The Internet plays a central role in the day-to-day activities of most consumers. You probably rely on your on demand Internet connection to access information, download files, and consume entertainment.
The first thing that most consumers look at when selecting an Internet service provider is the speed of the connection. If you think that the speed is determined by bandwidth, you are mistaken. It is the latency of your connection that really counts.
What is Latency?
Bandwidth is a term that refers simply to the number of bytes your connection can download per second. Internet service providers will give you many different options when it comes to bandwidth, but you won't achieve the fast download speeds you are looking for if your connection latency is slow.
Latency is the amount of time that your computer takes to initiate communication with a web server once you have requested a web page. Slow latency speeds will result in slow download times, regardless of your current bandwidth.
What Factors Affect Latency?
Once you realize how important latency speed is in the overall performance of your Internet connection, you should become familiar with the factors that can affect latency speeds. The first is the physical distance that information must travel.
Data packets containing information move through cyberspace quickly, but their travel speed is affected by the physical distance between the source of the information and your computer.
The second factor affecting latency speed is the amount of time it takes your router to receive information and forward it on to your screen. Swapping out your faulty router for a new one can be a simple way to improve latency speed and avoid any delays when downloading information from online.
Can Latency Speeds be Controlled?
There is little that you can do to control the physical distance between your computer and the origin of the information you are trying to download. That aspect of latency is out of your hands, but you can be proactive in improving your latency speed so that you can take full advantage of the bandwidth offered by your Internet service provider.
Dated computer equipment can slow the transfer of information significantly. Upgrade your computer components as often as needed to ensure they are not holding you back when it comes to quick downloads.
Identify the effect latency speed is having on your Internet connection speed to improve your web browsing experience in the future.