All these terms are quite related but I couldn't understand when to use which. I often hear that some networks have low bandwidth and high ping rate for online gaming. I thought they might be inversely proportional but that's not the case. When someone introduces "high ping and low ping" it becomes more confusing. What are they?
Ping is a utility to test network connectivity. It uses ICMP echo request/reply to do this. The originating host sends an ICMP echo request, and the receiving host sends an ICMP echo reply. There are several messages which may be returned:
- The target host could reply, and you have a successful ping.
- If a certain time period passes before receiving a message, you get a timeout. This is caused by the host on a different network not replying (firewall, target down, unidirectional routing, etc.) during the allotted time period.
- You could get a destination unreachable message, meaning that the layer-3 address could not be resolved to the layer-2 address. This implies that either the host is on the same network, and it did not respond to ARP, or if the host is on a different network, the configured gateway for your host is down or misconfigured.
- You could get a network unreachable message, meaning the host is on a different network, and a router in the path has no route to the network for the target host.
Most ping programs run the ping several times, and they return a round-trip ICMP network latency. The Ping program usually gives you the number of packets sent, received, lost, and the loss percent, along with the lowest, highest, and average ping latency. Unfortunately, this is often confused with a real network latency, but the two may not be related on a network with multiple hops, especially the Internet where ICMP is often delayed or rerouted, unlike other traffic. ICMP is not the protocol used for most data communications, and the latency returned by ping may not reflect any other application latency.
Bandwidth is only indirectly related to latency. The bandwidth on an unloaded network has nothing at all to do with the latency. The real network latency is due mostly to network congestion, and bandwidth plays the largest part in that for busy networks. Latency reflect the aggregation of distance latency, and the latency added by network devices in the path. The largest component of the latency is by the network devices, due to congestion on the network, and a busy connection causes congestion.
Ping or ping rate, the name of the network diagnostic tool, used to test whether traffic can get through or not. Having a low ping is always desirable because lower latency provides smoother gameplay by allowing faster updates of game data. For more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ping_(video_gaming)
Latency is the amount of time, it takes a packet to travel from source to destination, which is normally expressed in milliseconds. While bandwidth is normally expressed in bits per second. It's the amount of data that can be transferred during a second.
In short, bandwidth is a measure of capacity. Latency is a measure of delay.
If you’re downloading huge files, you probably care more about bandwidth than latency. If you’re trying to watch high-definition video, both are equally important. If you’re playing an online game, latency may be far more important than bandwidth.