Pingzapper

I tried out a service called Pingzapper that might be useful if you’ve experienced weird lagging in MMOs or I guess really any game.

The alleged problem is that your ISP might be "traffic shaping" your data in a way that interferes with games. They are almost certainly messing up your streaming videos as much as they can get away with, so it makes sense that they would extend that policy to other areas. Because god forbid people should have high-speed Internet that they can use for whatever they want.

Ahem. Anyway, I hadn’t noticed any serious problems with my connection until recently with Final Fantasy XIV (say, in the last two months). It is most noticeable to me in Trial instances which usually require a lot of precise positioning and timing. What happens is everyone will freeze for up to a second (or more!) while I continue to move, then everyone zooms around on fast-forward to catch up to what I’ve been doing. A couple of seconds disconnected from a game is a really long time. You can imagine what would happen if a particularly bad AoE goes down during the lag spike: You die instantly when the lag is over. That categorically sucks.

So I heard about this service called Pingzapper. Allegedly it provides a tunnel from your computer to the game servers through some Pingzapper intermediary server. It’s supposed to hide the game traffic from your ISP, so they won’t interfere with it.

I installed the free demo, and it didn’t crash my system entirely, so I paid for a month, which was 3.99. So far, it seems to be working. I can confirm that those FFXIV lag spikes entirely vanished after I started playing through Pingzapper, and now I don’t feel like I have to over-run every AoE line by fifty feet just to make sure I’m actually clear of it. I was worried the game would feel slower because of shuffling the game data through more servers, but I haven’t noticed anything like that.

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p>All-in-all, I give Pingzapper a thumbs up. For whatever that’s worth. I can see these kinds of services becoming more and more necessary as ISPs continue to try their best to deliver less and less bandwidth.

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