By definition, latency is the delay between the receipt of a stimulus and the response to it. This is often used in medicine to describe the period between when an organism becomes infected with a virus and when they begin to show symptoms. However, in technology latency can take on different forms. In general, latency is the delay from input into a system and the desired outcome, like the lag that happens when you are doing a webcast. Below, we will go over what latency is and how it works.
What Is Latency?
Latency is the delay between two things. There are several examples of latency in technology, but one of the most well-known is network latency. Network latency represents how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one point to another. The lower the latency, the faster the operation of the network.
Ping vs. Latency Difference
Many people confuse latency and ping concepts. These concepts are closely related, and have a considerable impact on Internet connection speeds. Ping refers to ping rate, a utility that can be accessed from the command prompt, much like an oscilloscope. The ping rate of a computer is equivalent to the effective latency between your device and the internet. Latency is the measurement of how long it takes to initiate connections and data to arrive relative to the perceived speed of your internet connection. That means that, essentially, the ping rate is the tool used to measure latency.
Is Latency A Problem?
In general, latency is the result of other problems with your network. High latency creates bottlenecks in network communication, resulting in a slower computer. This can be frustrating for computer users, who will often experience lagging in their operations. It is always best to keep the latency of a network as low as possible to ensure that data is being shared smoothly and in a timely manner.
What Affects Latency?
Latency can be affected or caused by several errors or issues, but surge absorbers are not one of them. For example, propagation, the time it takes for data to travel from one place to another, has a direct impact on the speed of your computer network. Other factors include your network hardware, such as the router, storage delays and software malfunctions. All of these issues could increase your network latency.
How Do You Test Latency?
Latency can be tested using tools such as ping test and traceroute. These tools measure latency by measuring the time it takes for data to travel. The time is totaled based upon the round-trip of a data packet. Therefore, ping test and traceroute will note how long it takes for a data packet to travel from point A to point B and back again. If the time is relatively low, then the network latency is low. However, round-trip time is not the only way to measure latency. Other systems may take different measurements.
How To Improve Latency
If you are responsible for test management operations and want to improve latency rates after seeing your ping test results, there are several things you can look at. These areas are:
You are going to want to check to see if you have sufficient bandwidth, or if you have a firewall that may be causing a bottleneck with checkpoints for blocking traffic. You may just have to increase bandwidth to experience improved latency. Codecs are uses to encode voice signals to be transmitted over a network, but these are decided by your internet provider, so you cannot control this one. Old hardware will also have an impact. It may be time for an upgrade. Remember these fixes the next time you are dissatisfied with ping test results.
What Are Some Other Types Of Latency?
Latency comes in various forms when it comes to technology. Aside from identifying network delays, the term can also be used to describe audio, mechanical, operating system and Internet issues. For example, audio latency is the time between a sound being created and heard. Most people experience this in the form of videos where the sound and picture are slightly out of sync. Additionally, mechanical latency covers a series of situations where the physical response of the hardware is delayed.
If you have ever wondered what latency is or how it related to your Clearswift services, be aware that there are several different types. In technology, latency often involves a lag in the actions of a system. Now that you understand latency and its causes, you can test it for yourself to see how well your network and electronics operate.
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