How to get the perfect Xbox One online connection
How many times have you cursed Call Of Duty’s lag compensation? How many times have you struggled to connect to a game in FIFA 14? Nothing seems to be obviously wrong, but your connection just isn’t good. There can be a long list of reasons your Xbox One is struggling to get the best internet connection and while there’s no perfect solution you can follow these different steps to ensure there are fewer barriers between you and the game; then you’ll be truly set up for multiplayer gaming at its best.
Getting to grips with NAT
Your NAT – or Network Address Translation – is a means through which one IP address (such as your internet connection) can be shared among multiple devices (such as those that connect to your router). There are three NAT ‘types’: open, strict and restricted. Most likely you’ll have ‘open’ or ‘strict’, the latter of which can make it awkward for you to connect to friend’s games, use voice chat or other online functions. Switching to the former will make it easier to connect with people, see the Enabling UPnP boxout above for how to do this.
Strict NAT getting you down? UPNP can give you unrestricted multiplayer gaming
If when you test your connection you see you have a strict NAT Type then chances are enabling UPnP – or Universal Plug and Play – will help fix this particular problem and open up your online possibilities. You’ll need to access your router to change these settings.
1. A strict NAT can resrict your access to games online. At the home screen of your router’s settings you’ll want to look out for the option to ‘Enable UPnP’. This will often be located in the advanced settings of your router, though it isn’t a particularly complex feature.
2. Some routers will have a separate sub-menu for the UPnP option, others will include them as part of a restrictions or connections option – so it may involve poking around the settings page a bit. There’s no downside to enabling UPnP, so do it even if you don’t need to.
3. Don’t forget to save your settings. Every change you make inside your router needs to be saved – look for the related button – to enact the change and have the effect take place. It won’t take long to save, though. Now you should find accessing online games on Xbox One a little easier.
Problems connecting to a particular game? Try this
Some of you may not normally have issues connecting online, but every so often you’ll come across a game that proves problematic. By unblocking the ports through which that game’s servers are accessed you’ll get a flawless, unrestricted connection – it’s probably worth doing for every game you play a lot online.
1. First start by finding the ports for the game you’re wanting to unblock. The best place to look is on the website portforward.com/cports.htm, which has a list of almost every game’s server ports. It’s kept pretty up-to-date, so chances are the game you want will be on here.
2. Once you’ve accessed your router you’ll want to look for the mention of ‘port forwarding’, which is often found in the advanced section of your router’s settings, see the previous page on how to do this. Sometimes it will even be included as part of a ‘NAT Type’ menu.
3. Now you need to enter each of the TCP and UDP ports for the game you want to unblock one-by-one, remembering to add or save it to the list. Some routers can’t unblock too many ports, however, and so some games cannot be unrestricted through this method. In this case, see below.
The different types of broadband
Have you got the best type of connection?
There are three types of internet connections available in the UK: ADSL, fibre optic and cable. The most common is ADSL and, if you haven’t arranged otherwise, this will be the connection you’ll be getting. It is not, however, the quickest…
An asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) utilises the same old copper wiring that BT uses for its phonelines, and so while some places can reach up to 20MB a second, you’re more likely to be looking at between 4-10MB, depending on how far from the exchange you are. Not ideal for online gaming and prone to being temperamental.
It’s much less popular these days but cable connections are still available through Virgin Media. You’ll need to get an entirely new cable installed – providing you’re in the area – but with this you could achieve the absolute lowest speed of 30MB and up to 200MB if you’re lucky. Often there are TV and phoneline packages thrown in too.
Becoming more common across the UK, fibre optic connections are replacing BT’s copper wire for something much more modern. Comparable to a cable connection in terms of speed (most likely to be 20-40MB but can reach 200MB), though many more service providers are utilising these connections and – as such – there are lots of offers available.