Thanks to the growing popularity of MMOs, there are now many websites that players of World of Warcraft and other online games can use to enhance their game experience. Some of these websites offer great insights on how to optimize your system’s hardware. Others offer tips on tweaking your Windows registry. Lastly, there are also those that offer services to help users reduce the lag in the games that they play.
Lag (or latency) is what usually causes gamers to be less responsive in-game and this often reduces their effectiveness and PVP rating. Therefore, many players are constantly looking for the best solutions to reduce their “ping”. Since a number of these services now exist, users should check out the features or benefits promised by each service in detail before they select the best one based on their needs.
These services use their servers to handle the connections and traffic between your PC and the hosted game servers owned by Blizzard (in the case of WoW). This seems to be done with a combination of techniques. But the primary method we’ve seen seems to be reliant on ssh tunneling. You can read more about this on Wikipedia here. We will go into more detail about all these juicy details in our upcoming articles.
Such services typically require the use of their software or some other third-party software. Naturally, these services are not free to use and often cost between $6 and $10 monthly. Most of these services, however, do support Paypal and this is a major boon to us online gamers since it enhances our safety making payments online.
We’ve seen promises by such providers that their services will reduce lag in your favorite games by as much as 50% to 80% but the actual percentages claimed vary from one website to another. We’re a little skeptical that every user will see such fantastic reductions in their latency. But that said, you should check out some of the other details too.
1. System requirements
Most of these services only seem to work on Windows PCs. If you use a Mac or are a console gamer, you’re so out of luck! Other than this, the general requirements seem to be on the low side. You don’t need a supercomputer or one that is consistently upgraded to use these services. (Although you’ll need a decent PC to play most of the recent games)
2. Safety and Privacy
It is important that players consider the safety and privacy of their information when shopping for such services. Just like with any other online merchant, you would expect the service provider to have properly encrypted and secure shopping carts or payments pages. This is to prevent easy theft of your credit card details or other sensitive information. Lastly, we would advise gamers to use different passwords from those they typically use in their various games. This is to avoid having your game accounts easily compromised. Account theft is pretty rampant these days as can be seen by the number of phishing emails we get for WOW alone in our email boxes.
We also highly recommend using virus scanners and checking each piece of software you download for any attached trojan or virus. It pays to be safe since even such service providers may slip up every now and then.
3. Ease of use
The websites should be easy to use, offering users an interface they can navigate without any problems. Additionally, their software should also be user-friendly. With an intuitive system and software, users will have an easier time managing the complex task of playing their game with a lower ping. Several of the services we checked out make the process easier for users by including instructions on how to go about it and a few even provide videos to help users understand how to setup their service properly to effectively reduce lag.
Naturally, the service provider’s website should appear trustworthy. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t spend my money at a site that looks like it was designed by a kid who simply had some extra time on his hands. The website should inspire confidence and trust. Ideally, they should have some form of money-back guarantee. Although we have noted that this seems to be pretty much non-existent in this market.
We hope you enjoyed this article and hope that it helps guide you on your quest for a solution to reduce ping. Remember to come back and check out our other articles! See you soon!