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Ping, Latency, and Lag: What you need to know

You cannot afford to have a sluggish, or unreliable, internet connection when gaming. It is likely that you already know terms like jitter and ping rates, but still find it difficult to fully comprehend how they affect your gaming experience. You don’t have to worry – we’ll help you understand the difference between ping, jitter, and latency.

Ping, Latency, and Lag: What You Need To Know

What is latency?

Even though ping, latency, and lag are often grouped, each has a subtle difference. Latency is the amount of time it takes for data to travel between your device and the server, or the reaction speed of your internet connection. A high-quality internet connection has lower latency than a high-speed connection.

Although they are not the same, latencies and lags have a cause-and-effect relationship. The delay between the source and the destination of a packet is referred to as lag. The game responds more slowly on-screen after you press a command button.

You will experience lag if your latency rate is high. In first-person shooter games, in particular, where commands have to be executed immediately and precisely, high latency rates can disrupt gameplay.

What is ping?

In the Internet world, the ping is the standard unit for measuring latency. Networks conduct regular tests using ping rates. Using the speed of ping messages as a measure of latency, we can determine how long it takes to send a message.

It is commonplace to use latencies and ping interchangeably, even though they are subtly different. In contrast to ping, latency is the time it takes the signal to return from the server to the device.

Despite this, latency and ping rate are used to describe the time it takes for information packets to travel from point A to point B (or from your device to your server). This reduces lag and improves gameplay on low ping systems.

What’s a good ping?

In general, pings should be between 40ms and 60ms or lower. In over 170 games, connections lower than 100ms will result in a noticeable delay.

The gameplay will feel faster and smoother with, say, a 10ms ping (0.01 seconds) compared to, say, a 100ms ping.

Depending on the game you are playing. Games like Hearthstone, which is a turn-based game, may not need a low ping. Playing Counter-Strike and Street Fighter V would require a much lower ping to play at a high level.

What is latency?

An example of this is the ping which is a signal sent from one computer to another on the network, while latency is the time (in milliseconds) that it takes for that signal to return to the original computer. Hence, latency is a measurement of the roundtrip time of a signal, whereas ping is a measurement of the one-way trip.

The latency of your network connection is related to both its quality and speed. There are two components to network connection speeds. Bandwidth (or the amount of data that can be transferred within a specific period) and latency, or the time in which data is transferred, make up bandwidth and latency, respectively.

When you hear gamers use the terms “low latencies” and “high latencies,” these are often synonymous with “low ping” and “high latencies.” However, that’s not entirely true.

What is lag?

An Internet connection that is slow or has a high ping often causes lag. Gameplay with a delay occurs when you give the game commands. So, for example, pressing W moves your character forward in Counter-Strike, but it doesn’t move until the next second.

Occasionally lag builds up, and the game freezes for a few moments, then catches up with your inputs at once, or you have disconnected from the game altogether.

Gamers can experience lag for a handful of reasons, the main one being high ping, which delays the communication between you and the game. There are times when you might not receive information from the server because you have intermittent connectivity issues, and this is called packet loss. This can be caused by an overcrowded server, a low level of security, or a broken connection.

To minimize lags and maintain an uninterrupted gaming experience, you can do several things such as:

1. Find out how fast your Internet is

To play games seamlessly, you don’t necessarily need business-speed internet, but you should have at least 15-20Mbps. However, your bandwidth is also an important consideration.

2. Ensure low latency

In-network latency, the distance between the point of origin and destination is measured. Latency should be as low as possible. While playing a game with high latency, your character might not move for a few seconds after you tell them to walk forward. Lag is caused by this. A high-speed internet connection and a low latency are ideal.

3. Move closer to the router

Physical objects like walls, floors, and furniture can interfere with your wireless signal. Move your computer or console closer to the router to improve your Wi-Fi signal and line of connectivity.

4. Close all background websites and programs

Netflix, YouTube, and download sites consume a large amount of bandwidth. Your gaming performance may be impacted by running any other programs.

You can reduce the number of devices you have connected to Wi-Fi by reducing the number of devices you have. Wi-Fi bandwidth increases as more devices connect and use it. While gaming, you can set your devices to Airplane Mode.

5. Connect your Ethernet cable to the router

When living in an apartment or house with other people, you might find that it is difficult to ask them to refrain from using the internet while you’re gaming.

If they are out of the house, you can try playing a game on your device or connect the device to the router with an Ethernet cable. This should dramatically reduce your ping as long as your router is not at fault.

6. Connect to a local server

Your ping can be reduced significantly by playing on a server in your country or on the other side of your country. You should choose a server that is as close to you as possible.

7. Reboot your router

Using a router for a long time can strain it. This can help you to improve your latency and refresh your internet connection.

8. Get a new router

You may experience poor connectivity, slower speeds, and less reliability with an old router. Gaming routers can be a good choice. These routers meet the requirements for all the conditions necessary for gaming (including faster Internet speeds, lower ping rates, and lower latency times).

9. Get a better broadband package

To reduce game lag and improve internet speed, better broadband is the best and simplest solution. You may want to upgrade to a broadband package that offers better gaming conditions. In some cases, the problem could be your location, so you might want to find a new broadband provider who offers better, more reliable internet service.

Conclusion

You should choose a broadband service provider that offers consistent and low latency if you want to ensure a smooth, effortless gaming experience. The less the latency (or ping rate), the better the gaming experience, since it reduces the possibility of lag and unexpected jitter.

Gaming is often not catered to by standard ISPs. Solid network infrastructure is something we take pride in at Ghost Gamer Broadband. To ensure that you have a high-quality connection without interruption, we have multiple 10 Gbps fiber circuits.

To stay focused on winning, we ensure your connection will remain low ping, high speed, and stable.

FAQs:

1. What is latency, and how does it affect my gaming experience?

  • Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel between your device and the server, directly impacting the reaction speed of your internet connection during gaming. Lower latency results in smoother gameplay, while higher latency can cause delays and disrupt the gaming experience.

2. How is ping related to latency, and why is it crucial for gamers?

  • Ping measures the latency between your device and the server in online gaming. It’s a standard unit for measuring latency, indicating how long it takes for data to be sent and received. Lower ping rates, ideally between 40ms and 60ms, ensure faster response times and smoother gameplay.

3. What are the implications of high latency and lag in gaming, particularly in fast-paced games like first-person shooters?

  • High latency and lag can significantly impact gameplay, especially in games where quick and precise actions are crucial. In first-person shooters, high latency rates can lead to delayed responses to commands, affecting player performance and overall gaming experience.

4. How can I minimize lag and maintain uninterrupted gameplay?

  • There are several steps you can take to reduce lag during gaming, including ensuring a fast and stable internet connection, connecting to local servers, optimizing network settings, and minimizing background programs and downloads that consume bandwidth.

5. What factors contribute to high latency and lag in online gaming?

  • High ping rates, packet loss due to intermittent connectivity issues, overcrowded servers, and network congestion can all contribute to latency and lag in online gaming. Addressing these issues through proper network optimization and troubleshooting can help improve the gaming experience.

6. How can I improve my internet connection specifically for gaming purposes?

  • To optimize your internet connection for gaming, consider factors such as bandwidth, latency, and router placement. Upgrading to a higher-speed internet plan, using an Ethernet cable for a direct connection, and minimizing interference from physical obstacles can all help improve gaming performance.

7. What role does the choice of broadband service provider play in gaming?

  • Choosing a broadband service provider that offers consistent and low latency is essential for ensuring a smooth gaming experience. Providers with solid network infrastructure and high-speed connections, such as Ghost Gamer Broadband, can help minimize lag and provide stable gameplay.