If you landed on this article, you probably know how annoying high ping is: the server doesn’t load fast enough, your game is lagging, and you might even experience freezes and crashes while playing.
Here’s your quick guide to high ping – why you experience it and whether or not a VPN can help reduce it!
Why Do You Experience High Ping in the First Place?
Are you ready for the good news? Having high ping doesn’t mean you’re at fault, because it is not something that you can control. Sure, you can reduce it with different tricks and short-term solutions, but you’re not the main reason that causes high ping!
Just to give you a quick heads up, any value that goes higher than 150 ms will turn a comfy gaming session into a nightmare. If your values are around 50-100 ms then your ping is considered good to average.
So, you don’t necessarily need to have the lowest value possible. With a ping of around 70 ms, you can still enjoy your game without experiencing lags or freezes (professional players consider a ping below 40 ms as being excellent).
Now let’s see the 4 most common reasons why you might have high ping:
1. Geographical Location
The distance between you and the gaming server you want to connect to plays a huge role in whether or not you experience high ping.
For example, let’s say you’re located in France and you want to connect to a server in Japan. At the same time, another player that’s located in Japan connects to the same server as you.
Your data takes 10x times longer to travel from France to Japan and back to you than it does for the player that’s already located in Japan. So try as much as possible to connect to servers located near you.
2. Internet Connection Speed
Having high-quality internet speed right from the start is an essential factor in having low ping. You can’t improve something bad from the beginning.
It’s your ISP’s job to give you strong and reliable WiFi routers or good cable and fiber connections.
If you think that your ISP is not offering you good internet speeds, the best solution is to change your internet provider. It sounds a bit extreme, but this is the most efficient way to upgrade your internet connection speed.
3. Low Bandwidth
When choosing an ISP, many people don’t even think to ask about the internet bandwidth. And for good reason too – bandwidth isn’t a key element for gaming compared to internet speed.
However, if you’re streaming a game, your internet bandwidth must be large enough to support data uploading. Otherwise, the data that travels back and forth from your device to the server will be much slower and you’ll experience lagging during your gaming sessions.
4. Firewall Configuration
When you’re online, hundreds of internet data packets travel from your device to the server and back again to your device. Firewalls check these data sets to prevent any viruses or hacking attempts.
But sometimes, firewalls take too long to verify data packets, and this is when you start experiencing high ping.
To rule out this possibility, you can add the game as an exception to your firewall. This way, the traffic that comes to your device and goes back again to the online gaming server travels faster because it’s unmonitored.
Can a VPN Help You Reduce High Ping?
Well, in some cases it can help, but it’s a matter of luck.
But first, let’s see how VPN services work.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) re-routes your data through a VPN server so it hides your IP address.
Now let’s do the same imagination exercise as before: you’re located in France and you want to connect to a server in Japan.
Normally, your data would connect to 1 server – the ISP’s. From there, your ISP routes your data through already predetermined internet paths.
For example, your internet data might go through France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and finally, Japan. Or maybe it takes an even longer route, you don’t know and you won’t find out because ISPs don’t make this information public.
It’s enough to know that your data sets will connect to 1 important point (the ISP server).
If you were to connect to a VPN server, that means your data sets will connect to a second main point – the VPN server. And from there, it’ll take another route that might be shorter or longer than your ISPs.
Maybe you’re lucky and the route is shorter. In this case, a VPN can improve your ping when you’re gaming. But this is a bit of a stretch because it’s difficult to find out if a VPN will choose a shorter route than the ISP.
In many cases, a VPN can’t improve internet speeds because it makes your data travel to a 2nd server, so you’ll have to deal with longer load times.
To put things even more in perspective, Tor (another private network) redirects your data through 3 servers – that’s one extra server. So, your internet speed would be even slower than if you used a VPN service.
Everyone has experienced high ping during gaming sessions at least once in their life.
We know that’s a very frustrating experience, but don’t worry! Now that you’re well equipped with our quick tips, you’ll handle this problem in no time.
And even better – you can help others solve their high-ping problems as well! Let us know what are your favorite tips to reduce high ping so others can try your methods. This way, we can help each other with useful tricks and tips that will ensure a better gaming experience!