Jitter Speed Test

2/15/2022by admin
Interpreting Data

Latency? Packet loss? You might know the numbers, but what are they showing you? Here’s how to tell if your internet connection’s ok.

“It’s either good, or it isn’t.”

It would be nice if network connections were so simple. While you may feel like things aren’t quite right, feelings aren’t a great way to measure network quality. To find a problem or get someone else to take action (like an ISP), you need hard data.

The best network tools test a number of metrics you can use to evaluate the quality of a connection. Each tells a slightly different story about what problems might exist and how they contribute to the lackluster experience you’re having. Understanding each metric, how it impacts your network, and what you should expect to see can make finding the root cause of any problem a ton easier.

Here are the stats we often look for when evaluating a connection. These values are based on our own tests, IT industry quality standards, and a little bit of old-fashioned science and math. A passable network should have:

  • Latency of 200ms or below, depending on the connection type and travel distance
  • Packet loss below 5% within a 10-minute timeframe
  • Jitter percentage below 15%
  • Mean Opinion Score of 2.5 or higher
  • A bandwidth speed of...let’s talk about that one.

A VoIP test is an effective way to evaluate the quality of your VoIP phone system. Test upload and download speeds, latency, jitter, packet loss, and QoS.

  • Internet speed tests, like this one or the test found at SpeedTest.net, measure the latter, or the speed reaching the device running the test. These test results are often lower than your plan speed due to various factors outside your Internet provider's control, including WiFi conditions and device capabilities.
  • Jitter is a measurement of variation in consecutive latency test results, and is represented as an absolute value. Ideally, one would want a jitter result as close to zero as possible. Back to Internet Speed Test.
  • The jitter test at tesmyinternetspeed.org provides exclusive result displaying the statistics about your jitter speed that is rare to find with other speed tests. You can check other test tools like upload test, ping test, download test, jitter test, latency test, wifi speed test, dsl speed test, broadband speed test with internet speed test tool.

But that’s just a C- network. If you’re looking to go from so-so to stellar, you may need to dig a little deeper.

Jitter

Latency

As much as we wish it was, data transmission isn’t instant. It takes time to get data to and from locations, especially when they’re separated by hundreds or thousands of miles. This travel time is called latency.

To be specific, latency (or ping) is the measure of how long it takes (in milliseconds) for one data packet to travel from your device to a destination and back.

Latency is one of the primary indicators of network performance quality. Most people desire a faster, more responsive experience, and latency is a major contributor. High latency can often result in laggy gameplay in online games (where what you’re seeing onscreen doesn’t seem to line up with what’s happening in-game), constant stream buffering, and long page load times.

Knowing what makes a “good” latency is a bit more involved than just looking at a number. Latency is generally dictated by your physical distance and connection type. While we have a longer discussion on the topic, the short answer is you should expect to see 1ms of latency for every 60 miles between you and your endpoint, plus a base latency added by the type of connection you have:

  • 0-10ms for T1
  • 5-40ms for cable internet
  • 10-70ms for DSL
  • 100-220ms for dial-up

For example, on the average DSL connection, we would expect the round-trip time from New York to L.A. to be roughly 110ms (2,451 miles/60 miles per ms + 70ms for DSL). In general, we’ve found consistent latency above 200ms produces the laggy experience you’re hoping to avoid.

Packet Loss

Files aren’t transferred across your network fully formed. Instead, they are broken into easy-to-send chunks called packets. If too many of these packets fail to reach their destination, you’re going to notice a problem.

The percentage of packet loss you experience over a given timeframe is another primary indicator of your network performance.

If a connection is suffering high packet loss, you’re likely to experience unresponsive services, frequent disconnects, and recurring errors. On average, we consider a packet loss percentage of 2% or lower over a 10-minute timeframe to be an acceptable level. However, a good connection shouldn’t see packet loss at all. If you’re consistently experiencing packet loss of 5% or higher within a 10-minute timeframe, there is likely a problem.

When evaluating packet loss, it’s important to remember some routers and firewalls are calibrated to ignore the type of packet used in many network tests. While one hop may experience 100% packet loss, it’s not always indicative of your overall connection quality. Check out this knowledge base entry about packet loss to learn more.

