Most users never really notice that they have a higher than usual ping. When the ping is too high, it becomes noticeable. You get disconnects from applications or games and there is a high input lag. Performing a ping test can tell you just how bad your ping is. Having a ping over 50 is considered high. Over 100 is excessively high. For this reason, we will spend a bit of time providing a few tips on how to reduce ping even if you are not particularly good with computers. But first, let us define a few terms.
Do You Know What Ping Is?
In networking, ping is a unit of measure. It determines how long it takes for a packet to travel from your computer to a destination and return to your computer. That time is usually measured in milliseconds. A ping that reaches 1000 ms or 1 second is considered abnormally high and it can cause certain applications or games to disconnect you. There are all sorts of issues that can be caused by a high ping.
What Happens if You Have Abnormally High Ping
When your ping is abnormally high, you need to know how to reduce ping. There are several ways to do it but you need to first determine if your ping is abnormally high.
A common consequence of a high ping is for online games to have input lag. Input lag means the time it takes from when you send an action from your keyboard and mouse and how long it takes to be reflected in the game. High ping means high input lag. It can also cause rubberbanding. Rubberbanding means that an action that you performed ingame is immediately reverted. For example, moving several steps with a character only to see that it immediately gets moved back a few steps. It can also manifest as jerky or stuttering movements which can also be seen on other players in the same game with you. This indicates a problem with your ping and not theirs.
Another problem that occurs when your ping is high is to see applications react slow. For example, a high ping will cause YouTube videos to take a couple of seconds to start playing from the moment you hit the play button.
Lastly, high ping can cause you to get disconnected from online applications and online games.
How to Reduce Your Ping
There are a few things that you can do which will teach you how to reduce ping. The first piece of advice is to restart your computer. If a computer has a long uptime of a day or more, it may have applications running in the background that use your internet without you knowing. Network drivers that are loaded in the RAM or the pagefile can also be corrupted which can lead to ping spikes. A computer restart solves these issues.
If a system restart did not fix your ping issues, look at applications that you have running at startup. Applications that download files will also compete to use your internet connection. They can cause your ping to increase or they can cause intermittent ping spikes. What you should do is close all applications that use your internet or maybe downloading files and perform a ping test. If this did not improve your ping, move to the next step to see how to reduce ping.
As the source of your high ping can also be your internet connection, the first thing that you can do is to restart your internet router. Sometimes, routers designed for domestic use can have unstable software. Long uptimes can lead to an unstable connection. To mitigate this common problem, it is recommended to restart the router every once in a while. If the router restart did not fix your ping problem, there is one last thing that you can do to try to reduce it.
The last thing that you can do is to make a complaint with your internet service provider. Your ISP should provide stable service and if there is a problem somewhere along the way, they need to fix it. They may ask you to perform several tests for them to determine if there is indeed a problem with their network or not. They usually request ping tests or traceroutes to certain destinations. Usually, the support representative will guide you through the process of performing these tests and will provide a means to share the results. Do not expect to have the issue fixed overnight. ISPs take their time addressing such issues but it is important to make them aware of the problem.
Learning how to reduce ping is not particularly complicated. Most of the time, high ping is the result of how we use our computers and the internet. Your internet connection is not unlimited and if you abuse it too hard, your ping will suffer. What is important is for you to be aware of all the factors that influence your ping and the stability of your internet connection.
In the tips pointed above meant to address how to reduce ping, we have not touched upon faulty hardware. The reason for it is because when networking hardware starts experiencing failures, your internet will simply stop working. Software faults are usually resolved with a simple restart. If you have a problem with a hardware failure, high ping is the lease of your worries as you may need to replace the equipment that has broken down. To end things off in a positive tone, most ping problems can be solved by doing simple things. Do not expect to get a very low ping as you would see professional gamers have. They pay a lot to have a very stable internet connection and are usually living close to the servers of their preferred game. If you want to compare your ping with your friends or the ping that you see professional gamers have, you can perform a ping test that should give you an accurate result and may even indicate how to reduce ping.