Fighting the Invisible Hand of Lag

By | April 25, 2015

Fighting Lag – Tips for reducing Network Latency & improving Download Speeds

The NBN is one of the most exciting new initiatives in Australia, calling for affordable high-speed Internet access in millions of homes nationwide by project completion in 2021. The NBN rollout promises to eventually deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps once the technology is completely integrated, but a phenomenon known as lag can effectively negate the benefits of this advanced new national network.

Although unlimited NBN plans from iiNet provide access to some of the fastest Internet speeds available in the country, lag can still have a significant effect on the quality of your Internet experience. Unmitigated lag can cripple even the fastest Internet connection, but fortunately there are steps you can take to minimize it and increase the overall performance of your connection.

Latency

Latency is the delay between the actions of the end user and their effects on the computer, connection or network, and is one of the principal sources of lag over high-speed connections. Latency is influenced by the geographic distance between server and user, as the data must go through a series of processing hubs on its journey from source to destination, as well as server configuration.

Latency is commonly measured in fractions of a second, and although in many cases even significant latency will result in a loading delay of a second or two with a simple page, differences in latency can have more pronounced effects with high-demand applications such as video streaming and 3D gaming or even with simple page features.

Latency can be greatly reduced with proper server maintenance on the site owner end, and if you are the owner of a web page that regularly experiences bottlenecks due to traffic spikes, it may be time to upgrade your hosting solution.

Best Practices

A high-speed Internet connection can only exhibit its most impressive performance when properly utilized. Download speeds directly affect your browsing experience, and are influenced by your computer’s available memory and processing resources as well as its overall level of health.

For this reason, any unnecessary applications or processes should be closed prior to connecting to the Internet to maximize the resources available for browsing. Be sure to regularly upgrade your browser software to ensure you are getting the most current experience, and your hard drive should be scanned regularly as well to prevent viruses and malware that can slow your system down.

The NBN is set to deliver high-speed Internet access nationwide, but lag can significantly limit its impact on your browsing experience. Minimizing latency and optimizing download speeds are the keys to controlling lag and getting the absolute most from your high speed Internet connection.