Online Gaming Study Suggests Internet Sucks Globally


If you’ve ever wondered how your download speeds stack up against the world, well, here’s a boatload of pictures and details.

With the exception of website comments sections, nothing is more irritating or inconvenient on the internet than a failed download. In a study conducted by Pando Networks in the first half of 2011, download data records indicated that the United States, United Kingdom and Canada are rubbish when it comes to downloading online games. This isn’t stopping the world from playing them, though.

The Pando Networks study pulled information from 20 million computers totaling 27 million patch and game client downloads worldwide. Having tracked data from League of Legends, Maple Story, Lord of the Rings: Online, and other games, the research measured users’ download speeds globally. South Korea is, far and away, leading the charge; it comprises 75% of the online gaming market as a whole, and its average download rate is an impressive 2,202 kilo-bits per second. The United States, which ranks 26th worldwide, has a comparatively depressing average of 616 KBps. That’s less than your standard 640K-DSL setup, which would already take about 37 hours to grab 10 gigabytes of content.

Upsetting, right? Blame your ISP. AT&T customers are getting just 392 KBps when grabbing their games. Great Britain’s best ISP, Virgin Media, pumps out just 612 KBps. If you’d like to see how these compare to, say, the horrid speeds in South America, or the strength of Eastern Europe, this handy heat map highlights the average speed by country. It’s also easier to get a grasp on how substantial the differences are in this handy, behemoth of an infographic.

The short version of this number-crunching is that an astonishing amount of people are consuming free-to-play games, and global download speeds are, with few exceptions, pretty disappointing. It’s an on-the-rise market right now, too. Hopefully we can keep up with it.

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