Everything You Need to Know About Latency

It doesn’t take a tech genius to determine that latency is a bad thing for your network. This term alludes to many types of delays that a particular network experiences when processing data. Minimal delay times are experienced in a network that has a low-latency connection. Moreover, extended delays occur in a network connection that has a high-latency. 

Aside from delays in propagation, latency can just as well involve delays in transmission and also delays in internet processing like doing network hops or migrating proxy servers

How Latency Relates to Network Speed 

The impression of the performance, as well as the speed of the network, is typically framed as bandwidth. But another critical element is latency. A regular person is probably more aware of the bandwidth concept, as this metric is usually advertised by network equipment manufacturers. 

However, note that latency is a significant factor when it comes to the experience of end-users. In modern terms, lag most commonly alludes to a network's poor performance.

Throughput and Latency Compared 

In actuality, throughput, or the collection of information that runs through the network, differs over time. It is also impacted by increasing or decreasing latencies. This happens even though a network connection's theoretical maximum bandwidth is determined based on what technology was used in it.  

Extreme latency gives rise to bottlenecks or impasses. This makes it difficult for the data to fill up the net pipe. This results in a decline in throughput. It also limits a connection's peak bandwidth. Depending on where the delay is coming from, the latency's effect on a network could be temporary or persistent.

Latency When It Comes to Equipment, Software, and Internet Services 

When it comes to cable internet and DSL connections, the typical latency of under 100 MS or milliseconds and latencies under 25 milliseconds is highly likely. For satellite-connected internet, usually, the dormancy can be higher than 500 milliseconds. 

When operating with increased latency, a 100 Mbps rated internet service can perform more inferior than a 20 Mbps internet service. 

Moreover, a satellite internet demonstrates how the latency, as well as bandwidth, is different in computer systems. This is because satellite services have high latency and bandwidth. A lot of satellite users experience a notable interruption from the moment an address is entered up to the moment the page starts to load when trying to pull up a webpage. 

This increased latency is mainly because of delays in data generation. This is because the message requested journeys through light speed towards a satellite station far away and then returns to your home network. However, as soon as this message reaches Earth, it quickly pulls up the page just like on cable internet and DSL, which are internet connections that have high bandwidth. 

Another kind of dormancy happens when a network is bustling with traffic. This is called WAN latency. The system is so traffic-heavy that the other orders are delayed, and the equipment can't take on all of these requests using peak speeds. Because the entire network is working altogether, this latency impacts the wired system as well. 

Another cause for latency is when a hardware issue or an error causes it to decipher the data longer. In this case, the lag might be caused by the system hardware or equipment hardware. An example of this is a hard drive that is slow when it comes to retrieving or interpreting information. 

The software which the system runs can also cause latency. For example, programs for antivirus processes every piece of data that runs through a particular computer. This is one of the primary grounds of why computers that are protected are much slower compared to their counterparts. Before the data is used, it usually gets dissected and scanned by the antivirus software.

How to Measure the Latency of a Network

There are tools available to measure latency like traceroute and ping tests. These tools determine the amount of time it needs for a particular packet of a network to be able to traverse through source as well as the destination—and vice versa. This is known as the round-trip period, the most popular way of measuring latency. 

Business and home networks' QoS or Quality of service features are also developed to handle both latency and bandwidth to perform more efficiently and consistently.

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design.

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