Jitter

While consistently-high latency is a clear indicator of a problem, a wildly-fluctuating latency can also result in network quality issues.

The variance of latencies experienced over a given period of time is known as packet delay variation or jitter. The idea is fairly straightforward: When packets arrive at rapidly alternating speeds (fast, slow, fast, slow), the gaps between them create an inconsistent flow that negatively impacts real-time services, such as voice or video calls.

Jitter, which is measured in milliseconds, is calculated a few different ways. One method averages the deviation of latency samples and compares them to the average latency value across all samples to evaluate its impact.

Huh?

So, let’s say you pinged a server five times and got these results (in this order — that matters): 136ms, 184ms, 115ms, 148ms, 125ms. To calculate the jitter, you’d start by finding the difference between the samples, so:

  • 136 to 184, diff = 48
  • 184 to 115, diff = 69
  • 115 to 148, diff = 33
  • 148 to 125, diff = 23

Next, you’d take the average of these differences, which is 43.25. The jitter on our server is currently 43.25 ms.

So...is that good? To find out, we divide our jitter value by the average of our latency samples:

  • 43.25 / 141.6 (the average of our five samples) = 30.54%

A “stable” network typically experiences a jitter percentage of 15% or below (based on our observations). In the example above, the jitter is nearly double that, which means jitter may be the cause of any issues we’re experiencing.

Mean Opinion Score

Given everything we just described, you may be asking, is there a number that just says whether my connection is good or not? Conveniently, there is! The Mean Opinion Score (or MOS) of a network is a straightforward one-to-five ranking of its overall quality.

Traditionally, MOS is calculated by polling individuals on how they would personally rate their experience using a specific connection (this surprisingly fascinating history of MOS can help explain the details). In the case of network testing tools like PingPlotter, MOS is approximated based on the latency, packet loss, and jitter of your current connection using a dedicated formula.

For most people, MOS ratings of 4 or higher are considered “good,” while anything below 2.5 is considered unacceptable.

What about bandwidth?

The “speed” of a connection is probably the biggest thing people care about when it comes to their network (other than it just working as it should). Everyone wants faster downloads, better-quality streams, and instantly-accessible webpages, which is often tied to network bandwidth. Bandwidth is the rate at which a volume of data transfers over time, usually measured in bits-per-second.

Why the scare quotes? Most people, including ISPs and other providers, love to talk about bandwidth and speed in the same sentence. However, bandwidth isn’t actually about the speed of data’s traversal — it’s about the quantity of data transferred over a given time period, and understanding the difference between the two will save you a ton of headache when diagnosing a problem.

If your network connection was a highway, latency would be how long it takes one car to get from point A to point B under current road conditions, while bandwidth would be how many cars arrive at point B every second regardless of how fast they’re going. If you’re worried about things like in-game lag, it’s less about how many cars you can push through and more about making sure your cars are the fastest.

Once again: Latency is speed, bandwidth is flow.

When solving a network problem, your bandwidth may be a symptom, but it’s not a great metric for finding the source of your issue. This is because bandwidth is really only measurable at the endpoints of a connection, which limits its efficacy.

Let’s go back to our data-highway. If there were a bunch of lane closures somewhere between A and B, we might notice fewer cars arriving at point B, but we wouldn’t know much more than that. Is there a problem on the highway? Yep! Can you tell what it is? Nope! By using the metrics we mentioned above in combination with the right tool, however, we can dig into what the problem actually is.

Bandwidth matters for a lot of things, but it’s not the best way to test your connection.

Light is green, connection’s clean

So, is your connection in rock-solid shape? If not, it’s time to do something about it. Grab a trusty network test tool and get pinging!

Once you’re ready, we have step-by-step guides on troubleshooting your connection, identifying common problems, and more. We also have a wisdom hub packed with helpful articles and a monthly newsletter full of networking know-how and interesting stories from all across the world of IT.

There’s nothing worse than when you’re on a phone call with a client and suddenly the line drops or their voice starts breaking up.

It leaves you feeling frustrated, and if we’re honest, a little embarrassed. Especially if it’s not the first time.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing what could be the cause of those problems—namely, internet or network jitter. We’ll look into exactly what jitter is and how you can go about fixing it.

