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Broadband Internet Reliability and Latency Are Important Than Speed

I am sick looking at ads and promoter over emphasizing the broadband Internet speed but nothing is related to broadband reliability and network latency. Anyway, in reality which ISP dares to highlight its own weakness?

I do not know what slowest broadband speed in today market is, but I do know that 512Kbps is enough for me to watch YouTube video at HQ quality and most of media-rich websites without much “pain”, except the fact of not able to stream multiple videos or load too many web pages concurrently.

I am not a big fan of online game, but I think 512Kbps is not good choice anyway for playing the modern games online.

Broadband speed

Apparently, the higher the broadband speed is better, meaning that greater bandwidth is available to channel more data between the computer and Internet in a second.

Therefore, using high-speed broadband Internet allows end user to complete download big files like Windows Vista SP2 or the latest Ubuntu CD/DVD-ROM image in the shortest time relatively.

These are the facts that ISP ads or broadband promoters would tell.

Broadband reliability and latency

But, there is no statement touch on broadband reliability and network latency.

For example, if on and off the ping test to some of the reputable websites shows more than 5% of packet loss and/or latency higher than 500ms, you might not able to login to these websites over HTTPS or secure connection.

Although, the effect is not magnified if you simply looking at the download speed or browsing media-less web pages of these sites.

In other words, bad broadband reliability and network latency can minus the benefit of high broadband speed offered to you by the ISP.

In my experience, some of the ISPs are actually segregate subscribers’ broadband connection to the Internet by different default gateway, i.e. some users (especially new subscribers who are under cooling period or light-weight users who are below monthly bandwidth quota) are routed to a better Internet backbone while the less valuable users (like those who subscribe the slowest speed package or users in heavy-usage category) are allocated with a congested trunk that lead to the Internet.

In this case, you will likely have a good connection to some sites hosted in home country but face problem of high packet loss and/or latency with some websites hosted at other countries.

Verdict – Do not just look at the speed; be mindful on the broadband Internet reliability and latency, when choosing a broadband contract in your area or when filing complaint to the call center regarding similar kind of connection problem.

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