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What is Latency?

Getting used to latency

You also need to be aware of a possible apparent “slowness to respond” with any satellite internet service – or latency, as it’s technically called. This is something that is inevitable with all current satellite broadband technology – and is the result of any internet request being made then answered having to make a approx 100,000 mile round trip. It’s something that may take a little getting used to – and again especially if you’re more familiar with terrestrial connectivity, however slow.

A simple analogy may be helpful here. Imagine your usage of the internet is effectively a conversation, with you asking questions and wanting answers. If you’re on a slow copper-based service, it’ll start to respond quickly, but speak very slowly. Our satellite services do the exact opposite – it may take half a second or maybe even a second to start responding, but then speaks very fast. Now, if your question is a very simple one, requiring just a two or three word answer, the first scenario may seem “faster”. However, if your question requires a more lengthy response – several sentences or a paragraph or two maybe – then the second scenario will very definitely offer a better experience. This is something that it’s quite important to understand – internet delivered over satellite shows its real worth when you’re looking to access larger chunks of data.

For example, what you’ll tend to see with satellite when web-browsing is that nothing may happen for a short while when you call a web page, but then the page completely loads all at once. On a slow 2Mbps ADSL service, the page will start loading almost immediately (and some page elements will appear), but this will take a long while to complete. As we mentioned above, where the advantage offered by a satellite connection will be most noticeable is when you’re looking to download bigger amounts of data, e.g. catch-up TV, for example.

This is why we do not suggest “Gaming” on satellite broadband.

VOIP works, but with a little delay.

As always we are happy to discuss or assist on 01485 57253