For many people, Sony's PlayStation Network or PSN download speeds are slow, but from the moment game consoles were able to connect to the Internet, it was obvious their ability to make the most out of that precious data pipe was somewhat limited. A video game console is not a PC, and they lack much of the additional dedicated hardware and firmware enhancements that allow computers to intelligently optimize their connection.
The PlayStation 4 or PS4 is a much more capable console than its predecessors, with hardware specifications that rival most entry-level gaming PCs, but even it is still unable to make the most out of your internet connection. Unless of course you're willing to take one of these steps…
3 Steps To Improve PSN Download Speeds
Step One: Get a Static IP Address
Paying for a Static IP address and assigning it to your PS4 (or even your PS3) will give you the best connection to the PlayStation Network possible. However, taking this step is only for the most hardcore of players because it will require you to ask your ISP to provide you with a business class connection, which means canceling your residential account and then paying an additional fee each month for your static IP address (usually $5 – $10).
That being said, you'll see a dramatic boost in your connection to the PlayStation Network for a number of reasons:
- Your static IP will bypass many of your router's additional protocols and routing functions, creating the most direct path for your PS4 to reach your ISPs external routers. You'll even see your PS4 connections go from a NAT type 2 or 3 to a NAT type 1, which means your PS4 has a raw and uninhibited connection to the internet
- Typically, Static IPs get routed through a separate and dedicated network of enterprise-only traffic, meaning you're less likely to be competing with every teenager torrenting large files in your area
- You'll also have the added benefit of needing fewer hops to reach your ISP's backbone, which means your packets of data spend less time being processed by routers and reach their destination more efficiently, which makes for a lower latency experience
- Business Class connections are more stable and governed by an SLA (service level agreement) that promises your ISP will always be working to provide the best connection without interruption
Step Two: Use a wired Connection
Wires are always better than waves, so get your PS4 off your wireless home network and get it wired directly to your router using a category 6 ethernet cable rather than using a WiFi connection. It doesn't matter if you have the fanciest router on the planet, all wireless devices are subject to interference that will degrade your connection and gameplay experience.
If you just can't manage to get your PS4 wired because of its proximity to your router, check out my article on how to optimize your wireless network to minimize interference.
Step Three: DNS Speed Test
Having a fast and stable connection is important, but allowing your devices to locate their intended destination quickly is equally as important, which is the job of your Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) Domain Name Servers (DNS) server. If your ISP's local DNS server is slow, then you can manually switch your DNS server to one of hundreds that might be faster.
To find the fastest name servers in your area, download namebench Open-source DNS Benchmark Utility and check every available name server reachable from your connection, then set your router to use the fastest one.
Switching to a business class internet connection with a static IP address is not for everyone, but while there are endless tips to improving your online gaming experience out there, I assure you that assigning a static IP address to your gaming console will offer you the best results.
In fact, assigning a paid-for static IP address to just about anything will improve its connection to the internet, so if performance is what you are after, then a static IP address is for you.
This article was originally published on Random Nerds and authored by Joe Corbett if you have any questions, leave a comment here or holler at me via Twitter @joecorbett. If you enjoyed it, visit Random Nerds for more great pieces.