Speed Up PlayStation 5 Download and PlayStation 4 – Nagging Issues
Have you ever downloaded a digital Playstation game only to see the download speeds barely reaching even half of your internet speeds? You’ve probably been there and blamed the WIFI or Sony’s server or your ISP. With the PlayStation 5 having new hardware, one would expect that speeds would improve. I was proven wrong immediately after downloading my first game. Connected to WIFI on an 800Mbps line, the PlayStation 5 would only peak at 200Mbps and I assume the unit has a larger WIFI bandwidth than the PS4 and the SSD will not bottleneck the connection.
So what gives? Ultimately, nobody knows.
The upside is, there are 2 things that readily improve this situation: 1) is being in a location that is very close to a Sony server and doubly so when peered with your ISP. Areas like the USA, regions in Europe and Japan, Singapore as well as Hong Kong in Asia and given some of these territories have very fast internet, its no problem for them to pump up the speeds on the digital downloads. This is especially helpful as the PlayStation 5 is limited to around 600GB of usable game storage as portion of its 800GB+ internal SSD is used for system usage.
If you speed up PlayStation 5 download speeds, its going to be more convenient for people to download games they don’t use instead of using secondary storage which would prove costly.
So being close to a Sony server is the first way to speed up your PlayStation 5 download speed, the other is using a local proxy server. In this article, I’ll show you some quick ways to setup a proxy server on your PC or a network device if you have. So let’s get to it and get those games downloading.
A proxy server is an intermediary device between a client device (your computer, mobile phone, a PlayStation, etc.) and a destination, commonly the internet, but it could be any network. A proxy server when used in the context of this article is a machine that sits between your internet connection and any clients connected and provides varying level of functionality.
In enterprise scenarios, a proxy server can be used to protect, monitor, limit and control outgoing requests as well as various other advanced features. In a home scenarios, it can be used to also monitor, protect and limit client connections to the internet especially kids but with the modern home having more devices than a regular mom may be able to keep track off but it is doable.
To summarize, a proxy server is just a machine that forwards requests to and from your device.
How Does a Proxy Server Work
A proxy server can be a physical server in remote location or it can be in your own PC. A remote proxy server is typically referred to as just a proxy server as it is the catch-all term but folks in the industry may refer to it as the “external” or “remote” proxy. An in-house proxy server may be referred to as a “local” proxy server. This makes it easier for implementations wherein you may have an external proxy or an in-house proxy.
Both kinds of proxy work by just sitting there and waiting for requests. A client connects to the proxy server either through a browser options or more advanced services but in general for browsing and connection purposes, your browser would be the easiest way to detail this. Windows 10 has a proxy server setup. You can access this via Start Menu and typing proxy server. There also exists a distinction between a reverse proxy and a forward proxy but in the interest of keeping this article concise, we will not be discussing those.
How Does a Proxy Server Help Speed Up PlayStation 5 Downloads (or PS4)
A proxy server’s feature list can expand numerous applications but for most occasions, it almost always serves a security purpose. Many proxy server software allow administrators to setup a block list and an allow-list which makes the client systems to be more resilient to attacks from external sources. But aside from this, another function of proxy servers is caching.
Caching is a technique wherein data is stored to the local server and is served to the requesting client instead of accessing the online resource. This in turn results in instantaneous access and provides an almost local feel in most instances. Local referring to the network where our client resides. This is the primary function we’re looking for.
This technique was already in use for the Playstation 4 and I personally use it to go from 20Mbps to my full 800Mbps speed which allows me to download games quickly and remove ones I don’t need temporarily whenever I need to add a new game but capacity won’t allow.
The PlayStation 5 functions the same way and my initial testing yields the same results. A mostly 20-50Mbps download will not burst to 500-800Mbps when using the proxy server. Now I’ll have to say it now, there’s still a lot of factors at play here and your ISP, your networking devices and network rules may affect total download speeds still. We’ll go through these by the end of this article. For now, let’s setup our proxy server so we can speed up our PlayStation 5 downloads.
What You Need to Setup a Proxy Server at Home for your PlayStation
To set-up your in-house proxy server, you’ll a couple of things:
A server device – when we say a server, most people imagine large cabinets in data centers with lots of activity lights. That’s true but a server is more of a function rather than a device in this context. That said, the following devices can be a proxy server:
any network-connected PC, desktop or laptop
or a network-attached storage (NAS)
or a mobile device (I’ll explain more about this later)
you have administrative privileges on your planned server device
Install Proxy Server
Depending on which device you will use, the setup process will be different. In most cases just follow the directions on-screen. Now regarding that bit about the Android proxy; there’s actually a ton of proxy server apps for Android but I don’t recommend this for long term use and depending on which phone you will use, results will ultimately vary based on the device’s WIFI connection speed and band used. Caching will also be a problem on lower end models. If you got a hefty phone, you may be able to get a better experience but for most people, this should be an explorative process only.
As for iPhone, the device should be capable but I have not tried the software themselves so I’m not sure so I won’t comment on this.
For NAS owners, please check with your NAS product if it has a proxy server app. For Synology DiskStation owners, your NAS will have access to the package center where you can download the Synology Proxy Server app:
Go to Package Center and type in “proxy server” on the search bar while in the All Packages menu. Click install under the Proxy Server package name. Once installed, its ready to be configured.
Configuring your Proxy Server
Click on options to see the port and IP you need to connect to.
Click start if the proxy isn’t running yet.
Synology Proxy Server Configuration
Open Synology packages’ menu and click the Proxy Server icon. You will be presented with the window above.
Tick “Enable Caching” if its unchecked.
You can set an email for administration notifications
You can also change the proxy’s server port to something else. Take note of standard ports that you cannot use like port 80 and other ports like port 21, etc. Refer to this list for common ports that you want to avoid. In my setup, Synology defaulted me to 3128. We’ll go with that.
For advanced users, you can change the cache settings and access rights as well as authentication and proxy deployment settings in the other tabs.
The NAS I am using is a Synology DiskStation DS920+. You can read more about it in this review.
Configuring your PlayStation 5
Now its time to setup our PlayStation 5 to connect to our proxy server.
Go to Advanced Settings and browse to the proxy server settings. Press X and enter your proxy server address. Once done, press X on the port number and enter the port number of your proxy server.
Hit ok and you are done.
As I mentioned, there’s a lot of factors still to be considered here. If everything is going good though, you should see the download speeds improving on your PlayStation 5 download speeds. Again, a disclaimer: this may not improve your situation but both my PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 have benefited from this. Still, its worth taking a shot. Let me know if works for you and if it helps you speed up PlayStation5 download speeds.
As I write this, my other problem is managing my 600GB usable storage on the PlayStation5. I currently use an ROG Strix Arion USB3.2 Gen2 enclosure and a Kingston KC2000 1TB SSD as expansion but until Sony allows expanding of the internal drive, guess I’ll just try using my larger SSDs on this thing.