We all know how frustrating it is to wait for a web page to load. Nowadays, as consumers are becoming extremely active on the internet, they have started to prioritize, discuss, and compare network performance to improve their online enterprises. The end users’ tolerable waiting time (TWT) is diminishing.

So what is network latency and what role does it play for an online business? Let’s explore.

What is Network Latency?

In networking, high-speed connections are a significant priority. While throughput is the sum of data which passes from the source to destination in a certain amount of time, latency is the amount of time taken by a single data transaction to occur.The term network latency is used to define any lag happening in data communication on a network. Low latency networks cause small delays in the system, whereas high latency networks cause high delays. 

High latency creates stoppages and holds the data from taking full usage of the network pipes. Applications with higher bandwidth and mission-critical system require more massive throughput. High latency has also been known to decrease revenue for internet service. 

Low latency is beneficial for all services. In an article by C-NET, Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Product and User Experience quoted that going from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds lowered traffic and ad revenues by 20%. Also, tests at Microsoft on live depicted that when search results were slow by one second:

  • Queries per user decreased by 1.0% and,
  • Ad clicks per user decreased by 1.5%

After delaying the search results by two seconds:

  • Queries per user decreased by 2.5% and,
  • Ad clicks per user decreased by 4.4%

WAN  latency is another kind of network latency that can happen if the network is encountering traffic to the point that other requests are delayed because the  hardware cannot handle all of it at maximum speeds. WAN latency impacts the wired network also, as the whole network is operating together.

How will Network Latency Hold Your Business Back?

The primary requirement comes from the data-intensive sectors, such as online gaming, video streaming, stockbroking, commodities trading, online games, and VoIP. It’s very fractious to think that businesses do not benefit from low latency networks. 

A high latency network can have the following downfalls

  • Loss of valuable customers. Customers are more likely to shift on a network with low latency because of wastage of time and the frustration that comes with high latency networks. Everyone wants an interface that loads effortlessly, and actively search for networks with high efficiency
  • Shifting to competitors. Consumers will most definitely go for a network with more efficacy, especially if the internet is a source for their income. Bloggers, sellers, website and application owners, all are valuable contributors to the economy of network communication, and they require a steady network connection that will aid them in working without any trouble
  • Negative Reviews. Negative reviews from users, online and through word of mouth, can profoundly damage a business
  • Usage of the internet by employees. A slow internet connection can hinder employees’ performance in completing their work on time, hence causing delays in workflow. A survey by storage experts, Sandisk, revealed that average employee wastes one week per year waiting for the company’s network to respond. 
  • Diminishing employee morale. A person willing to accomplish a certain amount of task on any given day will be extremely annoyed and demotivated if the internet is slow. The complaints from employees will rise, and the morale will drop. 
  • Revenue falls. Slow internet leads to lost profits. With a sluggish network connection, likely that the employees will not be able to complete their work on time, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Your company’s competitors with a faster internet connection will significantly benefit from this, as your customers start taking their services.
  • A disadvantage for web application users. Web application performance is linked directly with the end user, so there is no tolerance for network latency when the end users are just a click away from elevating their business.

How Can We Determine Network Latency and Avoid Problems?

Recognizing the users, the locations they are from, and the devices/browsers they are using is majorly important when it comes to customer loyalty and growth. It is also vitalto measure network latency by using tools such as ping or traceroute, which determine the time it takes for a data packet to travel from the start to its destination, and then back, called ’round-trip time.’

It is essential for a company to be careful while choosing a network to connect. Research and compare networks before getting one. Even Joker Jacket and Michael Jackson Costume has invested in resolving their Latency issues and their business got boosted by simply resolving this issue. What business do you have? Does it involve back to back communication? Are consumers always taking your services? Educating yourself about the many factors involved in your business, and the impact of network communication is highly needed.

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