Capped vs uncapped ADSL: which is best for gaming?

Capped ADSL products can prove to offer a better experience for gaming over uncapped ADSL products, but this also depends on users’ habits.

Many of South Africa’s ISPs offer both capped and uncapped ADSL packages; the question is whether there is an advantage to using one versus the other in for gaming performance.

We asked South Africa’s ISPs for their opinion on the topic.

Web Africa’s Jeffrey Denning said “It’s a tough one to answer, but depends on a few factors.”

Denning went on to explain how traffic on Web Africa’s ADSL products is prioritised. “Our standard Home Capped and Uncapped products offer a Silver priority, putting Gaming at a medium bandwidth priority. Capped will have this Medium priority until your cap runs out, whereas our Uncapped products work off a 7 day rolling window.”

“Should you exceed this window and our network is near capacity, we’ll de-prioritise the account which may have an affect on gaming as well as any other protocols. Capped also offers a feature of a Pro ‘bolt-on’ service which would push your Gaming traffic levels up to High,” said Denning.

In moments like these, 1ms of lag = death

We asked if capped ADSL products offer a better/faster experience to users than uncapped.

“From Web Africa, it entirely depends on your package and whether or not a bolt-on addition is added to a capped package,” said Denning.

MWEB’s Nathier Kasu, General Manager: MWEB Digital said: “Gaming is prioritised across MWEB’s network and this applies equally to both uncapped and capped products.”

“Generally speaking, our uncapped customers perform multiple online tasks at the same time so we prioritise certain types of traffic protocols over others to ensure that the bandwidth-hungry protocols like peer-to-peer don’t overwhelm things like browsing, mail, etc.,” explained Kasu.

“Capped customers tend to be more cautious/selective in their usage patterns to avoid reaching their cap, and this ‘self-regulation’ means that we do less protocol management on their products,” said Kasu.

Afrihost’s Tyler Theron explained how their services managed gaming traffic. “For traffic to AfriGamer servers both capped and uncapped ADSL products by Afrihost benefit from traffic prioritisation. For external/third-party servers you will likely have a better experience on our capped products as they are always running full speed whereas uncapped products are sometimes throttled.”

“Capped products are superior to their uncapped counterparts as capped accounts are never shaped or throttled in any way, whereas if you use a lot on your uncapped account you might get temporarily throttled to balance things out,” said Theron.

Telkom/SAIX was asked for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

What is your experiences on uncapped versus capped ADSL products? Let us know your experiences with your service provider in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.

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