The need to update is a constant for players. The desire to jump from Nintendo Switch to Nintendo Switch OLED is strong, the need to put a 2TB SSD in the PS5 is almost overwhelming, and the desire to level up from a standard Xbox keyboard to an Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller deep, profuse. and prodigious.
The problem is, we don’t always make the upgrades that offer the most bang for our buck. And while flashy hardware releases often attract our attention, little thought is given to the devices that props our addiction to games.
Specifically, I am talking about our network equipment. Never before has the quality of our internet connections been more important to our gaming sessions. At a basic level, the games are bigger than ever, regularly topping 100GB. So even to play a game at a good time, an Internet connection with a magnitude of greatness is required that far exceeds what was required during the last generation.
And that’s before considering many of the modern gaming conveniences that rely on a strong network connection, such as game streaming, remote gaming, live streaming, and competitive online gaming. In addition, a good network will improve other aspects of your digital life, from TV streaming to video call quality and smoother connectivity for work from home. It is an update that will affect not only your games, but also your daily online experience.
And that’s why my 2022 New Years resolution is to give my home a complete net makeover. If navigating the superhighway was still a phrase that didn’t conjure up images of the ‘hello fellow kids’ meme, next year I’ll be the Big Kahuna in the Hawaiian shorts carving the A-Frame of fast downloads and smooth streams.
Anyway, this is what I’m going to need to do it.
What am I updating: Broadband to BT Full Fiber 900
Start at the source – get your broadband speed to the max. Here in the UK you have some complete options from fiber providers to facilities, from Hyperoptic to Amvia. But for extensive support coverage, customer service, and package options including TV, I opt for BT Full Fiber 900. Installing fiber optic cabling directly from the local BT hub to your home will allow you to achieve speeds up to 25 times faster. fast. than standard fiber broadband connections.
What benefits: Everything! With a full fiber connection, you will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to download a game, and this can make you think twice about investing in expensive additional storage solutions. Why store your library on hard drives when you can exchange and download titles so easily at your leisure? Likewise, high bandwidth speeds will ensure you get smooth, stable, high-resolution streaming connections with no buffering or bitrate drops – useful for everything from Xbox Game Pass Streaming to Google Stadia and from Netflix. to Disney Plus.
What am I updating: Powerline kit for Devolo Mesh Wi-Fi 2 Whole Home Kit
If you want solid connectivity in your home and you can’t always run a cable directly from your router to your devices, the electrical grid (which feeds your broadband signal through your home’s electrical wiring) is the answer. The Devolo Mesh Wi-Fi 2 Whole Home Wi-Fi Kit is better than that. It not only acts as a wired link to a hard-to-reach router, but (as the name suggests) also a mesh network that covers your home with the goodness of wireless connectivity, boosting and repeating the signal from the power socket. power line to the power line plug. Theoretical speeds of 1200 Mbps are possible with Mesh Wi-Fi 2 products. Each unit also benefits from two Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, and a plug for don’t lose access to a power outlet.
What benefits: While this is particularly good for larger homes where Wi-Fi coverage from a distant router can be spotty, I’ll be using the Devolo kit for a very specific purpose: making the most of the Nvidia Gamestream and Moonlight apps. . With my gaming PC and Nvidia Shield TV Pro set-top box connected to Devolo’s power line equipment, I’ll be able to take full advantage of Nvidia’s GameStream feature and standalone Moonlight app, which allows you to stream locally stored games from your PC. to a compatible device. In this case, it will allow me to play PC games over my local network on the big screen in my living room without moving my PC. Devolo’s networking team will make sure you don’t drop frames or see any unwanted lag. It’s particularly useful for older games that haven’t made the jump to streaming services yet.
What am I updating: Router to … an undecided choice of Wi-Fi 6!
According our own Steve McCaskill, “Wi-Fi 6 is a generational change in wireless communications and is considered a complementary technology to 5G, increasing speeds, improving capacity and reducing latency. This ensures a higher degree of performance and reliability, especially on networks where multiple devices are competing for bandwidth. “So it’s a no-brainer to upgrade, right? Although I would typically only choose one of our Best Wi-Fi 6 Router Guide, they are not compatible with the BT TV Box Pro that comes with the BT Full Fiber 900 package that I am using. The next BT Smart Hub router is rumored to be Wi-Fi 6 compatible, so this may be the one I need to wait for.
What benefits: For me personally, this boils down to the wireless virtual reality game. I want to be able to use the Oculus Link feature of my Oculus Quest 2 headset (or should it be Meta Quest these days?) To play high-end PC virtual reality games streamed directly to the headset without the need to wire the two. Wi-Fi 6 will ensure that the process is smooth and stable and will also minimize lag that could otherwise turn stomachs in a virtual reality situation.
What am I updating: Wi-Fi Dongle for D-Link AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB Adapter
What good is a Wi-Fi 6 router if your computer doesn’t support the standard? Rather than ripping the guts out of your PC, this external adapter from D-Link adds W-Fi 6 functionality to your PC without having to perform open heart surgery. It is plug-and-play with preloaded drivers and offers connection speeds of 574 Mbps (2.4 GHz) / 1200 Mbps (5 GHz).
What benefits: Again, for me, this goes back to the Oculus Link scenario. Since my gaming PC doesn’t have a Wi-Fi card of its own (weird, huh?), This external USB solution will allow me to take advantage of the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and take full advantage of the wireless virtual reality features I mentioned earlier. .
What am I updating: Nvidia GeForce Now for … a better version of Nvidia GeForce Now with 4K ray tracing support
Although it has rivals, including Google Stadia, Xbox Game Pass Streaming, and Amazon Luna, my game streaming service is still Nvidia GeForce Now. It allows you to stream games over the Internet without downloading them first, in the same way that you access a Netflix stream. You can use it on pretty much every device, from iPad to Android phones to (my personal favorite) Nvidia Shield TV, and it has an ever-growing library of games. Best of all, by connecting you with your Steam, Epic Games, and Ubisoft accounts, your subscription to the service gives you access to games you’ve already purchased elsewhere – something Stadia doesn’t offer. GeForce Now is tiered, and I’m going to use the RTX 3080 membership tier, which offers up to 1440p / 120fps gameplay via PC and Mac, and high-resolution 4K HDR / 60fps when streaming to that Nvidia Shield. TV.
What benefits: The updated tier raises resolutions from a standard 1080p to as high as UHD 4K, with HDR and higher frame rates to match. But what interests me is the power of virtual machines that this level offers. The RTX 3080 tier actually runs on an Ampere GA102 chip in a server with an eight-core AMD Threadripper CPU, 28GB of DDR4 memory, and a Gen4 SSD. Nvidia says that’s good for roughly 35 teraflops of GPU performance, putting it more in line with the RTX 3090 even more powerful than the 3080 the tier gets its name from. With the hardware updates above, I’ll be able to get GeForce Now to sing, even at its highest resolutions and frame rates, in a way that will make me forget I’m streaming these demanding games from the cloud.
This article is part of TechRadar Technological resolutions series, a motivational blast of encouragement that shows you how to power your new year with technology. From Sunday December 26 to Sunday January 2, our series will also reveal how we aim to improve the lives of our devices in 2022. So whether you’re looking to become a power Chromebook user, get over your obsession with Food to go. a new air fryer, or wear a smartwatch to propel you to new heights of fitness, we’ll show you how to make your new year a flyer. And when things inevitably go wrong, you can always blame the devices.