The Aussie Guide to Iso-Gaming

April 16th, 2020 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Ricky Patton

Single player games like the recently released Final Fantasy VII Remake have always come with a bucket-load of hype. But now, because of current social isolation restrictions, things are beginning to change. Multiplayer games are increasing in popularity, even for gamers that are normally solo players.

A recent example of a game that has exploded even by its own standards is Animal Crossing, the game has seen the most support tickets I’ve ever seen for a video game short of a Fortnite server outage.

But with online gaming, sometimes connectivity issues can happen. So we’ve come up with some handy tips to ensure you aren’t wasting even a second of that gaming catch-up time you currently have.

Local Connectivity

Cable is kind when it comes to any sort of lower latency, but quite a few devices and consoles no longer come with that trusty ethernet jack on the back. In a wireless world there are 3 main things you want to ensure that you have configured correctly and those are:

  • Frequency
  • Channel
  • Location

Frequency

2.4Ghz is probably a frequency that you have heard in multiple places, from Cordless phones, Wireless Headphones and WiFi.

The problem with this frequency is that it’s a victim of its own success. Due to the massive amount of people using this for various devices, it’s what we refer to as “over saturated”. This basically means that there just isn’t enough of the frequency to go around.

5Ghz has also been around for a while, but due to the expanded nature of its channel width and the fact that less “assorted” items are using this frequency, you will find it much more stable than 2.4Ghz.

Channel

Channel is a much-overlooked setting in routers. This is because most devices have an “auto” mode to attempt to steer your precious bandwidth away from networks around you. However, if you have other neighbours that are also on auto, you may both end up on the same channel occasionally.

To get around this, we recommend setting your channels manually.

To find the best channel on the following operating systems you just need to do the following:

Mac

We will be using the Wireless Diagnostics tool built into OS X.

  • To reach this hold the Option key and click the WiFi icon on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Select “Open Wireless Diagnostics”.
  • Click the Window menu at the top of the screen then click Utilities.
  • Select the WiFi Scan tab and click Scan Now.
  • The “Best 2.4Ghz Channels” and “Best 5Ghz Channels” fields will recommend the ideal WiFi channels you should be using on your router.
Windows

Nirsoft’s Wifiinfoview also does similar to the above showing the channels around you. So you can select one of the below channels to best suit your environment.

  • Best 2.4Ghz Channels: 1, 6 or 11 as there is overlaps between channels outside of these.
  • Best 5Ghz Channel: Basically, any that are free, as they are entirely separate from each other. But if you have older 5Ghz devices you may opt for a lower numbered channel as some older devices weren’t built with current standards in mind.

Location, Location, Location

Location is important to ensure you get the best coverage possible, and to limit any interference you may get before that signal reaches your devices.

So, make sure your router is well away from electrical items and place it as centrally as you can in your house to ensure an even WiFi spread.

You might need to invest in a booster for your WiFi signal. At Aussie Broadband, we have the Google Nest WiFi product available to be purchased. Full information about the Google Nest WiFi product is available on our website here.

Network Address Translation (NAT)

The amount of trouble 3 little letters can cause sometimes is amazing. NAT is a network technology used to get more addresses out of the finite amount of current addresses we have. The older IPv4 standard we have been using for decades now ran out of addresses in 2017. As a result, ISP’s invested in technologies like CG-NAT to get more users on their connections.

NAT has been used for quite some time in the home with local addresses such as 192.168.x.x, to allow many devices to use a single “external” address. The problem with this however is that the local devices don’t have direct access to the internet. Instead, they must transverse through the Network Translation before going out to the wider world.

Prior to CG-NAT each service had its own real world IP address. So, you could use something like Port Forwarding to allow each device to be tunnelled out to the internet. But now some trickery must be used to get online in a lot of cases.

Most modern games are built to cope with this and use any available connection assigned to them. We’ve recently optimised our CG-NAT platform to help multiplayer connections reach their brethren.

Bandwidth

While there are quite a few other things that can cause issues with online gaming, one of the main problems is bandwidth. This is due to families sharing bandwidth.

Trying to get in that final kill before the time runs out while your sister is binging the latest show on Netflix can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing.

Sharing finite bandwidth is always going to be a concern but with higher speed connections generally this is a thing of the past, especially in current circumstances.

Previously, if you wanted to all use high bandwidth services simultaneously, you would generally have to schedule times around each other to ensure that enough was available to go around. However, with speeds like 50/20 and 100/40 available on the NBN now, those concerns are generally a thing of the past.

If you’re still experiencing issues, the Aussie Broadband support team is available from 8am – Midnight, Monday to Sunday on 1300 880 905, or via LiveChat on the website.