How well does XBox live work with mobile broadband connections?
My primary ISP is HughesNet which has horrible ping times that are not conducive at all with online gaming and usually won’t even connect.
I’m thinking of getting a mobile broadband card (Verizon) for online gaming with the XBOX-360, mostly because I have no other options besides dial-up.
Does anyone here have experience with XBOX-Live and online gaming using an EVDO (3G) to connect to the internet?
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For FPS games your ping will be far too high.
However the bigger issue is the traffic shaping they perform when you try to play. Having played with a mobile broadband connection (Three – a UK company) for 4 weeks, I’ve discovered that regardless of how little bandwidth your game uses – say 3k/second, the network will cut you off if you exceed even 2k/second after about 1 minute.
Presumbly they have some form of neural network or learning software in place that blocks your UDP packets after a set period. It may not be the same on HughesNet but I’d be wary.
It’s crazy that you can download files, browse 500k per page websites like Flickr but they won’t let you stream far less bandwidth for games.
The solution I use is to host an adhoc wifi network on Windows 7. Then once the game is blocked, I kill all the connections to that game using Netlimiter. The number of disconnects I get generally drops after peek hours, but they’re very aggressive with the “learning” and blocking of the gaming traffic during peak hours.
It’s ugly and extremely cumbersome but does work slightly better than a reconnect via the modem.
You might also want to get an antenna for the 3G USB modem, either a clip one or an outdoor one.
Depends on what you are playing. If you are playing FPS where ping is an issue then mobile broadband will not help you much. Edit (except in your case where it seems you are replacing a satellite isp. in that case it probably will help )
My suggestion is a decent Cable (comcast) or Fiber optic connection (like Verizon Fios) if you can get it. A direct connection is always better than mobile/wireless for ping issues.
I personally have Fios and my XBox is directly connected to the router and the only complaint I have is that the Fios router/gateway does not clear out it’s connection cache and sometimes you have to restart it after a while otherwise you will get some ping issues as it thinks it has more connections to it than it does.
If you do get cable I would also suggest using a normal cable modem (not a gateway, modem/router in one) and a separate router. The Xbox is pretty sensitive as to how it handles port forwarding and NAT settings. A lot of gateways don’t handle these settings well and can cause some issues as well.
I feel your pain as I am stuck with Hughes Net crappy service. Online Games are horrible on satellite internet. And the sad thing is that is what they generally base their games around now and days when they come out with one. I have a PS3 with Battlefield Bad Company 2 and tried to play it on Hughes Net; wasn’t happening lol. So I decided to try out my fathers version mobile broadband card, and surprisingly it runs really nice. I get very little to no lag during off peak hours, even on on peak hours at times. There are times where lag is horrible where you can’t play. But I was able to play 5-6 hours online with no problems what so ever. And out of those 5-6hours + the 2 or so I played earlier that day I only used up 100mb of data.
So in short, yes you can use mobile broadband to play fps games. I am actually thinking about dropping Hughes Net and just going straight Mobile. The only downside is the 5g cap a month. Least with Hughes Net I can download as much as I want between 1-6am. But I think it would be worth it for online gaming 🙂
Ping times could still be an issue. The ping times you have will vary a lot. Are the ping times satisfactory to you?
Also, 3G doesn’t have a lot of throughput. The download speeds wouldn’t be considered “broadband”, as many games require.
This question cannot be answered simply, but here’s what I have to say:
If you think HughesNet’s latency is terrible, chances are high that a mobile broadband card will not be any better. Cellular based connections suffer from a lot of latency, especially in the upload rate (transmit) side of it, which is equally as important (if not more so in some games) as the download rate (receive) is.
Your connection will be on the better end of the spectrum if you’re close to a Cell Tower. Like, mere miles.
Your connection will be worse if you’re far from reliable high speed towers, have sufficient physical interference for the cellular signal, etc.
Mobile broadband cards are great when you’re in a pinch/away from home and have to get something done, but for a near-realtime experience such as gaming, you’re likely to be unimpressed.
Do I have experience with it in gaming? No. I’ve used cellular cards for other applications, and if it can’t even smoothly hold a low-latency SSH connection, I would not even dream of using it for gaming.
Now, using a wireless broadband account for Xbox Live is fine on it’s own (Netflix, online apps, communication, downloads, other videos, etc.), but again, I simply cannot suggest it for gaming. There are to many limitations to the capabilities of wide-area wireless to really make it an enjoyable experience in gaming.
Not the fastest ping but I’ve played COD4 on it with only slight hiccup near IB, which says a lot since IB has two down cell towers. Your mileage may very on bandwidth and throughput, but usually >100KBPS no problem and often between 1-3MB given your not surrounded by a thick basement or brick walls, which dampen the signal to nothing in some places. The rate is acceptable but I do not know how much data actually goes through and most plans have a 5GB limit unless you are on Cricket or the new one in NYC (both have green logo — Cricket does not support Windows 7, so be aware!)
You NAT route the connection to get it to work over ethernet (to the box) can do same over wifi but its a lot of headache. I prefer hard lines myself.
I have a Verizon Samsung 4G LTE device. But it is currently running on 3G, as I am waiting on 4G for this area as I have no other alternative to high speed internet. It works almost flawlessly at night past 10PM but between the hours of about 6am until around 10pm it lags a lot. They say when 4G comes we will be able to game flawlessly. As far as usage, I have the 5GB plan and have not went over it yet. I play games every other night and use my laptop every day for several hours. The closest I’ve came to running out over my 5GB usage was this month and I still had 25% left and if you go over with Verizon it’s only $10/GB so not a huge scare if you do go over like with AT&T.