Network latency is a measure of the delay in a network.

Bandwidth and network latency are the two key elements that determine network speed. A network latency test normally measures the time it takes a network packet to get from one point in the network to another and back, the round-trip time.

PRTG Network Monitor is a very effective network management tool which is essential for identifying network latency issues.

How Does PRTG Measure Network Latency?

PRTG offers two methods of network latency monitoring:

1.) PRTGs PING sensor sends an “ICMP echo request” (PING) to the device and records the time it takes to receive the answer.

2.) The second, more advanced network latency test is the QoS (Quality of Service) sensor, which determines packet delay, packet loss, duplicate packets and jitter by sending UDP packets between two computers in your network.

Why Is Monitoring Network Latency Important?

Excessive network latency creates bottlenecks in the network, which lead to a reduction of effective bandwidth. When determining network speed, it is thus important to use not only a bandwidth calculator, but also to run a network latency test.

A high variation of PING times on a data line (so-called “jitter”) can be a sign of an overloaded device or line. A well performing data line should show an almost steady value. Too many lost PINGs (“packet loss”) are also a sign of an overloaded network device.

QoS monitoring (with PRTG’s Qos sensor) is essential for VoIP network monitoring as VoIP connections are affected by even small network latency issues which might not have any effect on other network connections.

Another of PRTG’s VoIP monitoring tools is the IP SLA sensor. PRTG includes a free IP SLA monitor, so if you own CISCO IOS enabled hardware, you can collect network performance information using IP SLA monitoring without having to buy and install add-ons.

PRTG Network Monitor

PRTG is available in two editions. For basic, free bandwidth tracking, availability monitoring, Windows and Cisco network troubleshooting functionality, the Freeware Edition may be downloaded and used for personal and commercial use completely free of charge. For more advanced needs, licenses for the Commercial Editions start at $440 / €330.

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