When you go looking for internet service, there are a lot of factors for you to consider. These factors are designed to meet your needs as an individual, a business owner. Latency rate and speed of internet connection are also some of those that need to be taken into consideration, and this guide will be exploring these factors.
It refers to the time between a user request and the completion of the same request. Processes that might seem instantaneous have some measurable delays. Measuring these delays will provide a latency rate. Reducing such delays is an important business goal for many internet service providers.
Many programs and applications that need low latency rates need it to improve the user experience and support customer satisfaction by providing applications and services faster and smoothly. Such services include cloud hosting, online videoconferencing, or computational applications.
Low Latency, High-Speed Internet
Low latency can be referred to as a computer network that experiences minimal delay in processing a high volume of data. You will often find the term bandwidth being around latency term.
Bandwidth is often used interchangeably with internet speeds, however, it is a completely different term. Bandwidth is referred to as the amount of data that can be transmitted over a particular line of network. You can think of data being transmitted over a line as water passing through it and bandwidth as the size of pipe that can carry an amount of water and fill up the pool accordingly. In this scenario, to fill up the pool faster, you will need a pipe that has a bigger width. The bigger the width, the more water will pass through and the pool will fill up quicker, and vice versa. Hence, the bandwidth is like a pipe for transmitting data over the internet.
Bandwidth, or download speed, is what most ISPs advertise on their plans. If you have a 100 Mbps internet connection, that means that your download speed is 100 Mbps. Download speed tells you how long it takes for a certain amount of data from the internet to reach your computer.
Now that the download speed and bandwidth are all clear, let’s move on to how the latency rate is different from them both. It is the amount of time it takes for a specific piece of data to be transferred from one computer to another. Latency rate is measured in milliseconds (ms). If you want to test the latency rate of your internet connection, you can send a ‘ping’ of information to a remote server and time how long it takes to get a signal back.
Note that faster download speeds might refer to a lower latency rate, but that is not always so. For instance, satellite connections are known to have a very high latency rate, but also have higher download speeds than any other connection type. If you download a 1GB file over a 10 Mbps DSL internet, and the same over a 100 Mbps satellite connection, the DSL connection would get a head start due to lower latency, but the satellite connection would download the file more quickly.
Why Low Latency is Important
It is also important to understand why a low latency rate is relevant to an internet connection. If there is a bigger delay in the internet connection, that will lead to a slower internet connection. Lower latency happens because there is a delay between an action and getting the result of that action.
Imagine that you are watching live streams of a cooking show or a game show and the latency rate being recorded is 30 seconds. As a result, if you wanted to put in a query in the chatbox, it would show up 30 seconds later, even though the broadcaster would be commentating something related to your query 30 seconds earlier.
Lower latency is important for seamless and lag-free connectivity in your online activities. It is critical for many other real-time applications or live streaming such as banking, diagnostic imagining. Online gaming, weather forecasting, stock trading, ticket sales, video broadcasting, etc. For better and more accurate results of these activities, lower latency is essential.
High-Speed Internet Connection
Picking the kind of internet connection is an important factor to consider when considering latency and internet speed.
For instance, if you decide to go for a faster internet connection, you might have a higher chance of getting low latency in your internet connection. Though having multiple devices might interfere with the internet connection unless you go for the internet speed that meets the connection requirement of these devices and their online activities. You will find option for various speeds in internet plans offered by many ISP. Xfinity Internet, one of the most widely available internet provider in the US, has multiple levels of internet plans, all based on their own speeds and pricing. Moreover, if you go for bundles packages like Xfinity Bundles, where you will get internet and TV services for a discounted price among other benefits, you might also need to opt for an internet connection that meets the connection requirement of all your devices.
Hence, why choose Low Latency, High-Speed Internet?
In summary, you will also need to consider the latency rate if you decide to buy an internet connection. However, in everyday usage, you might not notice the effect of latency since the data transmission or collection happens very fast. The following main areas might be impacted by the latency rate, low-speed internet connection.
- Online multiplayer games that require faster reaction times
- Video calling or video conferencing.
- Live stream or live events
Before selecting any internet provider, latency needs to be taken into account along with high speed. Speed is the bandwidth but latency is required for data to be transmitted without any delay.