Why is my internet slow?

Why is My Internet Slow - Is it a Latency Problem?

The causes of latency on your network

  • Why Is My Internet Slow?

    The simplest answer is Latency. Internet latency is a lag in your network’s data flow. If your business phones operate over the internet with systems like hosted pbx, or you use multiple cloud based applications, host a website, or video conference with staff and clients - then internet latency levels do affect your business.

    Internet data, whether in voice, video or text, travels to and from the network source and its destination in a form that we call ‘packets’. The amount of time it takes for the data packets to travel back and forth is referred to as latency. The more steps your data takes to travel in between the network source and its destination, the higher the latency.

    Since we rely increasingly on business applications that only work through the Internet, high latency levels hinder performance and workflow. Although it’s impossible to eliminate latency entirely, it is in your best interest to minimize it as much as possible. How? Start by understanding what causes it.

  • The Primary Cause of Latency Is Network Congestion

    High latency is basically a network traffic jam. Think about a communication network in terms of a state highway. Bandwidth represents the size of the freeway and data packets mirror the cars. Heavy traffic build up can cause congestion when there aren’t enough lanes to accommodate the volume of traffic. If more data is being sent than network capacity allows, it causes network congestion and increases latency.

    Another common cause of latency is the distance between the data packet source and the responder. The further the destination, the longer it will take to transmit the data. Data passes through multiple networks to reach a responder. Delays at network points can reroute data off through more networks. The more networks to cross, the longer it takes, the higher the latency.

    Now you know what latency is, how do you measure it?

  • How To Measure Internet Latency On A Business Network?

    Ping Tests are the most common way to measure latency. Ping tests measure the amount of time it takes for data to travel back and forth between networks. It does this by sending a very basic data packet - a ‘ping’ - to another device. That device then sends a ‘ping’ back in return. The ‘ping’ is then measured, most commonly in milliseconds (MS), to assess how long it took to go back and forth.

    Latency speed can be measured in two ways: Time To First Byte (TTFB) and Round Trip Time (RTT). TTFB is one-directional, meaning it is the time a packet takes to travel one way to its network destination. RTT tests the time it takes to reach its network destination and send a response back to the source. Both measurements provide insight into your latency and network performance.

  • Internet Speed Tests

    You can check your Internet speed here with Tierzero's Speed Test. These are a great quick check of your overall network speed which reveal what amount of bandwidth you're working with for download and upload. The speed tests measure the RTT of a data packet, but to find a more accurate measurement of latency, you need to deploy a proper Ping Test that sends multiple consecutive ‘pings’ to report the average time and delay of each ping. There are multiple different online tools that measure Ping differently - such as sending a ping to specific data centers or directly to a specific website.

    Since latency cannot be completely eliminated, we measure it for what are considered ‘acceptable’ levels. For example, an acceptable level for VoIP calls is estimated at around 20 ms. If latency levels are higher than 150 ms, you can expect audio quality to diminish. So measures are good indicators for troubleshooting problems.

  • Can Internet Latency Be Reduced?

    The short answer is, yes. Since latency can be affected by multiple factors, one option to reduce it is to increase bandwidth. If we revisit the traffic analogy...extra lanes on the freeway can help traffic flow, but that is not always the case.

    Configuring QoS on your router to prioritize bandwidth can help latency performance considerably. Another way to decrease latency is to move from a shared internet connection like Cable to deploy Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) over a technology like Business Fiber. This decreases the amount of traffic on your internet connection which we’ve established as one of the main causes of congestion.

    Making sure your network equipment is up to date and free of damage helps. Having older, outdated equipment can limit connection speeds or lack updated, faster protocols. Switching your device from WiFi to an ethernet connection also gives a more consistent Internet connection and faster Internet speed.

  • SD-Wan Helps Reduce Internet Latency

    A great way to offset network congestion is to prioritize traffic to mission critical applications. This is made easy by managed services like SD-WAN which is a software overlay that monitors, tests and manages your network, 24/7. SD-WAN serves as a virtual sensory system allowing different locations to “talk” to each other seamlessly, securely, and immediately across any given network. The greater the control, the easier to prioritize and prevent interruptions or causes of latency.

    Again, Internet latency cannot be eliminated entirely, but levels can be minimized with the correct management.

For help with latency levels on your business phones or Internet, call Tierzero at (800) 504-0000. We’re here to help.

People     Tierzero

  • Tierzero is and has been our internet and datacenter provider for the past 14 years. As a technology solution provider we need a dependable partner we can trust for our clients with, tierzero has been a great partner for us and our clients.

    Avatar
    Ara Aslanian
    Inverse Logic
  • When it comes to infrastructure, our IT team works directly with the TierZero's Network Engineers to resolve issues and plan future build-outs, something not possible with AT&T and Verizon.

    Avatar
    Michael Bradley
    Beverly Hills Rent-a-Car
  • Tierzero has first-class customer service and customer care, consistent and fast data and voice quality and top-of-the-line phone system with video chat.

    Avatar
    David Nazarian M.D.
    My Concierge MD
  • Whenever I have to deal with Tierzero, I never feel like I am dealing with a scripted customer service or sales rep. Unlike a lot of communication companies, they can actually communicate.

    Avatar
    John Adler
    Phyllis Morris
  • What I like about Tierzero that I can't get anywhere else is that when I pick up the phone and call them I will probably get someone I know and who knows me. I feel they are personally informed about what services we have from them, they take a personal interest and they understand the importance to us.

    Avatar
    Buck Little
    Idyllwild Arts Foundation
  • Whenever I have to deal with Tierzero, I never feel like I am dealing with a scripted customer service or sales rep. Unlike a lot of communication companies, they can actually communicate.

    Avatar
    Andrew Rinehart
    Eyeboogie Inc

Focused. Professional. Disruptive.

Tierzero began over 20 years ago as an effort to disrupt the telecommunications industry, so we understand the frustration when it comes to dealing with the big phone companies. We believe it's our job to make the lives of business owners and IT managers less complicated and deliver an elegant solution that works with the least amount of hassle.

HIPPA Compliance
© Copyright 2021 - Tierzero