Discover the difference between latency and ping

It is very common to observe that most users, when they talk about the connection they have just installed at home, give priority to download speed. Some less, also know the upload speed, but sideways, in a very indirect way.

When we talk about those already famous “symmetric Mega”, it is said that both the upload speed and the download speed are exactly the same.

But there are few who talk about a third parameter that, in many applications, can be critical to enjoy a good online experience: latency .

It is important to ask what latency is , since an important difference in this section will make everything go smoothly and will, in fact, result in a much faster general navigation than in the opposite case.

The advancement of technology allows us to have a better Internet connection, but this does not mean that sometimes we have problems with it, that is why we are going to tell you the difference between latency and ping , two very important concepts above all if you are a gamer

What is latency?

When a connection is established to any network medium, be it the Internet or another local computer, such as a server in the office, there are several fundamental elements for said data transmission to be carried out correctly.

Latency is the time that elapses between when we send the first data and it is received by the destination computer.

Latency is made up of several components:

The quality of the connection to the network: depending on the medium with which we connect, the latency will be lower or higher. The fastest medium is electricity, therefore copper cables tend to offer the best latency, followed by fiber optic connections.

The distance from one point to another: the further away the point with which we want to connect, the longer the signal will take to arrive and therefore the more latency.

To this we can add the jumps: each time it passes through a node, we will have to add the new latency between the node and the next point, and so on until reaching the destination.

The size of the data packet to send: this occurs because there is a size limit per packet. At this point the “bandwidth” of the line has a great influence.

The higher the bandwidth, the more packets we can send. And the bandwidth is precisely that claim that Internet companies sell us: the “Megs of download”. Therefore, if it is true, that we can have better latency with “more Mega”, but it will not necessarily always be so.

When we talk about high latency , we mean just a few tenths of a second. A tenth of a second is a long time in these terms, and having just three tenths of a second would be a real deficiency in the quality of our connection.

Low latency is important to enjoy the Internet. Today, with a powerful connection, it is possible to connect to any point in Spain with a latency of less than 20 milliseconds, and to any place in Europe with just 80 milliseconds, as reference data to evaluate our connection quality.

Now how do we measure this?

What Is Ping? This Is the Main Difference Between Lag and Ping

The difference between lag and ping that we must take into account is that, although both concepts are closely related, we could say that one is the measuring tool and the other is the measurement.

In this case, when asked what ping is , the shortest and simplest answer would be: “the main tool for measuring latency”.

The ping is a signal that is sent from one computer to another within the same network (either locally or on the Internet) and that goes through all the intermediate nodes until it reaches the end point and returns.

The ping signal is sent, which is received by another computer, to which it responds with a pong signal. At the moment that the source computer receives this pong signal, the time it has taken to produce this round trip is calculated to determine the latency.

The concept of “ping-pong” does not come from table tennis, but from the sound that submarine sonars made when they sent a signal and it returned to indicate the distance at which an object could be found in the environment.

In essence, it is the same methodology that motivated the creation of this tool more than two decades ago, not only to calculate latency , but also to know if the equipment with which some type of transaction was going to be carried out was operational.

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