Fiber-Optic Internet Basics and Uses for Gaming Computers

February 1, 2022

For numerous gamers across a wide swath of computer game types, one of the single most important factors at play regularly is internet speed. The quality of your internet connection has a massive influence on your gameplay and ability to perform online, and some gamers go the extra mile to get the very best here: A fiber-optic internet connection.

At Xidax, not only are we here to offer a wide range of custom gaming computers and accessories, we even offer high-quality gaming servers and many other products or areas of expertise related to your valuable internet connection as a gamer. What is fiber-optic internet, and should you consider adding this setup to your gaming rig? Here’s a basic primer.

Fiber-Optic Internet Basics

Your typical broadband cable internet is provided using copper coaxial wirers, plus amplifiers that send the signal across whatever distance is needed. Fiber-optic internet, on the other hand, uses light beams to send the signal instead. This limits data loss because there is no electronic resistance applied, and also reduces system noise that can interfere with other signals on the same copper lines.

A fiber-optic internet connection involves the bundling of small optical fibers into large cables, which are known as trunk cables. These trunk cables carry a large number of optical fibers, which are then further split into smaller and smaller fibers to get the data closer to its end user.

When light pulses reach their destination, they are converted into electrical output that your devices will read and utilize. They require no amplifiers or other wires, and their light nature ensures that the signal cannot be degraded by either electrical interference or physical cable tampering.

Why do many gamers go this route for the fastest and most secure internet connection? Here are several reasons.

Increased Bandwidth

First and foremost, fiber-optic internet connections offer much higher bandwidth than standard copper-wire connections. Bandwidth is the total amount of data that can be transferred at any given time, and this number is generally measured in bits per second or bytes per second.

When you sign up for an internet connection service, you will see a package with a given download speed (in Mbps), as well as an upload speed (in Mbps). Your download speed is how much data you can send to the server at any given time, while your upload speed is how much the server can send to you.

When playing games online, most of your actions will be sending data towards the game servers for others to see, and receiving data from others as they interact with you. This means that your upload speed is just as important for gameplay as your download speed, and fiber-optic connections can facilitate higher upload speeds than copper connections.

This is especially valuable for streaming applications, where the upload speed determines how quickly you can send live video or audio footage to another person or site. If you’re not just a gamer but also a streamer, fiber-optics are a virtual must.

Lower Ping Rate

When we mention ping rate, we’re referring to a request sent from one server to another on the same network — the ping rate refers to how long it takes for that data packet to get a reply back. If you have ever played an online game, chances are you’ve seen the message “Player X is lagging” pop up in your screen at some point or another. This is because your connection with that player was taking too long to send and receive data — hence, they were lagging.

The lower your ping rate, the faster you will be able to communicate with other devices. A higher ping rate will lead to more lag time — which can give you lag spikes, where your game seems “choppy” or unresponsive thanks to connection issues.

Fiber-optic internet connections tend to have much lower ping rates than standard copper-wire connections, and this makes them an attractive choice for gamers seeking the lowest possible latency.

Lower Latency

Latency, meanwhile, is the time between you giving the computer a command and the device responding to said request — essentially, the delay between when you press a button and when the resultant command is loaded. Lower latency is the goal here, as it means that it does not take as much time for you to see the effects of your input.

And as you may have guessed, fiber-optic internet connections tend to have lower latency rates than connector cables. Standard copper-wire connections are comparatively slow, which makes them subpar for online gaming.

No Data Caps

As you may already know based on past experience, many internet service providers employ data caps on their services. This is a limit on how much data you can download across your network before being charged extra for exceeding your allowance — which, thanks to the way the average person uses the internet, will happen all too often.

Fiber-optic connections are generally not subject to data caps at all, even if your ISP operates them. This makes them a great deal for gamers who are heavy downloaders, as it means they can enjoy downloading games and watching high-definition videos without having to worry about incurring extra costs later on down the line.

Convenient Installation

Finally, fiber internet connections are often easier to install than their copper counterparts. Coaxial cables are incredibly reliable, but they are also pretty difficult to run through walls and ceilings. There’s also the matter of TV compatibility — fiber is not nearly as friendly with your television as copper cabling, which means you should expect a less hassle-free experience when dealing with fiber installation.

For more on the benefits of fiber-optic internet connections, or to learn about any of our gaming laptops, desktops or other workstations, speak to the staff at Xidax today.

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