What’s the fastest solution for local or private game streaming? | Ask an expert

Wired always triumphs over wireless connections.

Credit: PCWorld

Q: What’s the fastest solution for local or private game streaming?

A: All options work pretty well. You can pick whichever suits your preference (Steam Remote Play, AMD Link, Nvidia GameStream, etc), as the service is less of a restricting factor for speed than your network setup. As with cloud gaming, you can run into issues with local or private game streaming when you’re on Wi-Fi, especially when you live in a congested situation like an apartment building.

An ideal setup would be to run both the sending and receiving computers on wired connections. Having the data transmit over ethernet cables instead of Wi-Fi will minimize latency and potential drop-outs of the connection. This advice also applies to other receiving devices like phones, tablets, or even the Steam Link, if you happened to pick up one of those for use with Steam Remote Play before its untimely demise. (You’ll need an adapter for phones or tablets to use an ethernet connection with them—either a Lightning to ethernet adapter or a mini-hub that includes an ethernet jack for iOS devices, and then a similar USB-C to ethernet adapter or a hub that includes ethernet for modern Android devices.)

Ethernet cables can be a tough sell in a shared home, as not everyone appreciates the look of snaking cables, and pets may chew on them. The less intrusive option of running CAT6 cabling through the walls is obviously a tough sell with landlords. You can get around this conundrum by investing in these 3M Command cord clips, which will let you route the cabling in an unobtrusive manner while not damaging any surfaces. These particular clips are made with easily removable adhesive that won’t leave behind residue. ethernet cables come in a fairly wide assortment of colors and lengths, too, so you can minimize their unsightliness by picking something that blends in (or alternatively, can be used to create “wall art” by routing it in interesting shapes). We like Monoprice's reliable and affordable ethernet cables in different lengths and even thicknesses.

Welcome to Ask an Expert, where we tackle your questions about PC building. Have your own burning concern? Shoot us an email at thefullnerd@pcworld.com.

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Alaina Yee

PC World (US online)
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