When researching broadband packages, you cannot avoid bumping up against some technical terms from time to time. There are two important measurements that play an important role in the experience you have with your broadband. One is bandwidth, commonly known as speed, which affects how fast you can download or upload data to and from the internet. The second is latency – a technical specification that also affects everything we do online.

What is latency?

Latency = delay. Latency affects all types of broadband and it’s a measure of how long it takes to send data and receive a response. In simple terms, how long it takes for a unit of data to travel across a network from your device to its intended destination.

For example, when you click on a link and the lack of an immediate response leaves you wondering if you need to click it again.

Why is latency important?

As we spend more and more time online, either for work, education, social or family gatherings, latency has become more and more important. There are plenty of online activities that suffer from high latency and the best examples are video calling and VoIP (especially for long-distance calls), loading web pages and gaming. Not to mention that low latency connectivity is extremely important for many business processes that require a quick response. Therefore, high latency should be a serious concern for every business owner as it’s tied directly to productivity and collaboration. On the other hand, there are some activities that are not affected by latency, such as streaming TV or films. And this is because you’re only sending one initial request to the remote server to send you the video stream.

So, what can you do to reduce latency?

Firstly, you may think that latency is determined only by your broadband provider. But that’s not always true. There are plenty of factors that determine your overall latency.

Have you ever wondered, how responsive is your keyboard or your remote control?  What about your router or screen? Latency is everywhere – but it’s not always pronounced enough that you’d notice it. Let’s find out how you can address or reduce latency.

Let’s start with trying to reboot your computer and your router to make sure it is working properly and you have a good connection. The next thing you can try is to minimise the number of users online at any one time, close down any applications that may be updated in the background and disconnect the WiFi on devices you’re not using.

You can also try to switch from Wi-Fi to an ethernet cable network connection. If this doesn’t help, you can think about upgrading your broadband. If you find that your internet connection is significantly low when a lot of people are online at the same time, upgrading to a faster type of connection (e.g., from ADSL to fibre) may help reduce latency.

Your choice of ISP can also affect your latency

A congested broadband network can cause high latency. Get in touch with your provider and see if there’s something they can do to help. If you’ve tried everything and you can’t see any improvements, try to switch providers. Another ISP might be more helpful in fixing your latency issue.

If you are a business owner, look for an ISP that commits to providing a network with low congestion and invests in the latest technology.

Everyday Communications can install affordable, high-speed broadband into your home or office — without stress. Our engineers will take care of it all, and you can depend on our helpful, 24/7 customer support if you need it. To discover our home broadband solutions and business packages, get in touch with our expert team!