A recent conversation here on GD reminded that it’s been a little while since we last talked about internet connection speeds and download caps. Every year our game downloads become increasingly gargantuan; unwieldy beasts that mean if we want to play a game we have to plan for it potentially days before.
Barring the few of us that have insane business net connections measuring in the gigabits, downloading GTA 5 in a matter of minutes rather than hours, we all have to contend with regular 50GB downloads. At the last time of writing I was hooked up to a 15Mb/s ADSL connection and I was pretty happy with it. Fast forward two years and I couldn’t live without my 50Mb/s fiber. It’s not setting the world alight, but I’m usually downloading at a decent 6.5MB/s, enough to get pretty much any game within a few hours.
The problem I’ve now encountered though is patches. If, like me, you’ve got several dozen games installed at any one time, there’s several patches I need to download every time I turn my PC (my other half is paranoid about leaving electronics on). It would be alright, but even with single-player games, Steam locks me out of playing until the patch is complete. Some are fine, while others, like DOOM’s impromptu 18GB patch last week, are a pain in the proverbial arse.
When it comes for bandwidth speeds, we’re always found wanting for more. I know here in the UK we sit somewhere near the middle of the heap, while elsewhere there’s a spread of blistering speeds and crawling paces. What we don’t have to contend with often here are broadband caps though, an entirely different problem that can become a logistical nightmare for some. Data caps don’t seem to be going anywhere though, and in some places they’re getting either worse - ISP’s settling on a method to squeeze out every last penny from their customers. Just the prospect of having a 200GB limit for a month is enough to set me off - do I download this? Or will it mean I can’t stream this? Not choices you want to make when you’re handing over 80 bucks a month.
So this Up For Debate is threefold, which is sadly beyond the technical ability of our single poll CMS. We've opted for a poll below for you to share your net connection speed, and feel free to share your bandwidth caps below, as well as how fast you think a gaming net connection should be in 2017!