Latency is the amount of time that it takes for a signal to travel from your computer to a remote server (such as the physical machine where Netflix stores its video) and back. It’s a factor in everyone’s online experience, but most people are less familiar with it than they are with other measures of internet speed, like bandwidth. Latency is also not something that most internet service providers (ISPs) advertise, so even if you want a low-latency connection, it can be hard to know where to look.
If this is sounding a lot like “internet speed,” you’re not entirely wrong. Both bandwidth (or download speed) and latency look at how fast data is moving across a network, but they each measure different things and have very different effects on your online experience.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you answer all your questions about internet speed and latency so that you can get the most out of your internet connection.