Internet latency is something we’ve all experienced at some point. If you’ve ever waited for a video to buffer or a webpage to load, you’ve experienced Internet latency.
Internet latency is the time it takes for an Internet-based service to respond to a user’s request, and is a factor that contributes to the overall user experience.
In this article, we will explain exactly what Internet latency is, the factors that contribute to it, and how to reduce it.
Internet latency is the amount of time it takes between you sending a request and receiving a response. For example, if you want to browse a website, then Internet latency is the amount of time between you typing the website name in the browser window and the webpage loading completely.
The amount of acceptable Internet latency depends on the application:
The major factors that contribute to Internet latency are:
Internet traffic is transmitted over a data network that uses multiple transmission media. For example, if you are in the USA and access a website that is hosted in the UK, then the Internet traffic – the request sent by you the response sent by the website – has to traverse
Each type of transmission media has its own propagation delay which is a function of the speed at which electromagnetic waves travel. Typical propagation delays for transmission media are:
The media propagation delay is an intrinsic feature of the transmission media i.e. it cannot be eliminated.
Processing time can be divided into
The Intenet is a vast data network made of up network links and network devices. Network links are transmission media such as fiber and cable etc. Network devices are specialized pieces of hardware used to manage the transmission of traffic over the network links: these include routers, firewalls, switches and several other types of equipment.
Each of these devices is made up of a number of components such as processors, memory and interface cards. Each of these components has a capacity limit: for example a processor on a router may be capable of handling 50,000 packets per second, or the memory on a network device may be able to store up to 10,000 packets.
Consider a network router that is handling traffic: as the long as the number of packets the router has to handle is below its capacity, the router will be able to process those packets in a certain amount of time. But when the number of packets that the router has to handle goes beyond its capacity, then buffering of packets will start, and some packets may even end up getting dropped (deleted). In other words, under high load conditions, the processing time will increase.
Similarly when a network link connected to this router is carrying traffic that is less than its capacity (e.g. a 10 Mbps link carrying 5 Mbps traffic), then the processing delay for that link will be low. But when the traffic increases beyond the link capacity (e.g. a 10 Mbps link that needs to carry 15 Mbps of traffic), then buffers on the router will be used to store the excess traffic until it can be transmitted. Again, under high load conditions, the processing time will increase.
Each website or service that we access over the Internet is hosted on a machine called a server. Link network devices, this server has a certain capacity. Consider a server that is designed to handle requests from 50,000 simultaneous users: the server hardware (processor, memory, hard drives etc) are all selected so that the server can handle requests from 50,000 users.
The server will take a certain amount of time to process each request: this time will be low when the load (number of requests) is low, and will increase with increasing load. Servers have been known to crash i.e. become non-functional due to extreme loading.
When we talk about reducing Internet latency, it should be obvious by now that this latency cannot be reduced to zero. This is because
When you use the Internet, the traffic has to pass through two different networks segments:
For the part of the network that is outside your control, the best that you can do is to go for a good provider of Internet services.
For the part of the network that is in your control, you could:
You cant make Internet latency disappear. But you can reduce it so that it doesn’t make you suffer!
The team at Carrierbid can help you to understand why you are suffering from high Internet latency. We can perform detailed assessments and help you in determining the solution that is right for you. Our domain experts can be reached directly at 1-888-706-5656 or through our website at www.carrierbid.com