Speed tests are great, but they typically present a perfect world scenario. Your network is clear and you’re checking what the peak speeds and the lowest latency possible are. But what about when someone is updating games on PC or console, streaming something in 4K or uploading piles of data.
Often times it’s the latency or ping, that affects your online experience most. Simply put it’s the time for a request from your PC to reach the server and the response to be returned. In daily web surfing, the difference between a ping of 30ms and 300ms would barely be noticeable; but in gaming terms, lag causes rage!
Your movement responds slowly and the server doesn’t have you mapped where you think you are. Perhaps most importantly, you don’t see other players until it’s way too late.
Ookla has seen the gap in its Speedtest software and came up with a solution. The new latency figures show three metrics:
- Idle Ping – A Speedtest that measures the response of a request on your network as if it is not in use.
- Download Ping – A latency test to see how your network is affected by download activity on your network.
- Upload Ping – A test that simulates someone on your home network uploading a year’s worth of photos.
While this isn’t a definitive test, if your download or upload pings are really high it’s an indicator of potential issues. Simply setting some basic routing rules, or enabling a QOS service could greatly improve your online experience.