ADSL vs. wireless for gaming: surprising results

The latest MyBroadband Speedtest results allow us to compare cellular/wireless network provider latency against ADSL networks.

Internet Solutions reigns locally, with the best latency result of 94ms. It is surprising to note that Vodacom comes in second in local Speedtests, with 103ms.

For online gamers, a stable Internet connection with consistently low latency and minimal data packet loss is important. For this reason, ADSL is usually the connection of choice for gamers, when it is available – for the rest, there are cellular/wireless providers. Many games can operate well over a low bandwidth connection, but poor latency can be the downfall of an online match.

MyBroadband’s Speedtest filters thousands of results based on IP address ranges, user survey input, and other variables to ensure accurate results are achieved. Tests are made to Johannesburg and London Speedtest servers to differentiate between local and international network performance.

SA Speedtest results

The following table provides an overview of the average local latency for South African ADSL network operators and cellular/wireless operators, based on tests made by users to MyBroadband’s Johannesburg Speedtest server:

Johannesburg speed test server results
Provider Latency (ms)
Internet Solutions 94
Vodacom 103
MWEB 105
Web Africa 118
Telkom 123
Cell C 130
Cybersmart 139
8ta 145
MTN 220
iBurst 239
Neotel 253

International Speedtest results

The international Speedtests to London reveal that Internet Solutions has the best latency (233ms). As might be expected, the cellular/wireless providers prop up the bottom end of the list, with MTN faring the worst at 460ms.

The following table provides an overview of the average international latency for local cellular/wireless and ADSL broadband providers.

London speed test server results
Provider Latency (ms)
Internet Solutions 233
Web Africa 234
MWEB 244
Cybersmart 254
Telkom 290
Cell C 302
8ta 308
Vodacom 320
Neotel 325
iBurst 389
MTN 460

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Forum discussion

Join the conversation

  • Andre Marais

    Wow this is disheartening, knowing Afrihost wants to go from IS to MTN….

  • Dewaldj

    wait wait, so afrihost wants to move their ADSL data to MTN, away from IS which has the lowest ping times in SA. Can someone please make sense of this?

  • Rynier G Schoeman

    Sorry was my Comment removed here?

    IF so WHY?

    IF I use speed test .net or The SAIx speed test I get a average ping of SUB 30 .

    YOu get 90MS? As your lowest?


  • My thoughts exactly. I didn’t expect MTN to come out first overall, but at least 1st or 2nd amongst the cellular operators, instead of last (among the cellular operators, AND overall).

  • Johan du Preez

    I still question the latency’s you are displaying here, avarage local latency all over the country is 10ms – 40ms I would love to know where this was thumb sucked.

    Mweb latency CPT – JHB = 33 to 38 ms (International is 220 to the UK Paris)
    IS Latency CPT – JHB = 33 to 36 ms (International 180ms to the UK Paris)
    Open Web Gold = 33 – 40ms on all backbones (International 180ms to the UK Paris)
    FNB Connect = 33 – 60ms (International 215ms to the UK Paris)
    Web Africa = 33 – 43ms (International 180ms to the UK Paris)

    I can do a Afrihost test, datapro, atlantic Axxess if you want to but I guarentee the results will be similar.

    On any ADSL connection if i try to connect to a CPT server I usually avarage 10 – 18ms on all the accounts as well.

    And this is all tested on a congested exchange.

    This article is very misleading and and all the claims here about latency speeds is false.

  • R4tt3xx

    I think that it is really disgusting that a fixed line can even be compared to wireless, Telkom you shame us all…

  • Wyzak

    Wireless might have just been performing well for that period on very good signal strength. On consistency there just is no comparison.

  • St3baS

    I completely agree. My average ping to any local server on any of my adsl accounts is always less than 50ms. This table is unrealistic… either the line is buggered or someone has their uTorrent up and running before the test haha.

  • Marius du Plessis

    errmmmm arent those ping times for cellular/wireless only? Not ADSL?

  • Marius du Plessis

    errmmmm arent those ping times in the article for cellular/wireless only? Not ADSL?

    Other than that,I’m rather lucky with Vodacom to have an average ping of about 70ms locally. MTN rocks in at about 200ms

  • Atheba

    The local ping tests look highly inaccurate!!! Local ADSL ping is usually much lower than that. Also as Wyzak mentioned, 3G might have been performing really well at that time.

    The problem with 3G is usually two fold:
    1) The usually higher latencies
    2) The high variance of latency which results in high jitter.

  • Philip

    What complete rubbish. Those local ping times look like you are based in Mozambique. Please learn more about using the interwebs before posting an article about it! ADSL pings nation wide should be around 30ms. Locally JHB – JHB around 12ms

  • Richard Visser

    Quite agree with Andre that in the same newsletter we get this article.
    from good to worse.

  • Yes but the underlying network is the same. Same local fibre links, international links, IPC links, same technicians, engineers, support team, switching and routing equipment, servers, data centers, etc.

  • Did you read the article? These are “average” pings, averaged across thousands of speed tests from local users to the MyBB Speedtest server. This is not MyBB’s own tests, but ours (the public).

  • LeAhCiM

    I agree with Philip. I have MTN uncapped and my ping is never above 160ms.

  • madrynn

    The writing was on the wall…

  • madrynn

    I’m on iBurst, normal wireless…

    Local CS:S I get a ping of 80-90ms
    WoW_EU: 300ms (have been known to go 600 in the distant past).

ADSL vs. wireless for gaming: surprising results

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