Online gaming is rapidly taking the place of the single player experience for many gamers, and can take a variety of forms. From gaming on consoles like the PS3 and Xbox360 in first person shooter (FPS) games, to computer users and massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft or Rift, the need for on-the-spot, live communication has become increasingly necessary. Completing objectives or killing elite monsters can take a great deal of teamwork and coordination, levels of which simply cannot be achieved by typing alone. In response to this need for over-the-Internet voice chat, the world of voice over IP or “VoIP” has become popular.
Big Players in the World of Internet Communication
Voice over IP software uses the Internet much like a phone line to transmit audio data. Dedicated programs have now emerged to streamline this process, and two have established themselves as frontrunners in the gaming industry – Ventrilo and Teamspeak. Both programs allow users to connect with a large number of others for a live, online chat session – in many cases up to 50 or 100 users can all be connected and talking.
Each program has a number of system requirements, the basics being a newer version of Windows, Linux or the Mac OS. Both programs are divided into two parts – a server and a client – and must have both to work. Clients and servers are free to download, but servers cost money to activate and maintain. A single server is all that is necessary for multiple users to connect from client programs on their PCs, but they must have a server to connect with. This server can be run off of a single PC, or can be run from a dedicated host such as a VoIP VPS option.
Ventrilo Versus Teamspeak – Is There a Clear Winner?
Both programs do essentially the same thing, but there are a few minor differences in how they do it. To begin with, it is worth nothing that while there is a Linux server version of Ventrilo, there is no matching Linux client. Users with any OS can connect to the Linux server, but the client version is still in development.
Ventrilo is designed to be minimally taxing on a computer’s system and has a very streamlined and bare-bones interface. Teamspeak, meanwhile, supports a far more robust set of visual features that allow customization of audio settings. Both allow users to change their incoming and outgoing volumes as well as having a host of other position audio options.
Upping the Game – The Role of a VoIP VPS Server
While a Ventrilo or Teamspeak server can be run from a home PC, this can often cause slowdown in communication if a game or other applications are also being run. For this reason, many larger groups or guilds consider the user of a Ventrilo VPS or Teamspeak VPS option. A virtual private server can allow multiple Ventrilo or Teamspeak server copies to run without any interference from other programming and help to provide a latency-free experience.
The nature of VoIP technology is that the more users are on a server, the greater the demand on that server becomes. One or two users will likely not stress a home PC, but 50 can produce serious lag in speech or choppy sound. A VPS can alleviate this with resources dedicated to the communications server alone.
Gaming at high levels requires precise communication, and both Teamspeak and Ventrilo can deliver clear sound and superb connectivity, especially when used as part of a VoIP VPS.