Latency, in the realm of technology and network communication, is a critical factor that influences the time delay between input and output. This article explores the concept of latency, its real-world implications, common reasons for latency, and methods to reduce it. Whether you’re a gamer, a streamer, or simply looking to optimize your internet experience, understanding and managing latency is key to a smoother digital journey.
What is Latency?
First, let’s take an eye over latency and what exactly it is, so latency is nothing but a value in terms of time which lets us know about the total time interval between whenever the user has given input to the system and when the output is received by the user.
Let’s understand it with a real-life example:
Real Life Example
- Let’s take an example whenever you watch a live cricket match on any of your devices or television it also has a latency of some seconds which can go up to 7 seconds and many more depending upon the location of the user. That much latency occurs because streamed data has to follow a proper traceroute to be successfully displayed on your screen. That particular data has to jump from server to server and then when it encounters your server it displays the match in front of you.
- Suppose there is a task for CPU to read data from memory and let in one way it takes 1 milli second extra so the total latency for the CPU in retrieving that data from memory is 2 milliseconds and ping will be of 1 millisecond. By the way, some of you may have a confusion between ping and latency so don’t worry I’ll make it clear for you. Actually, latency is the total time taken by the signal to return back to the user and the ping is nothing but a single-way time taken for that signal.
What is the problem ?
Internet speed somehow effects the latency but we can’t fully depend upon that because if you increases the speed of internet to its top than the latency can be reduced but even so it will take its time(in milli seconds) of travelling the traceroute that has to be followed for proper transmission of data from one place to other.
Now here comes the problems because of latency specially for gamers who live stream their games and while playing the games like PUBG/BGMI, actually the problems for gamers arises because suppose you are playing the game and you are shooting at your enemy according to the location your device have retrieved from the server of that game but because of the ping you will not get exact current location of your enemy because you are shooting at some previous location of your enemy, so this can create trouble for gamers also. But note that as I have previously mentioned that latency can’t be make fully 0 because it will take its proper time to follow the traceroute so it can be reduced/decreased to some extent.
Common Reasons of Latency
- Transmission Medium: The material/nature of the medium through which data or signal is to be transmitted effects the latency.
- Low Memory Space: The low memory space creates a problem for OS for maintaining the RAM needs.
- Propagation: The amount of time signals takes to transmit the data from one source to another.
- Multiple Routers: As I have discussed before that data travels a full traceroute means it travels from one router to other router that is increases the latency, etc.
Methods to Reduce Latency
- Increase Internet Speed & Bandwidth: To run the internet smoothly, you’ll need a network connection speed of at least 15mbps. Now, when it comes to bandwidth, if other members are playing online games, live streaming, or video calling, it will have an impact on your performance, so you’ll need a lot of it to handle everything.
- HTTP/2: It reduces the amount of time it takes for a signal to travel between the receiver and the sender by reducing the signal’s path or route.
- CDN: If you use a CDN, it will cache all of the data or resources near the user from around the world, allowing signal to retrieve data from nearby resources rather than going to the origin.
- Be close to your router: Signals flow wirelessly from one router to the next, but they can be interrupted or resisted by objects such as walls, furniture, and so on. Place your system in an area of your home with good connectivity.
- Upgrade Broadband Package: Sometimes the broadband connection provider is a problem, so if you find a better deal than the one you’re currently using, switch.
- Restart Your Router: If your router has been on for a long time, restart it to refresh it and relieve the constant strain on it.
- Close Background Running Application: If you’re using Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube, or live streaming, turn them off because they significantly slow down your system’s ping rate.
- Play Games On Local Server: To ensure good connectivity, always try to play online world games on your local servers.
- Use Ethernet Cable: Using a wired connection for internet connectivity is always a good option. It’s beneficial because the signals have access to your system’s exact clear path through wire, which means they don’t have to travel everywhere and encounter obstacles, reducing latency and increasing stability.
In conclusion, latency is an inevitable aspect of data transmission, affecting activities like gaming and streaming. While it can’t be eliminated entirely due to the intricacies of data routing, various methods such as optimizing internet speed, using CDNs, and choosing local servers can help mitigate its impact. By understanding and addressing latency, users can enjoy a more responsive and seamless online experience.
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