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Is DSL Good for Gaming

Not all internet connections are made equal, which can have a real impact on your gaming experience. If you’re trying to play games online, the last thing you want to do is sign up with an ISP that doesn’t provide enough bandwidth to handle the game’s requirements without any performance issues. In this blog post, we’ll answer the question is DSL internet good for gaming?

One of the biggest myths about Internet connections today is that cable connections are always the best choice for gaming on a budget.

While cable and fiber are the top choices for gaming, DSL, 5G, and Starlink are also viable options.

If you’re not convinced that DSL internet is still a viable option, check out the reasons below to learn why this technology is still suitable to online gaming.

Is DSL Good for Gaming

What is DSL

DSL is a type of high-speed internet service that uses traditional copper phone lines to deliver data. It’s available in many areas and is often cheaper than other types of high-speed internet. In some areas DSL is the only high speed internet service available.

Here are some pros and cons to DSL that gamers should be aware of before making the switch.

What are the Pros of DSL for Gaming

  • The biggest pro of DSL for gaming is that it’s widely available, even in many rural areas.
  • Another pro is that it’s often cheaper than other types of high-speed internet.
  • Additionally, most DSL plans offer speeds that are fast enough for gaming.
  • Latency with DSL is low enough for online gaming
  • DSL speeds tend to remain stable throughout the day even during peak hours.

What are the Cons of DSL for Gaming

  • Even though most DSL providers offer broadband connections with sufficient bandwidth for gaming, they don’t typically provide download speeds as fast as cable or fiber-optic providers do.
  • You may have to deal with more frequent drops when using DSL compared to cable or fiber-optic providers because the technology is less stable in nature.

Difference Between Speed (Bandwidth) & Ping (Latency)

Speed, also known as bandwidth, is the measure of how much data can be transferred at once. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred in a given amount of time. Speed is generally measured in megabits per second (Mbps).

Latency, on the other hand, is the measure of how long it takes for data to travel from one point to another. Low latency means that data can travel quickly from one point to another, while a high latency means that it takes longer for data to travel between two points. Latency is generally measured in milliseconds (MS).

When it comes to gaming, latency is much more important than speed because low latency means that there is less lag and a higher quality gaming experience.

DSL Speed test Gaming

How Much Speed Do I Need for Gaming

You need a minimum of 3 Mbps down and an upload speed of 1 Mbps to play online. Anything below that and you’re likely to experience lag and connection issues.

That being said, most people who game regularly recommend a bare minimum of 5-10 Mbps down for a consistently smooth gaming experience. Most DSL connections are rated for 10 Mbps or more.


When it comes to gaming, one of the most important factors is bandwidth consistency. With DSL internet, you can get up to 50 Mbps of download speed and up to 2 Mbps of upload speed depending on your service provider.

This means that you’ll be able to load games quickly and download updates. Although DSL is not as fast as cable or fiber, it is far from unusably slow.

If you have multiple gamers in your household, you may be limited by the number of players that can enjoy fast speeds at the same time without any slowdown. So if you’re looking for an affordable and fast internet option for gaming, DSL is the way to go if you only have 1 or 2 members of the household doing online gaming.

5G Home Internet offers a higher level of bandwidth than DSL at the expense of higher latency.


For online gaming, a stable connection is more important than connection speed. That’s because if your connection is constantly dropping or lagging, you’ll rarely be able to game without significant issues. A stable connection will help you avoid getting booted from servers and missing out on important gameplay.

DSL is a less stable connection than cable or fiber, but it is better than satellite or 5G wireless. DSL is stable enough to meet the needs of most gamers.


When you’re playing an online game, you want the lowest possible latency. That’s the time it takes for a signal to travel from your device to another location.

When it comes to gaming, latency is everything. A low-latency connection means that there’s less of a delay between when you make an input and when it registers in the game.

That means faster reflexes and a better gaming experience overall.

If there’s too much latency, your actions in the game will be delayed, and you’ll be at a disadvantage against other players. DSL offer a relatively low latency connection.

Latency with DSL is generally between 25 – 50 ms which is higher than cable or fiber but good enough for most gamers.

Data Caps

Many gamers are on a budget, and they need to be able to find an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on quality. That’s where DSL comes in. With DSL, you can get high-speed internet without having to worry about data caps cutting off your service or incurring fees. DSL plans generally include unlimited data.

This means you can game for as long as you want without having to worry about overage fees or throttling. This is in contrast to most cellular internet service providers.

5G Internet

Online Gaming in Rural Areas

Many rural areas do not have access to high-speed internet, which can make online gaming difficult. Cable connections are available in some rural areas, but there are many areas that only have DSL available.

