What is ping or latency and how can I improve it?

When you want to know about the speed of your internet, you will most likely look at the download and upload speed. They are the most well-known parameters that indicate the number of Mbps (Megabits per second) of the connection. But there is another factor, just as important, that is essential to determining the quality of your internet connection. That factor is ping.

What is ping? what is it for and what are its advantages? In this article, we will explain what this parameter consists of, how to measure it, and how to improve the ping to obtain a higher and more stable internet speed.

What is ping?

Ping is a measurement unit, used to measure latency. Before we go any further, do you know what latency is? In simple terms, latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to be transmitted within the network. That is, it is the exact time that passes since your device made a request to the server and the time it takes to receive a response from the server.

On the other hand, ping is the measure used to measure latency and is expressed in milliseconds (or in its abbreviation ms). This means that the lower the ping, the better. The most advisable thing is that the ping is below 100 ms, from 65 ms the connection is enough and you would not have to suffer any inconvenience to make a video call. In case you are a gamer, the most optimal ping will be about 20 ms so that you do not have so much delay or lag.

What is lag?

Lag refers to the excessive delay that can be produced by real-time telecommunication. Its causes may be related to high latency in the network or because there is not enough processing power in the service or client with which communication is established. It can be your computer or the Internet connection.

Lag occurs according to the format in which it is presented. For example, in videos the image usually gets worse, your music may have a sound with interference, and in online video games, the delay in your character performing your commands.

How can I view and measure the ping?

ping

With a single click, you can know what the ping of your internet connection is. To do this you have to measure the speed of your internet using a Speed Test. How does it work? The test measures the speed of the download, upload, jitter, and ping. As we said earlier, ping is expressed in milliseconds (ms). If you have a ping of 15ms, that will be the time it will take for a website to load.

For download and upload speeds, meanwhile, the test measures in Mbps (Megabits per second). If you have contracted an optical fiber plan with a symmetrical internet connection, the download and upload speed will be the same. The Jitter, on the other hand, is the fluctuation or delay that the connection can receive during data transmission and is also measured in milliseconds.

How to improve the ping?

If you have a high ping, the quality of your internet connection will be impaired and you will suffer a delay in response time. This is what is known as lag, the excessive delay that occurs when performing some activity in real-time. Lag is especially relevant in activities such as playing online video games or making video calls, where immediacy in the action is key.

When there is lag the web pages take time to load, and interference in the sounds or problems with the quality of an image is generated. For gamers, it is very negative since lag delays the execution of an action such as shooting or jumping. To avoid this, follow these recommendations to improve the ping:

1. Use a fiber optic connection

The best technology that exists to connect to the internet is fiber optics, it is the fastest means of connection on the market. With fiber optics, data travels with more speed and stability than the internet connection by ADSL (copper cable line). With this technology, you get a more fluid, secure connection and reduce the ping to almost a minimum.

2. Occupies a network cable instead of wifi

In the event that you can not hire fiber optics in your home, we recommend connecting to the internet by network cable (ADSL) instead of wifi, since it is more stable and faster. With this type of connection, you avoid or minimize the risk of interference or instability in the signal.

Keep in mind that there are several factors that affect the quality of the Wi-Fi connection such as the location or status of the router, the number of devices connected simultaneously, or weak signal coverage. With the network cable, on the other hand, the performance of the connection is more powerful.

3. Close active programs and applications

If you have several programs and applications running at the same time it is very safe that the ping will increase. So that it does not affect you and you can have a seamless connection, close all the programs that you are not occupying, especially those that consume a large part of the bandwidth.

Activities such as watching an Ultra HD movie on Netflix or Youtube or downloading and uploading heavy files generate significant network usage. If you’re playing online or holding a video conference, be sure to close the rest of the programs and apps.

4. Connect to the nearest possible server

There are two aspects related to the server that influence whether the ping is high or low: the location and the level of demand.

  • Server location: When the server is very far away geographically, the distance between the two points that want to establish communication (your device and the server) increases, which can generate instability and interference in the signal. Choose to connect to a nearer server to improve ping.
  • Server demand: If there is a high demand for the service, it may be delayed in responding to all requests.

5. Keep your computers up to date and protected

Computers such as computers, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, routers, and network adapter drivers are important to keep them up to date and in good condition so as not to affect their performance or connection capacity.

Equipment safety is also important. You have to avoid security problems such as viruses and malware that can affect the proper functioning of the devices when connecting to the internet.

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