Latency vs Ping: Is ping the same as latency? Or are they different???

Jul 04, 2022 - Views: 1568 - this post if you find it interesting!

Latency and ping are often used interchangeably. Does that mean they are the very same thing? Is latency ping? Or are there differences between them? What is ping latency? Check out this post to find out the answers to all of these questions. 

Latency

Latency

Ping vs latency

First of all, let’s spend a minute learning what latency and ping are!

What is latency?

Latency is a measure of delay, according to sas.co.uk. Latency refers to the time it takes for a data packet to move from a transmitter to a receiver, and back again. 

It’s worth noting that latency and speeds of an internet connection are different things. Latency refers to the quality of your connection, not its speed (amount of data transferred within a specific amount of time).

What is ping?

So, what does ping mean? 

Ping, as per hp.com, is the signal sent out across the network connection to another computer, which in turn sends another signal back. And the measurement for this round trip is known as latency. 

Ping

Ping

Is latency the same as ping?

As you can see, ping and latency, to be exact, are not very the same. Despite often being used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between ping and latency

To put it as simply as possible, latency refers to the reaction speed of an internet connection, while ping is a network utility used to measure the latency. That’s the difference between latency and ping.

However, as mentioned above, ping and latency are often used interchangeably. So, when you hear the terms “low ping” and “high ping”, it likely means “low latency” and “high latency.” 

Why does low latency matter?

Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms). The higher ping or higher latency in ping speed test, to be exact, means the more time it takes for the communication between a transmitter (e.g., your device) and a receiver (e.g., a server on the internet). High latency results in lag and can severely affect our internet experiences. That’s why lower latency is always better. 

Yep, low latency does matter, especially speaking of activities requiring fast responsiveness like gaming, for example. 

High latency results in lag

High latency results in lag

When it comes to online games, good ping latency, not fast download speed and download speed, is what matters the most. In types of games like FPS (first-person shooter), real-time strategy, racing games, and others, low latency means quicker speeds for transferring data and getting the server’s response. That, of course, results in smoother gameplay.

Do you know that many FPS games’ servers will automatically disconnect the players if their latency gets too high?

What causes high ping latency?

There is, well, a wide range of reasons behind a high latency. Things like slow internet speeds, the use of the wireless connection, outdated routers, outdated devices, network congestion, background apps and programs, the distance between your device and the server, and others can cause your latency to get higher. 

Determining exactly what is the reason causing high latency is so crucial since it’ll help you find the best way to fix the problem so quickly. 

See also: What is my LoL ping?

Lower pings are always better

Lower pings are always better

Latency vs Ping: Wrapping up

These are all the things about latency and ping that MySpeed wanted to share with you via this post. After all, we know that ping and latency are not the very same thing. Though these two are often used interchangeably, there’s still a subtle difference between them. And that’s all for this post “Latency vs Ping: Is ping the same as latency? Or are they different?”; hope you liked it and obtained helpful information. The next posts on MySpeed’s blog will be about how to test jitter and “what is my League ping”, check out if you found them interesting!

Sources:

hp.com/us-en/shop/tech-takes/5-reasons-your-ping-is-so-high

pcgamer.com/what-are-latency-and-ping-and-what-do-they-mean-for-gaming