Best ISP for Gaming
Whether you’re a casual or committed online gamer, having a slow and unstable internet connection can test your patience. From lag to connectivity issues, the enjoyability of online games is often directly related to your internet upload and download speed - with ping (or latency) being just as important. In this guide, we’ll look at internet service providers in South Africa that tick all the right boxes for providing a flawless gaming connection. These ISPs can accommodate the demands of pc, console, and mobile gaming. We’ll also discuss the roles that speed, latency, and data play in an adequate broadband line for online video games.
In This Guide:
- Why Is a Fast Connection Necessary for Online Gaming?
- Download Speed Vs. Upload Speed
- What About Latency?
- How Much Data Do I Need for Online Gaming?
- Who is the Best ISP for Gaming in South Africa?
- Where Can I Find Cheap Internet for Gamers?
Why Is a Fast Connection Necessary for Online Gaming?
Fast internet speed is essential to a pleasurable online gaming experience. For example, the faster the internet connection, the lower the risk of lag. This is because more data is being processed through your connection at the same time. The faster data can travel through a line, the lower the chances are that you’ll encounter a jumpy, inconsistent connection that disconnects you from other players – ultimately ruining your game.
It’s with this reason that we emphasise the necessity to acknowledge the minimum gaming speed requirements. This information is good to know before selecting an ISP with a promising broadband deal.
Download Speed Vs. Upload Speed
While games and consoles have different running requirements, two things that remain a constant for efficient performance are download speed and upload speed.
Download speed is the speed at which data travels from the server to your console. A decent average download speed for most gaming sessions is 3 Mbps. However, keep in mind that this figure can fluctuate depending on the platform being used and how many gamers are using the same connection simultaneously.
Upload speed is the speed at which data uploads from your console to the server. An internet upload speed for gaming shouldn’t be less than 1 Mbps. This will give you enough bandwidth to enjoy a smooth game, send large files, or use video chat to communicate with team members.
What About Latency?
While upload and download speeds are important for seamless online gaming, a connection’s latency (or ping rate) is just as crucial.
What is latency?
In terms of gaming, latency is the speed at which your console communicates with the internet server. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms) and the higher the ping rate, the slower your game will be. Even if your line speed is very fast, it’s still possible to experience lag due to poor latency.
Aim for a latency speed of less than 150 ms to avoid interrupted gaming.
How Much Data Do I Need for Online Gaming?
Naturally, gaming online uses internet data. Some games use up as little as 10MB of data per hour, others can jump over the 150MB/h mark - to a maximum of 300 MB per hour.
When shopping for an ISP for gaming, consider the amount of data you’ll get with each plan. While an uncapped line is preferable, you can still enjoy plenty of game time with a capped line that meets the data quantity you’re expecting to use per month. If you choose a plan with low to moderate data, keep in mind that you may have to pay ad hoc rates to top up (which can be costly).
Who is the Best ISP for Gaming in South Africa?
According to a thorough Q1 2020 broadband and ISP report released by MyBroadband, Cybersmart, Supersonic, and Cool Ideas have been ranked as the top internet service providers in South Africa.
“The report is based on 42,858 customer satisfaction ratings from South African broadband users between 1 January and 31 March 2020.”
In terms of ISPs who provide effective lines for gaming - speed test results indicate that Cybersmart and MWEB feature the lowest average latency on both VDSL and ADSL lines.
The list below provides an overview of the rankings of South Africa’s best ISPs.
- Cybersmart - 7.82
- Supersonic - 7.60
- Cool Ideas - 7.32
- RSAWEB - 7.31
- Afrihost - 7.17
- MTN - 7.13
- BITCO - 6.82
- Axxess - 6.77
- Vodacom - 6.47
- MWEB - 6.33
- Cell C - 6.18
- Rain - 5.85
- Telkom - 4.73
Remember, while Cybersmart has the highest ranking, other service providers may have internet plans that are more suited to your overall needs, including your budget. It’s important to shop around before switching providers or settling on a deal.
Where Can I Find Cheap Internet for Gamers?
With a decent selection of internet service providers available, the market is open to competition. This means that finding an affordable ISP in South Africa is a possibility. The trick is to browse and compare internet deals before jumping on the first plan that sounds too good to be true.
To quickly compare deals from the different internet providers in your area, you can use our free online quote comparison tool. Simply enter a few details and we’ll create a list of the best ISPs for gaming to choose from.
*When making your decision, remember to compare upload speeds, download speeds, ping rate, and the amount of data you’ll be getting with the price on offer.