You’ve probably heard the term “latency” before, but might not be sure about what it means—other than speed issues with your internet. If your streaming has been slow lately, knowing what latency in San Bernardino County is, what causes it and how to deal with it might be your best bet to deal with this frustrating situation.
What is latency?
Latency is how long it takes for a piece of data to reach its destination. The shorter the travel time, the better your internet speed—this is low latency. If data takes a long time to reach its destination, this is called high latency, and it’s something most internet users are dead set on avoiding. High latency makes it harder for users to stream media, subjecting them to endless buffering and lagging.
Generally, satellite internet is known for high latency—when you think about how far the data has to travel, it makes sense. Each data packet is beamed into space and bounced back via satellite until it reaches your receiver. From a scientific standpoint, it’s pretty incredible—think of the sheer distance involved—but for some internet users, it can be really frustrating.
However, high latency does not necessarily mean you should rule out satellite internet altogether, especially when living in a rural area.
How does latency affect streaming?
The higher your latency, the longer it will take you to stream media—in fact, your latency affects streaming more than your connection speed does. If you already have satellite internet, you can take a speed test online to see how much latency you’re dealing with. Anything over 100 milliseconds can make it very difficult to stream movies and TV shows, such as media from sites like Netflix and Hulu.
Latency also makes it harder for you to stream to multiple devices. If you’ve got more than one streamer in your household—and you don’t share the same taste in TV and movies—you’ll want to opt for a plan that can handle your data demands.
Speaking of data demands, bear in mind that many satellite internet services include data caps, which can slow down your download speeds even further. When looking for satellite internet, make sure you ask about latency and data caps, especially if your internet is your main source of entertainment and media.
Is there anything I can do?
When you’re struggling with high latency, the best thing you can do is decrease video quality in whatever streaming service you’re using. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu all automatically set video quality, but sometimes permanently setting it to the lowest rate can help speed things up for you overall. YouTube is another service affected by latency, and it also allows you to predetermine your video quality.
For most people, satellite internet latency will be just fine, if not ideal. If you’re looking for ultra-low latency, however, you may need to find another option.
Are you looking for satellite internet streaming in San Bernardino County? JDS Systems can set you up when you call us today.