How do you reduce latency and jitter?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Reducing latency and jitter in an internet connection can significantly improve the overall performance and user experience. Here are several steps you can take to minimize latency and jitter:

1. Perform a Bandwidth Test: Start by assessing your current internet speed using a reliable online bandwidth test tool. This will help you identify if your connection is meeting the expected speed and if any improvements are necessary.

2. Minimize Unnecessary Bandwidth Usage: Avoid running bandwidth-intensive applications or downloads while using real-time services like video conferencing or online gaming. Close any unnecessary background applications or browser tabs that may be consuming bandwidth.

3. Upgrade Ethernet Cable: If you are using a wired connection, ensure you are using the latest and highest-quality Ethernet cable. Older or damaged cables can introduce latency and jitter. Consider upgrading to a Cat6 or Cat7 cable for better performance.

4. Check Device Frequency: If you are using a wireless connection, ensure that your devices are connected to a less congested frequency band. Switching from 2.4GHz to 5GHz can often provide a more stable and faster connection.

5. Schedule Updates Outside of Business Hours: Automatic updates for operating systems, applications, and antivirus software can sometimes cause latency spikes during critical work hours. Schedule these updates to occur during non-peak hours to minimize disruptions.

6. Prioritize Packets: Some routers or network devices offer Quality of Service (QoS) settings that allow you to prioritize certain types of network traffic. Prioritize real-time services like VoIP or video streaming to ensure a smoother experience.

7. Jitter Buffers: Implementing jitter buffers on your network devices can help smooth out variations in packet delivery. Jitter buffers temporarily store incoming packets and then release them at a consistent pace, reducing the impact of jitter.

8. Attempt Using a Different Device: If you experience consistent latency and jitter issues on a specific device, try using a different device to see if the problem persists. This can help isolate whether the issue is with the device or the network.

9. Change Wireless Network Source: If you are using a wireless connection, try repositioning your router or access point to minimize interference from other devices or walls. Additionally, ensure that your router firmware is up to date to benefit from any performance improvements.

By following these steps, you can reduce latency and jitter in your internet connection, resulting in a smoother and more reliable online experience. Remember that different situations may require different solutions, so it’s essential to troubleshoot and experiment to find the most effective approach for your specific setup.