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Protect Your Game from Bad Internet Weather

We've all had bad internet experiences. Maybe it's your Zoom connection failing in the middle of a call. Maybe it's lag right when you're pulling the trigger on a critical target in a game. Maybe it's the network lagging because it can't handle all of your concurrent players.

There are many reasons why these things happen. Here are just a few:

  • Hairpin routes – A player in Dubai is routing all the way to Frankfurt and back, just to get to a server in Dubai. Result: latency

  • Congestion – It's rush hour on the internet. Maybe it's a popular play time for your players and many hop on at once. Result: packet loss

  • Route flapping – Providers change routing while somebody is playing your game. Result: inconsistent network performance

  • Load balancing – Two routes are available, and your player is randomly assigned the slower one. Lucky you! The internet shrugs and says they are “basically the same." Result: latency

  • A link is down. An ISP, or multiple ISPs in a region are out, or a cable is cut and traffic must route around the problem. Result: high latency and packet loss for several days until it’s finally resolved.

And sometimes, real-world events cause degraded network performance.

Collectively, we call these things "bad internet weather".

As a game developer, this bad internet weather is affecting your game's online performance, which in turn negatively impacts your players' experience.

Regardless of whether the performance glitch is a split second or longer, the impacted player tends to blame the game and by association, you, the game developer. That, in turn, leads to player churn, which costs you money.

But it's not your fault

Here's what's going on. The internet operates on a "best-effort delivery" basis, which means your game traffic is treated the same as browsing a website or checking your email, even though game traffic is real-time and much more latency sensitive (you can read more about that here).

The internet does its best, but makes no guarantees. As we like to say, the internet doesn't care about your game. It's not malicious, it just is what it is. And like any system of sufficient complexity, it too has weather: random, unpredictable bad performance that no single provider can fix.

If you've ever spent time trying to find the perfect place to host your game servers, but no one provider has perfect performance for all your players, you've experienced the problem of internet weather. It happens to all providers, just not necessarily all at the same time.

Having experienced all these issues first hand on multiple AAA games, we decided to create Network Next.

A radically new way of linking networks together

Network Next is a radically new way of linking networks together. It’s a new internet built on a neutral marketplace where multiple networks compete on performance and price to carry your game's traffic.

These private networks are CDNs, ISPs, enterprises, bare metal, and cloud providers, located all around the world, that have spent thousands of hours and many hundreds of millions of dollars building out and optimizing their network infrastructure.

Every 10 seconds, Network Next runs a bid on its marketplace to find the best route across our supplier networks. The winning bid carries your player's traffic for the next 10 seconds, and the process repeats. If one network's performance degrades due to bad internet weather, our technology automatically switches to the better route without your players ever noticing anything is wrong.

This is how Network Next routes around bad internet weather, and along the way, finds you the best network performance at the best price, without locking you into a single vendor.

See it in action

Network Next watches sessions, analyzes the data, and saves the day automatically. Our goal is to put developers in control of the network and make premium network performance accessible to everyone.

CLICK HERE to see it in action

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