Network latency

Whether you’re running a business or working from home, having a sudden delay or slowdown in your network can be increasingly frustrating and cause issues in doing everyday tasks. We’ve told you before how latency could cost employees up to an entire week of productivity. Understanding the latency in your network and how to decrease it can improve your work-from-home life and your business.

What is Network Latency?

Network latency is defined as the time it takes for data, or a data request, to go from the source to the destination. It’s measured in milliseconds, so the closer to zero, the better.

Tell-tale signs of high latency:

  • Websites take multiple minutes to load or do not load at all
  • Data you are trying to send takes a long time to send, such as emails with large attachments
  • Accessing other servers or web-based applications is a slow process, or you’re never able to access them

How can I measure my network's latency?

As previously mentioned, latency is measured in milliseconds; the closer to zero, the better. The closer your latency is to zero, that means your network is working the fastest. The further away from zero you get, the higher your latency is.

There are 3 key ways to measure latency:

  1. Manually: you can either use ping, traceroute, or My TraceRoute (MTR) tool to better troubleshoot any problems you have to ensure your data is traveling at optimal speeds.
  2. Performance test tool: if this tool is available in your location, you can use any URL to see a breakdown of loading times and HTTP response headers.
  3. Throughput calculator: these are great for a hypothetical situation, if you’re looking to define the application and latency value. You can take a look at the peak optimized estimate for the max throughput you can expect. 

How can I reduce my latency?

In order to reduce the amount of latency on a network, we first have to understand what can cause latencies within it. Causes of latency include:

  • Transmission mediums such as WAN (Wide Area Networks) can have limitations that may affect latency.
  • Routers can take time to analyze information, and when it has to pass from router to router, it can increase latency.
  • Storage delays. When data is being stored or accessed, it can cause delays.

Here’s how these things can be reduced:

  • Reboot your network hardware. If your network hardware hasn’t been restarted in a while, it may end up slowing things down. By unplugging both your router and your modem for 30 minutes, it can help decrease latency.
  • Close bandwidth intensive programs. If you are using more than your maximum bandwidth, network latency increasingly slows down. Shutting down any large programs will positively affect network performance.
  • Contact your internet service provider (ISP). If you can’t seem to lower your latency on your own, contacting your ISP would be best. At Socket, we’ll help you figure out what could be slowing down your speeds and send a technician out if needed.

For more ways to reduce your latency, check out Young Up Starts post.

Interested in learning more? Visit our resources, Key CDN and DNS Stuff.

Curious on what services Socket offers in your area? Visit us here.