To set up a router isn’t as easy as some people may think, especially when it comes to intensive uses such as gaming. Many multi-player games require a good internet connection to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted gameplay.
When setting up a router, if not set up correctly, even a good internet connection can let you down and you might end up with a broken screen with your controller sticking out of it owing to all that rage. That is to say that, a gaming network has more to it than just a blinding internet speed and fancy hardware.
There are five (6) stages, or rather processes that we need to get through in setting up a router. All the 6 stages are important and you need to pay attention to each of them to be able to get things done correctly.
Now, let’s dig in to it…
1. The Type of Connection to Use
This is the first thing that you need to do. In this stage you need to figure out the type of connection you intend can use. There are two types of connections: Wired or Wireless. In every way, a wired connection is better than wireless.
In some cases, not everyone can accommodate a wired connection. The reasons may vary but most cases involve it being restrictive or that it does not go with most house configurations. In this regard, a wireless network is all the more convenient, but it does give up on stability and latency.
2. Getting the Right Router
For those who don’t and/or may want to know, a router is a “device that forwards data packets between computer networks”. In simplicity, it is a device needed to “route” data to different users on the same network.
There’s a wide variety of routers out there, each with its own specs for different user needs. But with the advancement in the router technology, there are now good gaming routers available too which perform really well for 4k gaming.
Brands that offer gaming routers include D-Link with their DGL series, Netgear with their WNHDE111, Linksys with their WR330N and so on.
All the gaming routers differ from normal routers by the fact that they offer an adjustable Quality of Service (QoS). An adjustable QoS is vital for any gaming setup as it will be explained in the next step.
3. Setting up QoS
There are many users connected to an internet connection, each with their own use. In a typical household, not everyone needs internet just for gaming.
It’s usually limited to a few members but even if you have an internet connection with a decent speed, it may be affected by the simultaneous usage of different members and may result in a bad gaming experience.
This is where QoS (Quality of Service) comes into play. What it does is to let you decide how you want your data to be routed. You can adjust it in such a way that, the router identifies the users who are gaming and prioritizes them leading to a better speed for gaming compared to other users.
4. Setting Up Security
Every router comes with a default username and password to access its settings or to even access the internet. The default credentials depend on the brand but most its usually “admin” for both username and password.
Hackers know about these default credentials as they are available online and you may end up with a hacked router which is nothing short of a pain. It is a good practice to change the default credentials to those of your own while setting up a router to avoid being hacked out of your internet connection while gaming.
5. Opening & Setting Ports
Some online games need to constantly send and receive data to and from their respective servers in order to function properly. If that is prevented, the connection might get lost and the gameplay can get interrupted. This communication is done through network ports.
Specific games require different ports to conduct this and it can get complicated to give a game access to each port manually. To solve this, you can use the Universal Plug N Play (UPnP) setting in your routers. What it does is automatically allow each individual game to use any ports they require to communicate.
6. Using Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure network that acts as a tunnel between the user and the server. It helps connections to stay free of interruptions to ensure seamless communications.
A gaming VPN is essential as it, along with UPnP, further helps games access their servers . My best VPN services include TunnelVPN, VyperVPN and Windscribe .
There you have it! You’re now good to go.
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