Internet provider Cox is offering a $ 15 / month service that it calls Cox Elite Gamer, a complement to the Internet bill that the company claims will optimize the connection between players and video game servers for hugely popular titles such as Fortnite Apex Legends and Overwatch . For customers who subscribe to the service, Cox says it will look for the most efficient route to the server of a game. Theoretically, this could result in a reduced ping and a lower latency, which is a huge factor in any shooter like those mentioned above. But is it all senseless snake oil?
On the one hand, Cox Elite Gamer does not really accelerate your Internet connection; the ISP told Motherboard that "it does not alter the speed in any way, nor gives priority to any traffic over others in our network". Cox does not want people to think of this as a "fast lane." Instead, it's about reducing congestion and the number of jumps between your game PC and any server you're trying to reach.
Specifically, the company claims that Cox Elite Gamer can deliver 34 percent less delay, 45 percent less jitter and 55 percent less ping attacks compared to its regular daily Internet service . The other network traffic in your account is not affected.
Elite Gamer is currently being tested in Arizona and is only available to customers who have the 100 Mbps Cox plan or higher. The $ 15 price will cover simultaneous play on two PCs in a house, but you will have to pay $ 5 for each additional computer beyond that.
It is very easy to see how Cox can make money with this, but it is less clear if it will really benefit the players. The motherboard says that the history of this type of services has been irregular. Some people notice an improvement, and Cox allows users to install an application so they can evaluate their current connection to a game.
Many people at Reddit are very skeptical about Cox Elite Gamer. Cox subscribers can "control their connection from end to end", but the company simply does not have the kind of infrastructure to fulfill that promise. Cox can not comment on what happens with his game activity outside his own network. The best you can do is determine the best route to a server. That is feasible, and it might be enough to produce at least some improvement in terms of latency and jitter.
In its current form, users get a good amount of control over server routes, but this also allows confusion. and it could make it difficult to know if Cox Elite Gamer is really making a difference. The company's tips for optimizing the performance of Cox Elite Gamer are also very generic, urging users to use a wired Ethernet connection, shutting down applications that may be downloading content from the web and disabling any antivirus or VPN software that might slow down things.
It seems that the odds of Cox Elite Gamer being enough to justify adding $ 15 to your broadband bill every month are pretty low. But if you are participating in the smooth release, I would love to hear your opinions in the comments.