The benefits of a speedy internet connection hardly need introducing. Nobody wants to deal with delays or lose their connection at a critical moment. Whether saving an important work document or playing an online game, latency kills productivity. Sluggish connections cause unacceptable amounts of lag in gameplay. This can ruin streaming media services or video conferencing and generally cause annoyance to everyone.
It’s important to distinguish between three possible causes of sluggish connectivity. These causes are often treated as if they’re interchangeable – throughput, bandwidth, and latency.
Throughput is the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection during a given period of time. It’s determined by the connection’s bandwidth and latency.
Bandwidth is the transmission capacity of a connection – effectively how much data it can transmit at once.
Resolving latency issues
Latency is the time it takes for data to pass from a client to a server and back across available connections. High latency and/or low bandwidth lead to low throughput, causing those connection problems and delays.
Latency can occur anywhere between your local machine and your server, so it’s important to address both. Oftentimes, the tactics you use for your local machine also work well for your server.
Remember that it’s impossible to eliminate latency entirely. However, there are are some easy ways to reduce latency or at the very least, identify it’s source.
Warning, we are about to use the most dreaded words in all of IT help… Did you turn it off and turn it back on again? All joking aside, rebooting is important from a local level and a server standpoint.
A network can slow down over time if it hasn’t been restarted. Locally, the cache of a modem or router gradually fills up and starts to bog down. Additionally, network servers occasionally need to be rebooted.
2. Shut down bandwidth-hogging programs
As explained above, latency and bandwidth are inextricably linked. If you’re using close to – or even over – the maximum bandwidth for your connection, it will increase latency.
The connection will take longer to transmit such a high amount of data. Try to reduce the amount of bandwidth in use at any given moment might have a positive impact on latency. Additionally, you may need to increase your current hosting plan based on usage.
3. Consider a wired connection
For a long time, technology has been progressing towards wireless alternatives. Connecting to your network via an Ethernet cable can do wonders for connection speeds if latency is occurring locally. This is very important if uploading or downloading large amounts of data to your local machine. It also has the added bonus of being a simple and inexpensive fix. You won’t find many wireless devices in server centers.
4. Reconsider data center locations
Depending on where your data is currently hosted, you may want to move your data or add additional locations. If you can host your data closer to the user or retrieval point, you can cut latency drastically. Learn more about our data center locations at VPS.NET. With 24 locations around the globe, you’re bound to find the perfect spot.
5. Add a CDN
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) can help you host copies of your data in many locations. By creating multiple points of presence, your data can be cached for quick retrieval by those who access it regularly. CDNs can lower latency and also boost uptime. There are a variety of CDNs available on the market. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect solution to your latency issues.
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