Network Latency: Why It Matters and How to Measure It

9 min readJun 8, 2024

What is Network Latency

Network latency is essentially the time difference between when we make a request while browsing a webpage or using an application, and when the server returns the results to us. An example of network latency could be experienced when you’re playing an online multiplayer game.

Imagine you’re in a video conference with colleagues or friends. When someone speaks, their voice is transmitted over the internet to the other participants. However, due to network latency, there can be a delay between when someone speaks and when their voice is heard by others.

For instance, if there’s a high latency, you might notice a delay between the lip movements and the corresponding sound. This delay can disrupt the natural flow of conversation and make it challenging to have smooth communication. It can also lead to situations where participants accidentally talk over each other because they haven’t heard the other person’s response yet.

Our ultimate goal is to create a system where this time difference becomes as short as possible, essentially achieving zero delay. However, in the real…