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Greenfield, CA

ISDN good for gaming?

I just moved to an area where I don't get dsl or cable. I'm currently using WISP and I am disappointed.

I play counterstrike and other games and my ping is inconsistent jumping around 200-600. Its unplayable. I don't know much about ISDN. Is it good for gaming? I read a little and saw that it has speeds of 128/128. How much latency do you get when you game with ISDN?

I also made a thread about my WISP connection here.
»Wireless help gaming in specific

I read some where about IDSL which runs at 144/144. Does it work the same as ISDN, but with better speeds?

How much would ISDN or IDSL cost montly compared to what I'm paying now with WISP about $50 a month.

What other options do I have to get good latency for my gaming? I already tried WISP and DSL or cable are not available here. I also heard satellite sucks for gaming. T1 is too expensive just to use as residential. What do you recommend?


Cadillac, MI
ISDN is probably as good as dsl or cable for pings. Search around, you'll see many threads about it.

For cost, mine is something like $53/mo for the line and $99/year for the ISP. I just call it $60/mo when people ask.

Satellite will be worse for latency, I'm sure.

Temple, TX
reply to grego831
It works great for CS:S and many other FPS games. The pings are comparable to DSL/Cable.

Downloading patches, mods, etc will obviously be MUCH slower than DSL/CABLE.

Your cost is going to be up around the $100/month and that does NOT include your ISP.

It has been several years since I have had ISDN so the prices may have changed, but I sincerely doubt it. The game play was always just as crisp as it is now on my DSL. It is rock solid and you won't have your ping jumping all over the place.

hope that helps.


Greenfield, CA
reply to grego831
Do you think ISDN will be offered in my area? I live in a rural area. My telephone lines are underground. Is it still possible to get it? And I will be using my internet often. Am I paying for minutes I use on the internet just like I pay for phone bills when I talk. And am I limited to the amount of time I use on my internet?

Temple, TX
reply to grego831

Sometimes you pay for it by the minute, you don't want that plan.

Mine was unlimited and they had to use repeaters to get it to me, not sure how many. All I know is it didn't cost any extra. It was still expensive, but in my humble opinion worth it.

Ann Arbor, MI
·Comcast Business..
reply to grego831
You can usually dialup to an standard ISP. I used SBC, if you have a friend who has their DSL service they offer a free dialup account. Many of their POPs accept ISDN calls.

Most states have a flat rate package, look for package "S", "U" or "V" with unlimited local calling. ISDN routers can be set to call dynamically so you can use the ISDN line as a phone line as well. If you are on the phone or have light usage one channel is dropped and reconnects automatically.

Per call charges are a red flag on ISDN. A misconfigured router can make thousands of calls per hour.

ISDN Latency is typically 60-100ms. It's definitely better than cellular. If you have a 3G cellular connection latency for CDMA (Sprint/Verizon) is 125ms or so and latency for HSDPA (ATT/Tmobile) is 200ms+. If you are on 1XRTT or EDGE latency runs 400-1000ms (arrgh!) Cellular jitter is high which is frustrating for gaming and VoIP. Any of the above are better than satellite which is unusable.

Most of the cell companies have 5Gb limits. Millenicom ($80/mo) and Datajack($40/mo) have unlimited plans. You can also use a smart phone with unlimited data and tether (cheapest is www.sprintrelay.com $30/mo) , or set up an access point, or use a Telular SX7T device (has a home phone interface & ethernet jack with a cellular connection). I use a Sprint Telular for data (no limit with Sprint since the Telular is considered a phone! and you can get a Static IP to use it with a server) - I average 800/500 with 125ms latency. It works pretty well for WOW and WII. The ATT version supports simultaneous voice & data, Verizon/Sprint is one at a time.

You might need an external antenna, and perhaps an amplifier. I attached a directional antenna to mine which doubled the download speed. If you far from the towers, you will probably need to mount the antenna on a pole.

If you are unhappy with your WISP, I'd look at cell first (check the coverage maps) and ISDN second.