What is packet loss and Why it Happens?
One of the most common questions we get from our clients is what is packet loss and why it happens. In this post, we will explain everything related to packet loss and why it happens in the first place.
You might have experienced packet loss if you played a multiplayer game and encountered lags, despite having a fast connection. As a result of successful data packet transmission from the outbound source placing the call to the inbound destination receiving it, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is praised for its HD audio that is incomparably clear. Vocal sounds and other audio are fundamentally divided into smaller data packets for VoIP to function by traveling over the Internet and reassembling at the destination. These packet transmissions typically take place without any problems. However, there is always a chance that these data packets will be lost or degraded while they are being transmitted over the Internet.
What is Packet Loss?
Before getting to know packet loss, we need to know some internet basics. The term Ping which is quite common calculates the delay of information being sent on the internet and then received back. Your PC and the game's server or host are constantly exchanging "packets" of data while you play online games. Your ping is the duration of those packets' round-trip travel.
The speed of your internet connection and the distance you are from the server can both affect ping. You quickly exchange data packets with the server when your ping is low, like 15 ms, and you can count on a responsive experience because of these quick updates. Communication between your PC and the server will be much slower with high pings, like 300ms, which will result in lag. In a multiplayer game, lag causes delayed updates to the game state as well as delayed responses to your actions.
On the internet or any other packet-switched network, a network protocol will route a small unit of data called a packet between an origin and a destination. Small amounts of data, such as the source and destination addresses, protocols, or identification numbers, are typically contained in network packets. Every internet activity, including downloading videos and sending emails requires the transfer of packets.
When one or more transmitted data packets are lost in the transmission, they are unable to reach their intended location. All forms of digital communications may experience observable performance issues as a result of this.
Why does Packet Loss happen?
Inadequate signal strength at the destination, outside interference, or overloaded network nodes are some of the factors that can cause packet loss. Frequently, more than one of these elements is at play; A network may fall so far behind when it reaches its capacity that it will ignore or discard incoming packets to catch up. In the event of network congestion, an application may be able to resend the lost data packets.
Network traffic can be slowed down by aging network infrastructure to the point where packet loss occurs. Modems, routers, and firewalls are all susceptible to this. This equipment needs to be upgraded or changed. A network may become infected by bugs caused by malfunctioning software, resulting in unexpected behaviors like packet loss. If possible, the software ought to be updated.
How to Avoid and Fix Packet Loss?
Apart from the question of what is packet loss, the question of how to get rid of it is equally important. Because packet loss can be brought on by a variety of problems, there is no universal fix but you can try different things; like increasing the bandwidth of your connection. If the only problem is network congestion, expanding bandwidth makes it possible to handle more requests simultaneously, preventing further delays. A type of packet filtering known as DPI seeks out, recognizes, categorizes, reroutes, or blocks packets carrying particular data or code payloads. Streamlining network traffic can reduce network congestion. For instance, packets can be marked as high priority and then routed before packets with lower priority.
Packet loss and network traffic slowdown can both effects outdated hardware and software. A network administrator may use Microsoft Windows Task Manager to find software that is consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth. Updates to software and hardware can also help prevent the introduction of new bugs. Since wired connection is more dependable than wireless networks, wired networks are less likely to experience data packet loss during transmission. The wired Ethernet cables should not, however, have degraded, as faulty wires can impair packet transmission. Static may result from Bluetooth keyboards and headphones sending conflicting signals. Disconnecting these gadgets could be helpful.
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In this blog post, we covered the very basic topic of what is packet loss and how to fix that. Packet loss is a very common issue that gamers and general PC users face from day to day and should be fixed appropriately.