Does your Internet seem to slow down to a crawl throughout the day? If your download speeds seem good, but you’re still experiencing slowdowns, you are not alone. You are experiencing a slow down due to an increased latency on the network.

What Is Latency?

Latency refers to the delay in the travel of a signal to its destination and back. For example, when you click on a webpage, it will send a signal to the server to retrieve that webpage and bring it back to you. This process is usually very fast, taking only milliseconds. Ideally, the lower the latency, the better.

How Social Isolation Is Impacting Latency

With businesses closing and schools out for the foreseeable future, more people are spending time online. Add the millions, some estimate around 1/3 of workers telecommuting, and the result is a massive increase in Internet usage. The easiest way to visualize this is to think of an LA during rush hour. The more people working, surfing the web, or streaming equates to more cars on the road. As a result, there will be peaks in network traffic, resulting in slowdowns.

Tech Companies Stepping In

Last week, several streaming companies announced they were going to lower the streaming quality of their services in Europe. These companies include YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple. Disney announced that it would delay its rollout of Disney+ in Europe as well. Lowering the quality will help ease some of the increased load on the networks.

Yesterday, YouTube announced it would lower the streaming quality for its users globally. By default, videos will play at 480P (standard definition). Viewers will still have the ability to increase the quality to high definition, but they will need to increase the quality manually. The other providers are monitoring the situation in the US and said they would make adjustments when needed.

Other Suggestions

If you feel like your Internet is slow, try running a speed test. When the download and upload speeds are consistent with your plan, the cause is likely due to high latency. If you work from home, one way to limit slowdowns is to reserve gaming and streaming sessions until the evening. This way, you will not be interrupted during the day. If you have questions about your network, feel free to give us a call. We have technicians who can come to your home and complete a network assessment to identify ways to improve your connectivity. Lastly, check to see if your Internet Service Provider is experiencing an outage in the area with Downdector. Over the course of this week, there have been several days where Spectrum’s service was disrupted.

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