What we’ll go over:

Looking for a video conferencing tool with HD voice and video—and less jitter? Grab this free checklist to help you choose the right one for your team or business.

See what you need to do (and know) as you're deciding on a video conferencing app with this checklist!

What Is Latency And Jitter Speed Test


What is jitter?

Information is transported from your computer in data packets across the internet. They are usually sent at regular intervals and take a set amount of time. Jitter is when there is a time delay in the sending of these data packets over your network connection. This is often caused by network congestion, and sometimes route changes.

Essentially, the longer data packets take to arrive, the more jitter can negatively impact the video and audio quality.

This can be an annoyance when you’re using your computer for recreational purposes. It’s close to unbearable in a professional setting when you’re making a conference call or trying to connect to the team. Jitter can be the difference between a successful voice over internet protocol (VoIP) call and a disastrous, glitchy one.

So, what exactly are data packets and VoIP calls?

  • Data packets: Although we may not be aware of it, we communicate online through data packets. When one or more of these packets fails to reach their endpoint, that’s when we may experience high jitter.
  • VoIP: Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) converts your voice into data so that it can be transmitted in the aforementioned packets over the internet. Your voice is broken down into data packets and transmitted across the internet to its destination—the receiver of your call.

When choosing a VoIP provider, it’s always beneficial to look out for those that have exceptional HD video and audio quality, like RingCentral. It gives you clear, reliable voice and video quality on any device.

You can connect anywhere, anytime with RingCentral, which is why many businesses use it as their all-in-one solution that goes beyond phone calls:


What is acceptable jitter for the internet?

Low jitter levels are unlikely to have a noticeable impact on your phone connection. Because of this, there are levels of “acceptable jitter.” Acceptable jitter is what we are willing to accept as the minimum fluctuation in transmission.

Jitter is measured in milliseconds (ms). A delay of around 30 ms or more can result in distortion and disruption to a call.

For video streaming to work efficiently, jitter should be below 30 ms. If the receiving jitter is higher than this, it can start to slack, resulting in packet loss and problems with audio quality. Also, packet loss shouldn’t be more than 1%, and network latency shouldn’t go over 150 ms in one direction.

A higher level of internet jitter can cause connectivity problems such as:

  1. Delayed calls
  2. Dropped calls
  3. Static and echoing
  4. Distortion or choppy audio

You can conduct a ping jitter test to see if your VoIP jitter and average latency are at an acceptable level. To do this, work out the mean round-trip time and the minimum-round trip time for multiple data packets.

You can then use this information to check jitter with an instantaneous jitter measurement. This calculates the average between instant jitter measures and the average jitter measures across multiple data packets.

This method can be daunting, though, so an alternative is to check your bandwidth.


How do I fix the jitter on the internet?

It’s all and well and good knowing how jitter happens, but you might be wondering how you can actually go about fixing jitter on the internet when you’re on a call. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

Test your connection’s quality

Poor internet connection may be the biggest cause of jitter issues. Some VoIP providers have speed tests. You can test your connection quality with software from VoIP providers like RingCentral. It’s designed to show you the level of quality you would expect to see when making calls through their platform. Some tools, like RingCentral, have HD video and audio functionality, which means you can experience high-quality calls no matter where you are.

If you find that your network performance or connection is unsatisfactory, you can contact your internet provider to see if they offer a superior package, such as business-class high-speed internet.

Use an Ethernet cable for internet jitter

It may seem a little old school, but if you’re in a setting where you’re at a desktop and not a laptop, it can be worth using an Ethernet cable. Wi-fi connections are great when you’re out and about, but interference can occur based on what other users are doing.

Ping Jitter Speed Test

This means that an Ethernet cable can provide a more powerful connection at the office. You’re less likely to see jitter, and you’ll often experience higher internet speeds.

Prioritize packets

Your router might have a quality of service (QoS) setting where you can choose to prioritize packets over other types of traffic. If traffic congestion is the cause of your jitter, then choosing to prioritize packets could help!

This is only really necessary if you deem internet calls to take a higher importance over other traffic. For example, if you’re a customer service center that uses VoIP to make calls to customers, this may be the best option for you. It gives you a better chance of lower jitter, so you can engage with customers without any embarrassing or unnecessary interference.

