How does internet ping work and is a ping of 79 good?

Created by tanador7 on March 15, 2012, 7:14 p.m.
  • Not great to be honest, it's playable but even with wireless I stil get 41.
  • @tanador7: Ping is a simple echo protocol. Essentially you send a message to a server that contains the message "PING" and receive a copy of the message back. What this does is allows the program that sent the ping to calculate the "Round Trip Time" (or RTT) that it takes a packet to reach a particular server. That is, it calculates how long it takes for the packet to reach the server and to be sent back.

    It's actually slightly more complicated, because when you ping something you actually send a whole bunch of these "PING" messages. You do this so you can average the results to get a more realistic measure of how long it took for the packet to reach the server. This can also be used to determine how stable your connection is, by measuring how many "PING" messages are dropped on sending. (I believe speedtest calls this "jitter" testing)

    The RTT is usually measured in microseconds. So if you have a ping of 79 on speedtest.net that means for whatever server you were testing against it took an average of 79 ms for a packet to reach it and be sent back.

    So what does this mean in terms of how good it is? Well it's hard to talk in specific terms because it really depends on what you are doing online (for instance, for gaming you usually want really low ping but for video streaming it doesn't matter as much). In general though I would go with these rules of thumb: less than 50ms ping is really good, less than 100ms ping is good to average, 150ms is where you are going to start having problems with games, and above 150 ms ping you may experience lag and such in games.

    EDIT: Id also like to point out, that ping is something that is specific to the server you are connecting to. Just because you got 79ms ping with speedtest does not mean that is what you will get for everything you do on the internet. Games will usually tell you your ping in their score windows.

  • @tanador7: Not on your end. Its something that is entirely determined by how you connect to the internet. So if you change your ISP, get a better plan, or something like that then your ping might improve (but it depends on the plan and such). If you are worried about gaming, 79ms should be fine for gaming.

  • Ping to me seems kind of outdated.   If you have broadband and decent routers and wiring you should be fine.
  • @LtSquigs said:

    @tanador7: Not on your end. Its something that is entirely determined by how you connect to the internet. So if you change your ISP, get a better plan, or something like that then your ping might improve (but it depends on the plan and such). If you are worried about gaming, 79ms should be fine for gaming.

    Ssshh. The Bigfoot people might be listening.

  • @SILENCEuk said:

    Anything around and under 100 is fine for gaming imo

    Agreed. In the UK playing on the tested TF2 server, I get around 70ms pings, if you're going over a cross atlantic link, it's going to be around that. If you have a largish isp and are connecting to servers that peer with your ISP you'll get a decent ping.

    I work at a hosting provider and we have a TF2 server downstairs in our datacenter, and I get a ping of around 5-10ms from the office upstairs :-)

    From home, from an ISP we have a direct peering link with, I get around 30ms.

  • @SILENCEuk said:

    Anything around and under 100 is fine for gaming imo

    Yeah, I was going to say that as well. I play mostly Bad Company 2 these days while patiently waiting for BF3 and my ping is usually in the 100 - 130 range while the kids and wife are web surfing and watching Neflix even and I don't lag. If you are competing with other people in the house over bandwidth like I do most routers have quality of service rules you can set up so gaming traffic is the highest priority or certain a LAN port on your router.
  • If you're getting 79ms coast to coast, that's pretty good. If it's 79ms on the first hop or two (the ISP gateway) you've got some problems.

  • Wow you all are lucky I got a ping of 281! Anything I can possibly do to fix it?

  • I dont know how but my internet ping is 4ms lowest. And I get 8-9ms on any given day.

    Any specific reason. I am attaching screenshot