If you are a diehard online gamer, you should do everything you can to speed up your internet connection for gaming.
There are numerous ways you can speed up your internet connection for gaming, including restarting your modem and router, moving your gaming device closer to your router, upgrading your internet service, using an Ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi, reducing malware, and decreasing network activity.
I’ve been gaming for years and have set up countless local networks using a wide range of wired and wireless equipment. I’ll go over ways you can quickly boost your internet speed without jumping through endless hoops or spending tons of money.
16 Ways To Speed Up An Internet Connection For Gaming
Ensure Your Internet Service Is Up To Speed
I generally trust my internet service provider to give me the best service possible, but they occasionally have network issues that slow down my internet connection.
Before doing anything else, you should use a speed tester to make sure you are receiving internet service at or near the speeds stated in your plan.
You can use a web browser to test your internet speed by entering “internet speed test” in a search engine.
One of the top results should take you to a website that can test your download and upload speeds.
If your internet speeds are slower than expected, contact your internet service provider to check it out.
If you’re lucky, they’ll be able to resolve the speed issues over the phone.
In some cases, service technicians may be called upon to fix physical problems with their network.
Restart Your Internet Devices
It’s not uncommon for me to play video games online and suddenly see my screen freeze.
Modems and routers can sometimes reduce internet speeds or completely drop connections due to random bugs and glitches.
Fortunately, fixing basic modem and router issues can often be done in a few minutes or less.
To clear possible glitches with your modem and router, reset both devices by powering each device off and on.
It’s a good idea to wait at least a few seconds before powering each device back on.
Connect With An Ethernet Cable Instead Of Wi-Fi
When wireless technology such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth started becoming popular, I didn’t see many reasons to continue using my wired devices.
After getting more into online gaming, I realized having wired connections could actually be quite beneficial.
Using a wired connection for internet access is often much faster than using a wireless connection.
If your gaming device is close enough to your router, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect your device to the router.
Using an Ethernet cable doesn’t only apply to computers and game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation.
You can connect an Ethernet cable to a mobile phone or tablet by using a cable adapter.
One end of the adapter will have an Ethernet connector, while the other end will have a phone connector such as USB-C.
Connect Your Gaming Device Directly To Your Modem
Internet routers are great when you want to connect multiple devices to your internet service.
However, using a router isn’t necessary if you don’t need to connect more than one device.
Since a router distributes internet service across multiple devices, the internet speed for each device will progressively decrease as more devices are added.
To restrict other devices from accessing your internet service, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect your gaming device directly to your modem.
You would simply insert the Ethernet cable in the port where a router would be connected.
Move Your Computer Closer To Your Router
If you are connecting to your router via Wi-Fi, minimizing the distance between your gaming device and the router might help to boost your internet speed.
Straightforward physics comes into play on this speed-boosting method.
The shorter the distance your Wi-Fi signal has to travel, the faster the signal will reach its destination.
Upgrade Your Internet Service Equipment
Not all modems, routers, and cables are created equal when it comes to internet speeds.
Using higher-quality internet service equipment can help to optimize and speed up your connection for gaming.
New modems, routers, and cables are abundantly available for purchase on Amazon and other online marketplaces.
If you want to use an Ethernet cable to connect your gaming device, using a better cable isn’t the only option for improving your internet speed.
Using a shorter version of the same Ethernet cable could help to speed things up.
Depending on your internet service provider, you might not have to pay anything to upgrade your internet service equipment.
Some internet service providers may offer upgraded modems, routers, and cables for free.
New equipment offers tend to come when your internet service plan is up for renewal, but could also be available just by asking.
So it wouldn’t hurt to contact your internet service provider and request upgraded equipment.
Use Network Extension Accessories
Your Wi-Fi internet connection for gaming can be slower the farther away you are from your router.
To widen your Wi-Fi signal and speed up your internet connection, you can use a Wi-Fi range extender.
A Wi-Fi range extender, which is also known as a Wi-Fi amplifier, Wi-Fi signal booster, or Wi-Fi extender, can be placed near your internet router to increase the range of the router’s Wi-Fi signal.
A physical connection to your router is not required as the extender wireless absorbs the Wi-Fi signal and rebroadcasts it to an expanded area.
If you want a wired connection from a far distance, you can use Powerline adapters to reduce the need for long Ethernet cables.
It can be cumbersome and unsightly to place Ethernet cables throughout your house.
To extend your wired internet connections, you can plug one end of an Ethernet cable into your modem or router and the other end into a Powerline adapter that is plugged into an AC outlet.
You would then plug another Powerline adapter in an AC outlet near your gaming device, then connect an Ethernet cable to the second Powerline adapter and your gaming device.
The Powerline adapter uses the building’s electric circuitry to transmit your internet signal from one Powerline adapter to the other.