RingCentral offers a range of benefits for customer support contact centers that rely on VoIP beyond HD-voice phone calls. For example, their skills-based routing connects callers with the right agent for their concerns. You can also download real-time reports to monitor agents and improve customer service:

This could also improve productivity, as you may be able to make more calls per hour when you’re not fiddling around with the internet or experiencing delays.

Invest in a powerful router

Most businesses now use the internet for both data and voice. If packet prioritization isn’t a feature on your router, this could affect the quality of your calls.

Upgrading to a decent router can help with internet jitter problems because it will always give priority to voice traffic over network traffic. Although, sometimes it is difficult to gauge exactly how well it will handle jitter. Doing a little research into internet service providers (ISP) can help with this, as you can check out reviews from people who may have similar problems.

Make sure your bandwidth capacity is high enough to handle the devices used in your household (if you’re working remotely) or the office, and try to use a separate modem and router.

Minimize unnecessary bandwidth usage

It’s likely you use your laptop for both personal and professional use, especially if you work remotely. If you’re working from home, then restricting your other household members’ use of Netflix or online gaming during work hours can significantly reduce the chance of jitter, increase download speeds, and stop the dreaded buffering.

Also, try to schedule computer updates when you’re not working. That way, you’ll save bandwidth and minimize essential updates during work hours.

Check your device frequency

In some instances, the issue isn’t with your internet, rather, the device itself. The standard frequency is 2.4 GHz, but if your phone operates higher than this, then this could be why you’re experiencing problems. Phones can run as high as 5.8 GHz, which can greatly interfere with connection and cause jitter.

Use a jitter buffer

One of the most effective ways to minimize internet jitter is to use a jitter buffer. A jitter buffer is a handy device installed on a VoIP system. They work by delaying and storing incoming voice packets. They buffer traffic for around 30 to 200 milliseconds before sending it to the receiver.

This process works to ensure the data packets arrive in order with minimal delay. In some instances, depending on the buffer, they can also reorganize data packets according to when they were sent.

Using a jitter buffer can:

  1. Re-group data packets affected by transmission
  2. Improve audio quality
  3. Make internet phone calls more reliable

One of the criticisms of jitter buffers is that they don’t actually tackle the root cause of the problem; they just plaster over it. A jitter buffer won’t fix your internet speed or router, only the symptoms of the problem.

Choose a reliable VoIP or UCaaS provider

Depending on your VoIP provider, you may experience varying quality of your calls. A reliable, well-reviewed VoIP provider should offer amazing HD video conferencing services as well as high-quality audio on both voice and video calls. Alternatively, you could look beyond just the phone and consider unified communications (UC, sometimes also called UCaaS, or unified communications as a service) instead.

For instance RingCentral is a UCaaS platform that’s a leading choice for many businesses across the globe, in part because of their high-quality service. Not least because there are a plethora of useful features and add-ons to turn it into a literal all-in-one communication solution. It has other features that make it a great all-rounder, such as:

Jitter Speed Test

  • Group call with hundreds of participants
  • File sharing—within the same app you’d use to make a video call:
  • Integrations with popular apps like Salesforce and HubSpot
  • Team messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Task management

Does jitter affect internet speed?

Jitter and internet speed work alongside one another. With modern internet connections, new hardware, and proper network configuration, internet speed problems can be minimized.

However, VoIP services are reliant on internet speed, which can cause jitter. So, it’s not so much that jitter affects internet speed; it’s more the other way around.

Packet Loss And Jitter Test

How will you reduce jitter in the workplace?

Jitter Speed Test Meaning

Jitter can lead to communication problems in the workplace, especially if you rely on phone and video calls over the internet. Although team messaging can be useful, sometimes it can be easier to hop on a call and discuss projects and proposals with colleagues. When you frequently experience internet jitter, communication can break down and lead to misunderstandings.

Test Latency

Controlling jitter in the workplace requires some trial and error, as sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why you’re experiencing problems. So:

  • Test your connection
  • Check your router
  • Invest in additional tools, such as a jitter buffer

These steps will get you on your way to helping you reach your clients when they need you the most.

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