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A Preliminary Look at WTFast

Posted Tue, Sep 24, 2013 by Xerin

wtfast

WTFast is a service that connects your computer to the game servers using an Internet expressway of sorts. Normally traffic is routed throughout different routers and exchanges, the traffic bouncing everywhere to get to your destination. Each hop adds in a tiny bit of lag. With WTFast, your connection goes directly to their server which routes it directly to a server near the location of the game servers, cutting out a lot of the latency.

Who needs such a service? Well, that’s a tough question. It’s sort of a niche service in the sense that those who don’t need to worry about latency wouldn’t benefit much. If you press your buttons in the game and they work and nothing feels off then I’ll be honest - a product like this isn’t going to improve your game much. Maybe it’ll make the game feel a little better, but if you’re focused on casual playing and there is nothing that bothers you, then you’re fine.

On the other hand, if you have network problems (something I’ve experienced a lot of that are only solved by services like these, say a router somewhere between you and the gameserver is messing up) and are constantly getting dropped from the game then this is something that will help a ton. If you’re doing any sort of high level PvP or PvE and need your connection to not be dodgy or slow, then this is the sort of product that helps.

Another big use of a product like this is for game servers that are cross continent. The reason being is that if you start getting a large degradation in service when you start going international. Anyone playing a game with servers in South Korea from North America knows exactly how the latency feels. Having a straight connection from your house to overseas can make the world of a difference.

So there is viability to something like WTFast and there are those out there who can benefit from a service like that, but one of my big questions is does WTFast actually work? Does it decrease or increase latency? Is it easy to use?

As far as the software goes and the website, they are easy enough to use. You download the software, register on the website, and then choose the game that you want to play and the server that you play on (to make sure that the end connection is as close as possible to the game server that you’re going to play on).

WTFast Latency

The connection before using WTFast.

WTFast Latency

The connection after using WTFast.

Our first test is with World of Warcraft. Loading up the game with no background processes running we receive a hilariously high ping that later settles down to 52ms, which is the average. After loading up WTFast, my ping drops to 40ms. A rather huge difference, even on marginal levels, because that is 12ms less it takes data to travel from my computer to Blizzard and back again.

So I would say there was a benefit in using the service directly and I’d like to note that my ping does get much worse at times, this is testing it late at night. During the day I can see spikes up to 60 to 80ms, so the results are definitely in line with an improvement.

As far as WoW goes, I can give it a big thumbs up as an improvement. Stability as I played was fine and there was a somewhat noticeable difference in responsiveness. My character casted spells and used skills slightly more fluidly. So no huge change, but in mission critical areas like the arenas or raids, those few milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death.

That’s about all the time I’ve had with the product now. We’ll be doing a more comprehensive review of the service and testing out some really exciting games like Phantasy Star Online II as a custom game, FFXIV on Japanese servers, and maybe even Mabinogi. So be sure to stay tuned. In the meantime, to look for more information about the service, visit their website at https://www.wtfast.com/.

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