data with a typical evening speed of 21Mbps for only $49.90 per month. It comes with a 14-day Risk-Free Trial that you’d want to take advantage of if you want to test out Tangerine’s reliability and speed in your location.
The Best Broadband Plans for Gaming (High-Speed): Aussie Broadband
When it comes to high-speed broadband plans, Aussie Broadband leads the pack with its 100/20 500GB - Build Your Own NBN plan. Your $85 month will get you 500GB of data with speeds of up to 86Mbps during peak evening hours. You are also eligible to mix and match your speed and data options, plus you can experience the highly raved about all-Australian support from the network.
If you go a little bit higher at $89 per month, you can avail of Aussie Broadband’s 100/20 Unlimited - Family NBN plan with the same inclusions.
Runners-up: TPG and Optus
If Aussie Broadband is not the best option in your neighbourhood, take time to check out the NBN100 SL Bundle from TPG. It costs $89.99 per month for unlimited data with a typical evening speed of 80.Mbps. It includes an Wi-Fi modem in the bundle and there is a $0 setup fee. But you need to pay an upfront fee of $30 and stay connected with the network for no less than 18 months.
If you’d rather for a flexible subscription other than Aussie Broadband, Optus is also something that’s worth looking at. The monthly fee for the Internet Everyday NBN plan is heftier at $95 but you get to enjoy unlimited data with a typical evening speed of 80Mbps.
There is no contract term, although you will have to pay a $99 upfront fee. If you choose to stay connected with the network for 36 months, you can get an Optus Ultra Wi-Fi modem with 4G backup for free.
Choosing the Best Internet Plans for Gaming
Now that you pretty much have an idea which service providers offer the best deals for internet gaming, you are probably considering filing an application to the network of your choice. But before you do so, be sure that the service provider you have in mind meets all of these categories. This guarantees that you are making the best choice for your needs, especially if you are looking at committing on a long-term contract.
Internet gaming is not only about the speed and reliability of your connection. You also need a data plan with a sufficient download allowance so you can get more than one game to play. If this is going to be the case for you, consider getting a broadband plan with unlimited data so you don’t have to limit yourself when it comes to the number of games you can play on a regular basis.
Some of the more popular games such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 require about 45 to 55GB. If you only have 500GB of allowance, downloading the game will already consume 20% of your allocation.
You also need to allocate data for data patches and updates, particularly if you opt to play games on discs. This could go anywhere between 5 and 50GB, or in some cases like Fortnite, 1 to 2GB on the regular.
Another factor to consider is the latency or the quality of your computer’s connection to the game server or another gamer’s computer. Although this is usually out of your control, it still plays a part in making your experience as smooth as possible.
Ping is used as a metric for latency and it is measured by your distance from your service provider’s main node, how the network routes its traffic, and its overall capacity to handle the data consumption of all users.
The lower the latency, the better the gaming experience. And to help you gauge it better, inquire about the stability of a particular service provider’s connection in your area. Take advantage of risk-free trials if you’re trying out a new network or avail of month-to-month contract terms for less commitment.
Of course, speed is going to be a factor in online gaming, more so if you are sharing the connection with everyone else at home. Say you have an ADSL2+ connection and you are trying to download a 50GB game. You can expect the download to complete in about 12 hours, and that’s if you have a stable connection. If you’re fortunate to have an NBN connection with standard speeds of 100Mbps, downloading the same game can be completed in an hour.
Evening speed is another important consideration, especially if you usually play your games during peak evening hours (between 7 and 11 pm). These times are usually the most congested, meaning more people are connected for various purposes.
Before deciding on a service provider for your internet gaming activities, pay attention to the evening speeds of the plan you are looking to get. Most networks publish an estimate for their evening speeds and these vary widely. If you want some sort of independent testing, you can also check the results of the ACCC’s broadband speed testing program.