What is internet latency?

Have you ever been playing your favorite online game but experienced dreaded “lag”? Maybe the web page you clicked on Google is taking forever to load? Or perhaps you were on a Zoom call but there’s a delay and timing was out of sync? If any of these situations are relatable, you may be suffering from high latency!

What is latency, you ask?

Latency refers to the round trip time of sending a packet out to a server or computer and then receiving the acknowledgement. It’s like yelling in a canyon and hearing your echo!  The lower your latency on your internet connection, the quicker a website to respond after clicking. Latency is also know as “ping” which is term typically used by speed testing sites such as fast.com or speedtest.net.

Latency is also really important for real time communication software such as Zoom. When talking to someone in person, we’re accustomed to instant feedback. High latency will cause a delay on a VOIP or video call manifesting as the problematic delays sometimes seen in video chatting. This can be really frustrating especially when you start talking over each other!

What affects latency?

There are multiple factors that affect whether your latency will be high or low. The first would be the connection type. If you have a satellite internet connection, the packet you send out has to travel to the satellite, then the main ISP, and then back again. This can quickly add seconds to loading a web page, creating a sluggish experience that is less than ideal.

Latency also can be affected by the location of the server you’re testing against. Cloudflare describes a great example of a way in which distance affects latency, “If a website is hosted in a data center in Columbus, Ohio, it will respond fairly quickly to requests from users in Cincinnati (about 100 miles away), likely within 10-15 milliseconds. Users in Los Angeles (about 2,200 miles away), on the other hand, will face longer delays, closer to 50 milliseconds.” Simply put, it takes more time to travel a larger distance and your latency will be higher.

Here at netBlazr we strive to deliver unparalleled internet services and this includes providing low latency. Our point-to-point microwave network bypasses old infrastructure, connecting directly to fiber at the hub of Boston connectivity.

Want to improve your internet latency? netBlazr is here to provide more information on how our service can improve your internet experience. 

Reach out at [email protected], or 617.718.5500×1