Slow Internet speeds can ruin a user's enjoyment of a good game. Too many gamers have had easy victories slip through their fingers because of a lagging connection. The speed of your Internet connection can vary greatly depending on which game you are playing, the computer you are running the game on and the type of Internet connection you have, as well as transient conditions that may affect your connection. Even so, you can follow a few basic guidelines to keep your game running smoothly.
Shut down other Internet activities. Unless you've got a computer with an ultra-fast processor, the performance of your machine will decrease as you open more windows and run more tasks concurrently. Online games consume quite a bit of bandwidth, so engaging in other bandwidth-intensive activities such as streaming video, video chat, instant messaging and browsing the Web with auto-refreshing feeds on sites such as Twitter and Facebook will noticeably slow down your game.
Configure your firewall to recognize and allow your game to run. It's easy to forget about your firewall since it runs in the background, but often a slow-running game is the result of your firewall interpreting the inbound connection from the game's servers as a security threat. All firewalls have a menu option for setting "allowed" or "trusted" programs. Make sure your game or your gaming platform (such as Steam or Impulse) is included on this list.
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Invest in a high-speed Internet connection. Adjusting your usage habits and your firewall will only get you so far if your connection is slow to begin with. Contact your ISP to discuss your upgrade options or research other local ISPs to find the right connection for you.