What is the Best Internet for Gamers [Top 10 Service Providers]

Whether you play Call of Duty or World of WarCraft, all gamers need good high-speed internet. But finding this internet can take some time and effort. To help you out, we’ve got a list of the best internet for gamers and what you need to look out for to make sure you are getting a good deal.  

How do I know I have the best internet for gamers?

There are two big signs of good internet for gamers: high speeds and low latency. Speeds should ideally be above 100 Mbps (minimum) and latency should be below 35ms (milliseconds).

While we talk about how much internet speed you need often, latency is fairly new. Latency is a measure of how fast we send data between servers. For example, your device to another data center. 

To find out your latency, you can use one of the many free internet speed tests available. Many of them include measures on latency, but you might have to find a “more information” or “details” button to get this info. 

What is the best internet provider for gaming? Top 10 providers.

Here’s a quick summary of our findings on the best internet providers for gaming:

  • Xfinity
  • AT&T Fiber
  • Verizon FiOS
  • RCN (Astound Broadband)
  • Spectrum
  • Suddenlink
  • Cox Communications
  • Frontier Internet
  • Windstream
  • Google Fiber

All the providers on this list use fiber-optic internet because of its speed and reliability. 

1. Best overall: Xfinity

  • Speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Known for low latency 
  • Great self-service support

Xfinity provides an excellent combo package of speed and service. The company is known for its low latency, meaning you won't have to suffer through lag.  

What makes it particularly useful for gaming is its ability to port forward to the router management app. Typically speaking, this requires technical knowledge and the ability to access the router’s admin console. However, Xfinity’s app overcomes this. 

It doesn’t have the maximum speed potential on this list, but gaming doesn’t require gigabit internet. Most gamers will do fine with speeds up to 500 Mbps.

Compare Xfinity internet plans in my area.

2. Great reliability: AT&T Fiber

  • Speeds up to 5 Gbps
  • Decent latency ratings
  • Known for excellent customer service

AT&T fiber is available in several major cities across the US. With speeds up to 5 Gbps, the internet is suitable for running your own gaming servers. All of this comes in a package known for solid latency ratings.

AT&T’s main call to fame is its internet reliability and customer service. They also have a comparable self-service platform. 

AT&T’s weakness comes through in availability. Many locations are stuck with DSL internet, which usually isn’t fast enough for all things gaming. 

Compare AT&T Fiber internet plans in my area.

3. Awesome latency: Verizon FiOS

  • Internet speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Known for stunningly low latency measures
  • Unlimited data 

Verizon is a sleeper hit among gaming internet, mainly because of its ‌low latency. Despite being comparatively new to the internet game, Verizon does well. It relies on the lightning fast 5G form of internet, but also has fiber speeds.

You can also get discounts from Verizon for bundling smartphone and home internet plans. So, if you ‌love both (and enjoy the unlimited data plans), Verizon is a straightforward choice.

Verizon also suffers from some availability issues. However, the weakness of its 5G plans comes from its data throttling. The “up to” clause in your contract can reduce your speeds sometimes. 

Compare Verizon FiOS internet plans in my area.

4. Excellent deals: RCN Internet (Astound)

  • Insane savings on introductory plans
  • Internet speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Great television bundling

Astound Broadband makes up multiple providers, one of which being RCN Internet. Those who live in spots with RCN can enjoy amazing deals on year-one internet. Despite this, there’s no contract on those cheap plans.

RCN increases these prices heavily after year one, making them more comparable to other internet providers on this list. However, the rate hike can be a major detriment to some customers. Thankfully, RCN gives ample notice of these increases.

RCN also doesn’t have the same comprehensive self-management apps. Despite this, their customer service team makes up for this weakness.

Compare RCN Internet plans near me.

5. Decently priced fiber plans: Spectrum Internet

  • Speeds up to one gig
  • Unlimited data caps 
  • Decent pricing at mid-range speeds

Spectrum offers great introductory plans for speeds at 300 Mbps, making them an ideal starting point for gamers. Alongside unlimited data caps and good reliability, you get a pretty good deal. 

Spectrum also offers great bundling potential for TV, internet, mobile, and home phone bundles. So if you want savings, this is ideal. The problem is those savings don’t translate well into their gig internet speeds, as they can get expensive.

Spectrum is great for hosting servers and several household gamers, if you don’t mind paying the extra. If you only have one or two gamers in the house, you can save yourself some money. 

Compare Spectrum internet plans near me.

6. Serves rural communities: Suddenlink

  • Covers more rural locations than most providers
  • Excellent price for life guarantee
  • Speeds (940 Mbps) that often meet or exceed most gaming needs

Suddenlink is like CenturyLink in their price for life guarantees. However, what puts it on this list above the other one is its relatively better latency. Both providers take up the duty of providing more service to small towns.

Suddenlink’s major focus is its price for life guarantee. So if you don’t plan on moving outside of the coverage range, you can get some good deals. 

Speeds max out at almost a gig, making them suitable for any gaming needs. However, the availability of those higher speeds can be spotty. 

Compare Suddenlink internet plans near me.

7. Great flexibility of plans: Cox Communications

  • Good intro pricing on 1 Gbps internet
  • Excellent bundling potential
  • Great availability

In our review of Cox pricing and plans, you might notice a whole chunk of options. Cox has awesome flexibility for many internet provider services. However, you might end up paying a bit more than average for those needs.

Thankfully, its internet only plans for fiber are pretty good. So you can save some money through Cox, just be sure to keep an eye out for renewal pricing.

