Updated 3rd July 2020
Any modern gamer will need a decent internet connection. This is true even if you are not engaged in multi-player events – as most modern gaming platforms now demand large game downloads. At this point, you’re going to need a truly reliable broadband connection that’s up for the task.
What are the best Broadband Plans for Modern Gaming?
Gaming has evolved possibly as drastically as streaming TV has changed over the years. It’s gotten big, like really big — from the family “consoles” of the ’70s to becoming the global entertainment behemoth that it is these days. Today, the bulk of modern gaming platforms depend greatly on having a solid and reliable internet connection. This is exactly why you need to wisely choose the right ISP and a plan that gives you seamless gaming for as long as you want. Here are more reasons why you need a dependable broadband connection for your gaming.
What do you need to play games online?
There are a number of requirements for any intensive online activity, especially when it comes to online gaming. When choosing any internet plan you need to take into speed, latency, reliability and of course cost. Below we break down some of the major factors that can affect your online gaming experience.
Speed can be the difference between a win or a loss when it comes to online gaming. A high-speed connection can ensure a disruption-free gaming experience as well as allowing for multiple users if co-op play is your jam. Games also take less time to download over a faster connection speed, and log-in times are also improved. A good balance of price and speed is usually the 50/20 tier (50 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up) which almost all providers offer. Depending on your NBN connection, though, you can go even faster, up to 100/40 and beyond.
You can avoid some big downloads by having physical copies of your games. But if you want to play online, you’ll need not just a reliable connection – you need great latency (a tech term for responsiveness). This is the time it takes for what you do on your PC or game console to get communicated to the others you’re playing with, and vice-versa. Not all ISPs are equal when it comes to tweaking latency for gaming, while some actively work to make it the best it can be.
Judging a providers reliability is easier said than done, as reporting on outages can differ depending on where you look. Fortunately, the easiest way to check is on the ACCC website. Every quarter they publish reports on ISP reliability, detailing information on the real-world performance of broadband plans. Ideally, your broadband provider of choice will also have the most direct possible connections to the data centres where many gaming servers are hosted.
It’s really convenient to download games directly. You don’t even have to leave the house. Just press the button and the download begins. For this, you need a plan with decent data. Modern games can be massive! Depending on the games you play and the platforms you play on, game downloads can use gigabytes, while playing online can add as much as 100MB per hour. If you play for five hours, that’s 0.5GB right there. So you also want to check out the terms and conditions around bandwidth shaping or excess data charges.
For example, the Mass Effect Andromeda install files are 55GB on Windows PC, 42.9GB on PS4, and 42.19GB on Xbox One – and that’s not including update patches. If you have 200GB a month, that’s around 1/4 of your quota gone for just one game. You will also want decent download speed – no one wants to wait for ages for their game to arrive. You may as well line up and wait outside the store!
At the end of the day, cash rules everything, and if you are on a budget, it will certainly affect what you can afford. Luckily, internet prices have come down significantly with the competition introduced by the NBN as well as 4G mobile data and the rollout of 5G. That means affordable broadband plans don’t skimp on speed or data limits. Unlimited plans are everywhere – the choice really comes down to a speed-to-cost ratio.
The Top Five Broadband Deals For Gamers
We’re working on the assumption that you are already happy with your phone and TV options, and are only including bundles if they make sense for gaming purposes. With that being said, we’ve created a top five list of the best broadband deals for gamers including MyRepublic, SouthernPhone and the perennial Telstra. Check out all the plans in the list below for your online gaming needs.
#1 Telstra Gaming Bundle + Free BINGE & Foxtel Now
Telstra has been a mainstay of Australia’s Internet services since the days of dial-up. They make the list because of their extensive coverage, and the ability to upgrade from an ADSL connection to an NBN plan with no difference in the monthly rate. For gamers, this particular bundle is hard to resist. For starters, you get the Xbox One S console with monthly Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription included. The Smart Modem is thrown in as part of the monthly plan fee if you stay connected for 24 months. Of course, Xbox One console comes in handy for those times between gaming sessions when you want to chill out with some Netflix, which also names Telstra the #1 NBN provider for streaming said service. There’s even a waived $99 connection free when you buy online. Another great addition is total access to all Foxtel Now channel packs for one month and three months of BINGE subscription — free!
#2 Southern Phone NBN Max
Those living in regional areas can rely on Southern Phone to deliver the high-speed and quality connection. With their NBN Max plan, you get unlimited data on the NBN100 speed tier — and best of all, there are no lock-in contracts involved. Use it when you want for unlimited gaming and streaming, and always have the option to drop down to the NBN 50 unlimited plan when you don’t need the extra speed.
#3 Belong Premium Plan
For maximised gaming experience, an internet connection of unparalleled speed is crucial. That’s why now is the best time to score Belong’s top-end unlimited NBN plan configured on the 100/40Mbps for only $95/month. The Premium speed plan, specifically, is available on a month-to-month term so you can cancel anytime. Plus getting the highest-tier, fast data for under $100 is quite a catch.
#4 MyRepublic Gamer Pro Plan
There’s no second-guessing when it comes to the quality of speed that MyRepublic delivers. Delivering simplified unlimited data plans with or without lock-in contracts, the telco’s Premium Speed NBN plan is excellent for avid gamers to do gaming marathons without encountering buffering or any other connection issues. What sets MyRepublic unique is also their range of Gamer Pro Premium NBN plans that are specially designed for true gamers at heart priced at $109 per month. With this, you score all the gamer perks you need to get the very best of gaming, including a static IP address, custom routing and live latency tracking and an award-winning network that’s optimised for gaming. It’s available month-to-month or on a 12-month contract, with contract plans including access to a quality Wi-Fi hub and a gaming headset for only $1 each. For greater speed, Gamer Pro 250/25Mbps plans are also offered for $119/month.
#5 Sky Muster Plus from activ8me
With activ8me’s high-quality satellite NBN, you can enjoy the perks of fun gaming even with the absence of the latest NBN technology in your area. Right now, the telco’s top-end plan is the Sky Muster Plus service with 300GB (150GB peak, 150GB off-peak) and running on the 25/5Mbps speed tier. That’s fast enough for moderate gaming and the likes. You can also choose the no lock-in contract plan with $0 set up fees. activ8me also offers NBN plans that start from only $59.95/month. Want unlimited data running on NBN100? That’ll be $99.95/month but with typical evening speeds of up to 75.77Mbps!
How to Check Your Current Broadband Speed
If you’re like many people, you may not even realise how slow your current internet connection is – especially at peak times. That can have a huge impact on gaming, streaming and everything else. To get a good idea of how well your current provider is doing, make use of our instant broadband speed test and see for yourself – or learn more about how Australia’s competition watchdog the ACCC is rating broadband speeds in its quarterly reports.
What is the Best Broadband Plan for Online Gaming?
It’s a close call. But in the end, Telstra comes out on top because of their no-nonsense attitude towards serious internet with the inclusion of the perfect gaming console. While their focus isn’t solely on delivering a great gaming experience, their fuss-free, month-to-month offer make them a clear choice over other internet bundles. Note: you can always use the NBN rollout checker to see if the NBN is available in your location.
Please keep in mind that depending on the ISP, these deals may also include specific fees and charges for service set-up, installation