What is Latency and How Can It Affect Internet Access Speeds?

Latency is one of the common issues to face when it comes to internet networks and connections. In connection with this, wired connections of network also tend to obtain a low latency. Nevertheless, wireless connections tend to obtain a higher latency.

Now, latency refers to the different types of delays usually incurred into your network data processing.  Low latency network connection highlights delay times while the high latency connections suffer from long term delays. Apart from the propagation delays, latency may consist of transmission delays as a physical medium property with processing delays like network hops and proxy servers on your internet.

Latency in Real World

For instance, you browse your web to search for different kinds of connection. Here is how latency affects your internet access speeds:

  • Satellite Internet Connections ( High Latency, High Speed) – You click a web page link and after noticing some delay, the web page will start to download and show up at once.
  • Theoretical Connections (Low Latency, Low Speed) – You click a web page and then it starts to load instantly. However, this will usually take time to load the page as you see the images loading one at a time.
  • Cable Internet Connections (Low Latency, High Speed) – You click a web page and you see the page that appears right away.

Latency usually manifests delay. For instance, if you have to chat to someone using Skype using high latency connection of the internet, there will usually be a pause for a while. It is also somehow possible that the communication with each other might end up.  If you will also play online games, expect that your actions and events will be delayed with this latency.

The Cause of Latency

Both latency and bandwidth depend on your internet connection. They are also simply affected by several factors such as the location of the remote server, network hardware, and the routers of the internet in between the server and the user.

Moreover, the packets do not travel instantly via routers. In each router, the packet will have to travel with some delays for few milliseconds. This will also increase that depends on the packet delays that they will have to meet.

However, there are some kinds of connections such as satellite internet connections that offer high latency even at its best condition. It also takes about 500 up to 700ms for packet to reach internet service providers towards satellite internet connections.

Latency is not just a problem for satellite internet connections. This is also a problem to different types of connections around the world. This may delay the internet access speeds as you choose to browse a certain page in a web.

Measuring Latency

For those who want to determine the extent of the effect of latency in your internet access speed, spare some time and effort to measure the latency. You only need to have access on the ping command of the web address and of your computer.  This is by far a significant measurement process that can help you determine if you need to upgrade your computer and internet connection system even if the latency is already at its highest extent.