Game players generally blast cable because the shared network in the neighborhood causes performance fluctuations. The rule for gamers tends to be “go DSL” but that doesn’t always guarantee success. As you’ll see, DSL has plenty of network traffic contention issues.
But these issues are in the central office and not in your neighborhood. In other words, your gaming experience will be determined by your service provider rather than by the traffic load in the network.
DSL gaming pros and cons:
- Direct, private connection to the central office
- Performance more consistent than cable
- Slower upstream speeds can mean slower response
- Slower downstream speeds can slow video response
Unfortunately, there is no one right answer. Checking over forums around the Internet, AOL broadband for example, I found people who loved their provider whereas the next comment would curse that same provider.
If someone in your household loves gaming, they have plenty of friends to ask for recommendations. Because an unhappy gamer generates more anguish in a household than almost anything else, you may wish to choose your broadband provider based on game requirements.
After all, Web sites download pretty well on any broadband connection, but a local provider that configures its network well for games will generally serve all other content satisfactorily. This recommendation doesn’t cover those of you hosting game servers. If that’s the case in your house, you need upstream bandwidth.
Again, the gaming community your child uses will have valuable opinions to help define your options.