Most people tend to consider their Network Bandwidth & their Network Speed to be one and the same.  Bandwidth is certainly critical in determining the speed of your network but its only one part of the equation. Latency & Packet Loss is often times overlooked but equally critical in determining the overall speed & performance of your network. Here we evaluate what Latency & Packet Loss is & why businesses should care much more about them.

What is Latency?

Latency is the measurement of how long it takes a “packet” of data to travel from your computer to a server on the Internet and back. If you think of your Internet connection as a tube, bandwidth is the width of the tube & latency is its length. Whenever you experience delayed responses in Internet applications – this is likely due to a high latency.  Excessive latency creates bottlenecks that prevent data from filling the network pipe, thus decreasing effective bandwidth

Why you should care about Latency?

All provider networks are not created equally. Your Internet Service Providers (ISP) may have a poorly designed network that creates persistent bottlenecks & high latency. If you select a cheap bandwidth connection from an ISP with a poorly designed high latency network, expect to be disappointed with your overall network speed.   As businesses continue to migrate to web based cloud applications, latency is becoming more critical than ever.

What is Packet Loss?

Packet Loss occurs when one or more pieces of data are lost during transmission.   The information you transmit across your network is bundled & sent in packets. Sometimes these packets are los due to reasons such as hardware failure, network bottlenecks, software corruption, etc.

Why you should care about Packet Loss?

Some applications can handle typical packet loss with little noticeable decline in performance.  Others applications like VoIP are extremely sensitive to packet loss.  If you have ever used VoIP & experienced garbled voice quality or dropped calls you have likely experienced packet loss.  If your business utilizes VoIP, Video Conferencing, or Media Streaming you should take packet loss seriously into consideration.

If you are a business looking for help deciding between Internet Service Providers & would like a free consultation. Please give NetFarm a call at 847-512-4949 or email us at info@netfarmsolutions.com.

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