What is ping?
We are starting a series of blogs that cover the basics of networking and connectivity. Here is the first in the series.
Ping? Lag? Latency? These are terms that are thrown around in online gaming to try to describe how well an internet connection is.
The term ping comes from sonar, an active sonar creates a sound pulse and then listens for the reflection or echo of the pulse. This reflection is a measure of the distance from the origin of the pulse and the object the pulse is reflecting off of.
For internet use, the vernacular of “ping” now describes the measurement in milliseconds of when a packet of information sent from one device is received by another using an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packet.
Generally speaking anything less than 50 milliseconds is considered really good ping, 50-100 is good to average, 150 ms or more is where noticeable issues start to preset themselves or lag.
Most games have an online monitor in the settings to allow you to see what your ping/latency is. Some will allow you monitor in real time onscreen while you are playing.
Now, that we have established what ping is and what it means, the next question is how can I lower my ping?
We save that for that for next week.