What's with your internet connection? Why does it suck?
Stress is a fact of life in the modern age; there's no escaping it. If there is one thing that can still turn a gamer's blood to steam, however, it's when the internet drops out just as they are about to perform the perfect kill.
With that in mind, we're taking a look at the top 10 reasons for game related hypertension (other than exercise and a good diet – but this could be an internet myth) and offer some suggestions...
1. You have dial up
There are still an enormous number of people out there using dial up as their connection to the Internet, despite the fact that the price difference between this ancient connection type and an entry level broadband product is small. You are missing out on a feature-rich Internet experience for the sake of a few dollars a month. The world has moved on! Ditch the 56k modem (or forever be dead meat in multiplayer)!
2. Home wiring
A little known fact is that 40-60% of Internet problems relate to your home wiring. If your Internet-carrying cabling is running close to (and in parallel with) your electrical wiring, you are asking for the nasty electrical induction demon to appear in your network.
If that sounds like you, check to see if you have your cabling too close to your house wiring (warning: home electrical work is something you cannot safely learn about on the Internet! Don’t be an idiot, get a professional sparky in if you want to do anything electrical.)
3. The position of your modem
The world is full of badly insulated products. More so nowadays, as appliances and devices become cheaper. Placing your modem next to your dirt-cheap microwave means that, while cooking the standard gamer’s staple of pizza, snack time will likely also result in some epic latency and signal loss. We suggest you keep at least a meter between your modem and other devices. Alternatively wrap it (and yourself) in tin foil (added bonus is that the aliens will also lose control of your brain).
4. Burglar alarm / electric fences
Two devices that must be the bane of a lot of telephone techs. Pulses from electric fences and stay alive signals from monitored alarms can interrupt your Internet connection. With alarms especially, ensure they are correctly filtered if you're using ADSL to connect to the Internet (ADSL shares its connection to the world with your phone line, which your alarm probably uses too).
5. Where you live
We like to think we live in an egalitarian country. The fact is, however, the more remote you are, the harder it is for your broadband supplier to get a good quality signal to you. Yes, fibre offers some hope in this regard, but be realistic; if your property is 50 km down a remote rural road, how economical is it for the provider to deliver service to you? Does your $39 a month justify laying the 50 km of fibre to your home?
Investigate some of the wireless and satellite alternatives if you must live in the boondocks, and prepare for the Armageddon. Just don’t expect the same level of service that urban dwellers get. Here’s a tip: when buying or renting a house, talk to the locals and the estate agents to see what the Internet connection is like in the area before you buy.
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