To ensure proper functionality, make sure your modem or router uses the same circuitry as the AC outlets of the Powerline adapters.
Reduce Malware On All Network Devices
Malware can be a major drag on computing and internet resources, so you should do everything you can to stomp out malware before gaming.
Installing updated anti-virus software can be an effective way to weed out and remove pesky malware.
Not only should you remove malware from your gaming device, you should remove malware from all devices connected to your network since each malware-affected device can slow down the internet service for the whole network.
Sign Up For A Faster Internet Plan
This is probably one of the most obvious solutions, but we can’t pass up getting a faster internet plan to speed up your internet connection.
Of all the things you can do to increase your internet speed for gaming, a faster internet plan can likely make the most noticeable difference.
Of course, the difference it can make depends on the particular internet plan you get, but plan levels are often much faster from level to level.
Remove Physical Wi-Fi Obstructions
If you use a Wi-Fi internet connection for gaming, you can speed things up by moving objects that are between your router and gaming device.
Though any obstructive object can potentially reduce your internet speed, metal objects can absorb Wi-Fi signals more than objects made mostly of other materials like wood or plastic.
Disable Your VPN
Using a virtual private network (VPN) can be a great way to increase your privacy and gain access to networks you might otherwise be restricted from accessing.
However, since VPNs work by transmitting your internet connection through one or more remote servers, your resulting internet speed can become significantly diminished.
Though the effects of a VPN on your internet speed largely depend on the location of your VPN server, disabling your VPN entirely can more assuredly speed up your internet connection by cutting off all VPN servers.
Play On Closer Gaming Servers
The distance between you and your gaming server can have a major effect on the speed of your internet connection for gaming.
If more than one gaming server is available, you should play on a server that is as close to you as possible.
If you are located in the United States and choose a server in Asia, you may experience more lag than a server in the United States, South America, or Europe.
Before I started gaming, I wasn’t particularly concerned with updating device and system software since I didn’t worry too much about optimizing performance.
I later realized there are loads of software that can negatively impact my internet connection if the software is not regularly updated.
From firmware to drivers, keeping all device and network software up to date can help to speed up your internet connection for gaming.
Here is a list of common software that should be continuously updated to promote faster internet connections:
- Computer or mobile operating system
- Network adapter driver
- Graphics card driver
- Modem firmware
- Router firmware
- Game console firmware
- Game software
Decrease Your Gaming Graphics Quality
One of the main reasons I enjoy gaming today is the unbelievable graphics quality compared to games that are only a few years older.
Unfortunately, high-resolution games with dynamic shaders and high frame rates require large amounts of data to be streamed, which can cause dramatic reductions to your internet speed.
Newer online games provide options for players to reduce graphics quality and reduce network lag.
Whether you play games on a computer, mobile device, or gaming console, you should explore your game settings to see if graphics quality can be adjusted.
If you have the option to adjust graphics quality, you should tone down as many graphics components as possible until you reach a good balance between graphics quality and internet speed.
Optimize Your Network Settings
I’m a big fan of plug-and-play devices that require little to no configuration, but I also want my devices to run at optimal settings whenever possible.
The network settings for your internet router will not necessarily be optimized out of the box.
You can adjust the settings to promote a faster internet connection for your gaming device.
A common setting to maximize your internet speed is to set your gaming device’s IP address to have the highest priority on the network.
You may also be able to limit the internet speeds of all other devices connected to your network to prevent them from draining too much bandwidth while you are gaming.
Experimenting with other network settings such as the RTS (Request to Send) threshold might also help to speed up your internet connection.
If your internet router has multiple channels, switching the router from a 2.4 GHz channel to a 5 GHz channel could potentially improve your internet speed.
Decrease Network Activity
Though I try to keep track of all devices connected to my network, devices can easily accumulate over time.
Software running in each device adds to the overall activity load on the network.
The more activity that occurs on your network, the slower your internet connection will be for gaming.
You should do whatever you can to reduce software activities in your gaming device and all other devices connected to your network.
Minimizing background tasks and closing other applications while you game can be a quick and easy way to improve your internet speed.
If you are downloading any files, you should pause or stop the downloads until you are done gaming.
Since it can be time-consuming to stop software processes in every device connected to your network, simply disconnecting or shutting down all other devices might be a better way to increase your internet speed.
- There are many easy ways you can speed up your internet connection for gaming without spending any money.
- Fast and free methods that can increase your gaming speed include restarting internet devices like modems and routers, updating software, removing physical obstructions between your router and gaming device, optimizing your network settings, and decreasing network activity.
- Paid methods that can boost your internet speed include upgrading your network equipment, installing anti-virus software, using network extension accessories, and signing up for a faster internet service plan.