What is Low Latency and What are the Benefits of Low Latency?

Tech Talks Krushi Shivasangaran August 2nd, 2022 Tech Talks

In the world of real-time communication technology, achieving something with grace and perfection, sounds like a holy grail. That too when it’s about video interaction, where the concept of low latency and other measurements of network performance comes into the play.

If this scenario interests you to learn more about latency like what is low latency, reduced latency, bandwidths, benefits for optimal performance, and more, then this is your right place to explore. 

So, with no further delay let’s get started!

What is Low Latency? – An Overview

Before getting into the concept of low latency let’s have some understanding about this ‘Latency’ in general. 

“Latency” is considered to be the amount of time taken from the time when request is made by the user till the time taken for the receiver to get back to that user. In other words, latency specifies the amount of delay on a network or internet connection.

Low Latency

Now, if we check on “Low Latency” – It is the requested resources that will appear instantly without any lag, as soon as the request is made by the other end. But, with high latency the case is different, here you can observe a significant delay between the time the request has been sent and the resources are returned.

Now, further let’s learn why is this low latency that important in any video chat app specifying its great specification.

Why is Latency So important?

While the latency talks about the delay of data transmission over the internet network due to external circumstances such as internet connection, infrastructure, physical distance, and more. On the other hand, the low latency is all about removing the delay in the time frame, which logically makes sense. Is’n it?

If we see this in detail, the low latency with live video call sessions is all about an easy delivery experience with no lag and delay. However, the issue with latency is mostly noticeable only when the video is distributed among the users using an online platform.

Even here, the internet traffic management uses the algorithm to reduce latency rate, and also measures the amount of data traveling across the network. This inturn in later stages routed accordingly with the allocation of sufficient bandwidth mainly to prevent delay in reach.

Overall, the entire scenario of low latency is instant delivery of video data without interruption and delay. Moving further let’s see how it plays a role with the improvement process.

Latency & Bandwidth – Ways to Improve

If you ever planned to improve latency, then you must think of considering the bandwidth and throughput connection of a network. Yes, this concept also plays a significant role in avoiding the delay in processing of data. Moreover, here the measurement of network performance moves along with providing a good user experience on the web as well as mobile devices.

Well, if we talk about Bandwidth, it’s all about the maximum capacity of any network connection. So, as higher is the bandwidth, the more would be the capacity, that equates to lower latency. Whereas, the throughput is all about measuring the amount of data that any system can process at a given time interval. 

Henceforth, the bandwidth, throughput and latency all together have a cause-and-effect relationship, which always moves together where the setback of one can affect the others. So, if there is an increase in the bandwidth, the latency value will travel quickly across the network and display the video data on the screen without any delay.

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Key Points That Causes Higher Latency!

There are several criterias that lead to higher latency issues. Let’s have a look at some of them,

1. Long Distance

Distance could be one of the major causes of latency. Here, when a server is placed across the globe from a client’s device, it eventually increases the amount of milliseconds taken for the data packets to travel across the network. 

Moreover, the increase of 30-40ms seems invisible to our naked eye, and of course, the delays combined together will let the data travel across multiple network connection points. As a result, the satellite internet will automatically get slower than the cable internet connection.

2. Congestion with More in Traffic

This scenario takes place when the network takes over more traffic than it can support. Mostly, this is so when too many clients join a network that does not have enough bandwidth to support the needs. This will in turn delay or lose data in messages traveling across the network.

3. More of Physical Barriers

Do you know that a user’s internet connection is more than enough to affect the latency of any application on your system. Yes, all this depends upon the connection type, internet service providers, the amount of speed and bandwidth purchased, and more. 

Everything plays a significant role in experiencing the latency issue. For example, Ethernet is mostly faster than Wi-fi, or any other old router to support any video calling session.

Now, if you were thinking as if there is anything as reduced latency just like high latency, then let me tell you – the answer is Yes! Let’s see that in detail.

What is Reduced Latency?

Well, Reduced Latency is the term that talks about the processing period with which the latency value gets reduced to a certain range that indicates the low latency (e.g. < 10ms).

Let’s see some of the solutions that can support the latency to get reduced to reach the range of low latency.

1. User’s End

The step to reduce the latency range starts with the user’s end. Yes, the users can reduce the latency range simply by preparing and maintaining their best physical internet connection. 

With network connection,  fiber optic cables are the ideal one while the other options including general cable or satellite internet generally have higher latency. Thus, it is better to choose the service provider with higher internet speed and more bandwidth of at least 100 mbps to have a faster video calling section. 

2. Businesses 

For businesses, the simplest solution to reduce latency is to invest in networking solutions such as cloud networks. They work by connecting the users to the closest source of information, wherein they decrease the distance for the data to travel.

Here, the amount of data centers and the distributed locations mostly supports the decrease of loading time as well as high bandwidth across the network. This eventually improves the service quality over the internet.

3. Developers

When it comes to web developer’s end, they can reduce the loading time on any site just with optimization and code minification. Code minification mostly reduces the size of CSS and JavaScript files. 

Moreover, it supports minimizing the number of render-blocking resources. In addition, can set the assets to load first, optimizing the images and file sizes.

How to Obtain Low Latency?

Mostly for new deployments, the latency can be improved at the beginning stage itself using the next-generation programmable network platform. This is by building it on software-defined hardware, programmable network switches, and smart network interface cards, etc.

However, to reduce the latency in an existing network, you can make use of the below steps,

  • Analyze the network issues and its impacts.
  • Confirm that the issue and the impacts are caused by high latency.
  • Identify the IT infrastructure that is involved in high-latency problems.
  • Evaluate which network switches and which network interface cards can be replaced to reach low latency range criteria.
  • Also evaluate which network function can be off-loaded to a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)

Now, let’s have a check on the benefits of low latency with industries.

Benefits of Low Latency with Use Cases

However, If there is an involvement of traffic over the network, then of course low latency can be a critical part of the cycle. That too, when it’s with data and applications residing in the cloud, data center, or edge, where the networking is somewhat complex with more potential sources of latency.

Let’s understand this benefits of low latency with use cases in detail,

Nowadays, whether it’s a video conferencing or online meeting, face-to-face interaction with more clarity and no delay builds a path for an interactive discussion session. Thus, it needs low latency which will deliver the content without discernible delay between the spoken words.

With gaming, the low latency is associated with a player’s interest and thirst to win the game. Here, every player looks out for a rapid pace of action-interaction that can make them feel alive. So, delay or interruption during the game can lose the player’s interest.

  • Low Latency Trading in Finance market

Today, low latency trading in the financial market is a regular practice that open-up ways for millisecond advantages in network services. Here, the latency is used to get the information faster than any other traders.

Furthermore, let’s learn about its necessity with applications.

Is Low Latency Integral in Real-time Applications?

When it comes to real-time applications, the issue with high latency and delay in time can mostly ruin the potential engagement on a platform. So, it is very important for any application to be with low latency value to retain and improve overall customer engagement.

However, as already discussed this latency can be easily impacted with several physical barriers including internet speed, internet connection, and specific IP networks. Today the corporate companies and IT professionals have regularly analyzed and set a variety of ways to improve network speed to enhance the general user experience. 

In other words, this has been introduced in the form of distributing data with an increase in the amount of data storage that’s available across the globe improving the network connection.

Final Words!

Well, I hope that this post would have given you a lot more idea about what exactly is low Latency and its importance with the real-time communication Industry. CONTUS MirrorFly with their video data network facilitates the developer’s needs to build a real-time application with a very minimal latency range.

If this interests you to build your video chat app with low latency, feel free to contact our experts today! 

Good Luck!

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Krushi Shivasangaran