Latency, often referred to as network latency, is a crucial concept in telecommunications and computer networking that describes the amount of delay or time it takes for a data packet to travel from one designated point to another within a network. It is a measure of the time delay experienced in a system, which can significantly affect the user's experience and the performance of networked applications and services.

In simple terms, think of latency as the time lag between you clicking on a link or executing a command on your device, and when you start seeing the result or response to that action. This delay isn't just about the speed of your internet connection; it involves the entire process of sending information back and forth between your device and the server it's communicating with.

High latency means there's a greater delay, which can lead to less responsive internet browsing, slow load times for web pages, and a laggy experience in online gaming or video streaming. On the other hand, low latency signifies a network environment where responses and data transfers happen swiftly, providing a smoother and more enjoyable user experience.

Several factors contribute to network latency, including the physical distance between the user's device and the server, the quality of the network connection, and the efficiency of the data routes used. For gamers, a latency of 40 to 60 milliseconds (ms) or lower is generally considered acceptable, providing a lag-free and responsive gaming experience. However, a latency of over 100 ms can introduce noticeable delays, affecting gameplay negatively.

Latency can affect almost everything about your internet user experience. For instance, even if you have high-speed internet, high latency can result in slower site load times because of the delayed round trip times between your internet device and other servers involved in the process.

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