Cox is incredibly reliable and available in a lot of different locations. So it's an ideal solution for anyone who plays video games regularly. 

Compare Cox Communications internet plans near me.

8. Excellent WiFi system: Frontier Communications

  • Speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Available in many states
  • Free activation

Frontier offers an extreme of two different types of internet: DSL and Fiber. Its DSL internet connection is a bit too slow for gaming. Alternatively, its fiber is not, which is something it offers across most major systems. 

Despite having fiber speeds, it's lower on this list because most of its offering is at lower speeds. This happens in more rural areas. But, most gamers can ‌work with speeds up to 150 Mbps. 

It offers an incredibly fast WiFi system with free installation. So if you want to save some money when signing up for a new service, Frontier can help.  

Compare Frontier Communications internet plans near me.

9. Recently expanded fiber territory: Windstream (Kinetic)

  • Has several major upgrades to its system
  • Speeds up to one gig
  • No data caps or annual contracts

Earlier this year, Windstream announced the plan to spread fiber to over 400 thousand additional homes. While Windstream was once known to be slower, this commitment shows a willingness to grow. 

Windstream also has unlimited data, which appeals to those who want large downloads. Alongside no annual contracts, that’s not a bad deal. 

The only problem is the upgrade is still in progress, so Windstream still offers slower services for now. However, keep your eyes open to see what Windstream offers in your area over the next few years. 

Compare Windstream internet plans near me.

10. Great if you can get it: Google Fiber 

  • Good internet speeds
  • Decent reliability
  • Associated with a well-known internet company

Google Fiber, owned by Google, has one of the world’s best-known internet companies behind it. Because of this, those seeking fiber internet often see Google Fiber as the ideal. However, its availability is only for about 20 cities.

Google Fiber also costs more than other providers on this list. Expect no bundling or long-term discounts to reduce the price as well. But you can’t doubt that Google is a proven force behind the internet.

Those who live where they offer Google Fiber will enjoy great reliability and solid customer service. However, most people don’t live there and you might lose out on some cost savings if you want to bundle it with other services. 

Tips for finding the best internet service provider for gaming

If you are a gamer, you deserve an experience that doesn’t compromise your service. Below are some tips you can use to avoid those negative experiences.

Consider the type of game you are playing

Online gaming comes in many forms. The speed you need changes depending on what game you play. 

For example, massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) usually require more bandwidth. This is because your connection is working with much larger lobbies. Speeds up to 100 Mbps are usually the minimum here. 

However, in online shooters or competitive multiplayer matchups, you might need less speed. Working with fewer people usually means you don’t have as many demands. Speeds at 75 Mbps are great for this.

If your online gaming experience includes you and a few buddies, you won’t need as much. However, if you host the games from your internet, you’ll still want to stick with higher speeds. 

Look at reliability

Internet speed isn’t everything. You also need to look at reliability. Your gaming experience can be ruined with inconsistent internet. 

To determine reliability, talk to your friends and family about their experience with a provider. If you can, run a few speed tests to see if the provider matches the speed your friends pay for. Be sure to pick peak internet times (weekends) for the tests. 

You might also use it as an excuse to play a multiplayer game with your friend. Seeing the internet in action is a great way to determine consistency. 

Count the number of devices in your home

More devices mean your bandwidth will be ‌stretched. So, if you have multiple computers or televisions regularly gaming or streaming, you’ll want to account for those in your speed test. 

Smart home devices don’t take up a lot, but you should still consider them at 1 Mbps each. Ask yourself if there is anything you can remove. If not, it might be time for an upgrade. 

What is the best internet speed for gaming? Upload/download.

The best internet speed for gaming is often 300 to 500 Mbps download speed with 10 Mbps upload speed. 

Download speeds impact the rate at which data is sent to you. Alongside unlimited data, this means you won’t have to worry about overages when getting the latest games. 

Given that many video games in 2022 exceed 10 GB, it’s handy. However, if you consistently play the same games, you might not need to worry about this ‌as much. 

Upload speeds dictate how fast your device communicates with outside servers. To prevent lag, good upload speeds (at least 5 Mbps) are ideal. About 5 Mbps is ideal for team chat.

Double this number if you want to livestream your content. This includes if you take advantage of cloud video games, which require an active connection back and forth. 

Cloud gaming constantly runs into issues of controller lag with lousy internet. Controller lag is when the game takes a bit to recognize your button press. To prevent this issue, consider good upload speeds. 

Do your research on the fastest local internet service providers

You want to be sure you have the fastest internet providers available. To ensure you give yourself the best chance, do your research with the InternetAdvisor Internet Speed Wizard.

The Wizard asks you a series of questions related to your internet habits. Based on those habits (and the number of people in your household), it provides a minimum estimate of the best speed for you.

From there, it brings you to the “Find a Provider” tool to find the best internet providers near you. From there, you can focus on those that meet your specific requirements. To ensure you get the best internet for gamers like you, use these tools to help your research. 

Wrap up

The best internet for gamers requires a bit of research, but ultimately comes down to speed and reliability. You don’t want your connection to lag and you don’t want it to drop either. Knowing that, it becomes pretty easy to find something you need. 

InternetAdvisor Team

We are passionate about aggregating large, accurate data sets and providing it all to our users in an easy-to-use format. Simply put, shopping is easier for the consumer when he/she knows all available options. We are not beholden to any single provider and therefore are dedicated to transparency and giving you unbiased information on all providers.

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