Network Basics: Ping or Latency, What It Is and Why It Matters

We continue with our specials dedicated to the most basic, and important, network concepts that currently exist. Today we are going to focus on latency, also known as ping, an old acquaintance among online game lovers which, over the years, has become an increasingly frequent problem, even despite the improvements that Internet connections have received.

I am sure that many of our readers will already be clear about what latency is, and will know why it is important, but for those of you who are not so clear about it, or who have simply never understood how it works, we are going to dedicate our new chapter to it. of specials focused on the most relevant basic concepts of networks, maintaining the usual format. As always, if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments and We will help you solve it.

We start at the beginning, what is latency? In order to understand its importance, and why it can end up giving us problems, it is necessary to first be clear about what we are talking about. Latency is the time that elapses since the completion of a bidirectional communication cycle between our router and the destination server, that is, the time it takes to arrive with our request or order, and to return with the server’s response. It is expressed in milliseconds.

For example, if you are playing League of Legends and have a latency of 40 milliseconds, that’s the time it takes for your actions to be reflected in the game. If you have a latency of 400 milliseconds, your actions will take ten times longer to be reflected on the screen, and this means that the gaming experience you will have will not be good at all, since your actions will be executed out of time and you will end up losing all the fights .

Network Basics Ping or Latency, What It Is and Why It Matters

Why is latency so important? How to prevent it from firing?

We have already explained it to you quite clearly in the previous example, because it determines the delay that will occur between the moment in which we execute an action and the moment in which it is reflected in a game, in an online application or in a Web page. Let’s see a couple more examples to understand it better, imagine that you are buying online, and you have a high latency. If you click to add an item to the cart, that action can take a long time to complete. The same will happen with the actions you perform while browsing the Internet.

You can have a very fast internet connection, but if your latency is high, the user experience could end up being terrible. To prevent this from happening, and the latency to skyrocket, it is necessary to have a good router, use the appropriate connections and avoid saturating the network while we are doing something “preferential” (playing online, for example). It is also important to take care of the security of our network to prevent intruders from entering that can consume our bandwidth and trigger latency, and to keep the PC and the router updated.

However, keep in mind that latency is the result of “A relationship of two”, and that you will not be able to control it always. If the server you are connecting to is having problems, latency may skyrocket, and you will have no choice but to endure the pull. The same could happen if your Internet connection provider has service problems. It is another case in which you will not be able to do anything else but wait for it to be solved.

If you have permanent latency problems, regardless of what you are doing, and even if there is no member of the household connected, you most likely have an intruder on your network. To get rid of it, you just have to enter the configuration menu of your router and change the password of your network, or networks, Wi-Fi.

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