How Much Network Lag is Too Much?
The latency of a network is the amount of time that is needed for data to travel between a sender and a receiver. Even though all computers have some amount of network lag, it can fluctuate from time to time and for a variety of different reasons. The major cause of network latency is the route that is followed by the traffic through the internet servers and other backbone devices. The amount of network latency of an internet connection also varies based on the type of connection.
Causes of network lags in internet connectivity:
On a normal basis, the latency of a network fluctuates constantly, but these fluctuations are too minute to have a big effect. However, when there is an additional lag such that there are serious impediments in surfing the internet or using certain applications, it can get hard to work efficiently on such a system.
Some of the causes of the network lag include:
- Internet traffic load: There are times when we see a spike in the usage of the internet connection and the nature of this lag varies according to the geographic location of users as well as their service provider. While this situation is quite common, some of the solutions for this includes changing one’s service provider or moving to a different place with better internet connectivity.
- Online application load: Nowadays, online gaming has become a crucial activity on the internet. Multiplayer games, websites as well as the client-server applications utilize the shared internet servers. As a result, when these servers are overloaded with activity, the client experiences network lags.
- Interferences on the wireless connection: When there are interferences in the wireless network connection, it is mostly because the network is corrupted in transit, causing lag from the re-transmission delays. These interferences in the proper functioning of the network usually results due to weather conditions such as heavy rains and cloudy skies.
- Lag switches: A lag switch is a device that is installed on the local networks by online gamers to intercept the network signals and introduce network delays in the transmission of the data back to the other gamers who might be involved in a particular game. In order to avoid this problem, one must refrain from participating in these types of games.
While these were some of the causes for the network lag in internet connections, there might also be certain problems with the home network that often leads to network latency. Some of the causes of such network latency include:
- Overload in the router: There might be certain situations when one network connection is being used by too many people. This causes the network connection to fluctuate significantly. The best solution for this problem is to upgrade the router so that it is able to handle a larger quantity of network traffic and there are no more latency issues. In cases when we have too many downloads waiting to happen or when there are too many online sessions at the same time, there results an overload in the traffic and it leads to a network lag.
- Overload in the client device: When computer systems are unable to process the network data, there results latency in the network. This is generally the cases when there are too many applications running at the same time. Also, when there are applications being used that do not generate the network traffic, there is a scope of encountering network latencies as well.
- Malware: When a system is infected by a particular virus, it hijacks the computer and the network interface. Also, this causes the computer to function sluggishly and there is an overload in the system. The best method to counter this is to utilize an anti-virus that helps to guard against these issues.
The impact of the network lag actually depends on the particular activities that a person is performing over the internet connection and the speed that the person has grown accustomed to. For example, if we are accustomed to an internet connection that has relatively longer latencies, we would generally not mind slight network lags during our time on the internet. If however, we have been using an internet connection that does not fluctuate too much, having a network lag might seem quite hard to overcome. Generally, network latency that is below 100ms is noticeable and affects the internet performance of the connected devices.