DSL is a great option for those who live in more remote or rural areas because some providers offer speeds up to 50 Mbps, depending on your area.

In addition, it’s important to note that most games require minimal bandwidth; so if you’re looking for an affordable way to enjoy your favorite games without having lag issues, then DSL may be a good option.

Starlink is also a good option for gaming in rural areas.

Will DSL Be Fast Enough for Gaming?

When it comes to gaming, the single most important factor is latency. That’s the time it takes for your console or PC to send a signal to the server and back again. The lower the latency, the better.

The good news is that DSL has relatively low latency compared to other types of broadband internet connections. So while you might not get lightning-fast speeds with DSL, you’ll still get fast enough speeds with pretty decent latency rates so that you don’t lag when playing games online.

Will DSL Be Fast Enough for PlayStation and Xbox

While most people use their home internet connection for gaming without any issues, there are some things to keep in mind if you’re trying to decide whether or not to switch to DSL.

As we mentioned before, DSL is a lot slower than other types of internet like cable or fiber. That said gaming is not very bandwidth intensive.

DSL is fast enough for gaming on PlayStation and Xbox

Will DSL Be Fast Enough to Play PC Games

DSL is fast enough for PC gaming as long as nobody else is using the internet connection at the same time.

While DSL may not be as fast as fiber optic or cable internet, it’s still fast enough to play most online games without any performance loss. Plus, it’s often more affordable than other types of internet, which is ideal if you’re on a budget. It is also available in more rural areas than cable or fiber based internet.

Gaming PC DSL

Will DSL Be Fast Enough for VR Games?

VR games are becoming increasingly popular, but they require a lot of bandwidth to run smoothly. Video games with VR may lag because DSL has limited upload speeds and higher latency. However, if you’re only interested in playing non-VR games, then DSL should be fine.

DSL VR Gaming

Situations Where DSL Will Not Be Good

With all the praise we have given DSL, it’s easy to overlook situations where DSL will not be a good option. When you’re choosing a connection technology, it’s essential to pick the right one for your particular situation. Here are some situations where DSL will not be good and some alternatives that might work better in those circumstances.

Having Multiple Screens in a Large Family

DSL has lower bandwidth and my struggle to keep up with multiple 4K or even HD video streams.

For example, Netflix recommends 10Mbps download speeds just to stream videos in HD quality without any interruptions and latency problems.

Therefore, if you have a large family or roommates, you may want to consider another type of internet service. Fortunately, there are many other services that provide enough bandwidth for all of your devices, such as fiber optic and cable internet.

Sending and Receiving Large Files

When you need to send or receive large files, DSL is not the best option. This is because large files take longer to transfer over a DSL connection than they would over a cable or fiber-optic connection. Additionally, if you are working with multiple video and audio files at the same time, you may notice that your DSL connection starts to lag.

Alternatives to DSL for Gaming

1) Cable internet

Cable internet is a great alternative to DSL for gaming because it offers faster speeds and is more reliable. Plus, cable internet is widely available and easy to find. However, it can be more expensive than DSL, and may not be available in some rural areas. With cable internet speeds of 1 Gbps or higher is possible.

2) Fiber Optic Internet

Fiber optic Internet is the fastest type of Internet connection. It’s becoming more widely available, but it’s not available in all areas yet. If you have fiber-optic Internet, you’re in luck – it’s perfect for gaming. Here’s why:

  1. Fiber-optic connections are much faster than DSL, so you’ll have a smoother, lag-free gaming experience.
  2. Fiber-optic connections are more reliable than DSL, so you won’t have to worry about your connection dropping in the middle of a game.
  3. Fiber-optic connections are less likely to be affected by weather conditions than DSL.

3) 5G Internet

5G Internet is the next generation of wireless internet, and it’s already available in some areas. It’s much faster than current wireless internet options, and it’s also more reliable. If you live in an area with 5G coverage, it’s worth considering as an alternative to DSL for gaming.

So, is DSL Internet Good for Gaming?

The answer is: it depends. If you have a fast DSL connection and also have low latency, then yes, DSL can be good for gaming. But if your connection is slow or has high latency, then no, it’s not going to be good for gaming.

Don’t go for the most basic offering from your ISP. Get a plan that has a speed of at least 5-8 Mbps. You’ll have the best results with a 20 Mbps or higher connection.

When it comes to finding an affordable option for gaming, DSL internet is a decent option. DSL is also suitable for use in rural areas that lack access to cable or fiber internet.