What are Speed, Latency and Jitter?

What  are Speed, Latency and Jitter?


So you pull up your speed test from a website and there are several numbers that you don't understand. Which one should be high or low? In this article, we will explain what these numbers mean and which one do you need most. 

Numbers Explained


The speed at which you can download or upload data is referred to as speed. When you receive information, you download it, and when you send information back out, you upload it.

Megabits per second, or Mbps, is a standard unit of measurement for internet speed. The higher the Mbps, the faster you can send and receive data. This is the industry's main metric at the moment. 1000 Mbps (Megabits per second) is also known as 1 Gbps (Gigabits per second) (Gigabits per second),

Since everybody uses the Internet in their own unique way, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how many Mbps you need. 

3 Mbps or more is needed to access modern web pages with relative ease. If you have a page with a lot of images and flashy content, faster will undoubtedly help. It is very much dependent on the material.

 The general rule of thumb for a stable video stream is 3 Mbps for non-HD content, 10 Mbps for HD, and 30 Mbps for 4K. Faster speeds will be needed as resolutions rise.

It's a popular misconception that online gaming requires extremely fast speeds. Although having a fast connection is preferable, gaming benefits more from low latency.


The time it takes for a request to travel from you to your destination is known as latency. When you send a network request, it must be sent to a server somewhere else. The server must acknowledge your request and then react. The latency, or time interval between cause and effect, is the time it takes from when you click the page before the actual transmission starts.

You want your speed to be fast, but you also want your latency to be as low as possible. The lower the latency, the shorter the time it takes from trigger (your mouse click) to impact (the page starting to load). The greater the distance between you and the server, the higher the latency.

Milliseconds are a standard unit of measurement for network latency (ms). The request would begin to take effect faster if it takes fewer milliseconds.
The word "ping" (as seen in our screenshot above) refers to a measurement of round-trip latency.

Wi-Fi is one of the key causes of high latency because data must pass through the air, which may cause a significant amount of lag. This is particularly true for the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band, which is slower and noisier. Hard-wiring in via Ethernet, if possible, is always the safest way to minimize latency.

Also, Read: What are the Importance of Latency in Internet Access during COVID-19 Pandemic


Anything you do on a network is distributed in "packets," which are small bits of data.

The "latency" of a packet is the amount of time it takes to arrive at you.

The difference in latency between data packets is known as network jitter. Jitter is minimal if the signal is relatively constant from packet to packet. You have a jitter if you see random spikes that aren't consistent with the rest of your data.

This is measured in milliseconds. The larger the amount, the greater the variation in latency. If your jitter is high, you can experience stuttering while playing online games or performing other tasks that require consistent latency. And if you have jitter, you're unlikely to find a difference in most daily activities.

Now that you fully understand what your speed test means, you will not be confused anymore once you get that 30Mbps speed but 500ms latency. 


Get your Hi-speed, low latency, low jitter, and cheap internet here:

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