Wi-Fi latency: when is it crucial to minimize it and how to do it?

In a world where every second counts, Wi-Fi latency emerges as a key factor in determining the efficiency of our wireless connections. Often overlooked in favor of download speed or bandwidth, Wi-Fi latency is crucial for a seamless online experience. How can we minimize it to make the most of our connection? We’ll explain.

One of the critical factors in the quality of our wireless connections is known as Wi-Fi latency, a term that may not resonate as much as download speed or bandwidth, but is equally important.

Wi-Fi latency can make the difference between a smooth video call and a frustrating experience full of interruptions. But in which situations is it crucial to minimize it, and how can we achieve this?

What Is Wi-Fi latency and why is it so important?

Simply put, Wi-Fi latency is the time it takes for a data packet to travel from its source to its destination.

For applications that rely on real-time interaction, such as VoIP calls, online gaming, and video conferencing, low latency is essential. In these cases, high latency can cause noticeable delays, affecting communication quality and, consequently, the user experience.

In the corporate sphere, reduced Wi-Fi latency is fundamental to ensure operational efficiency, especially in activities that depend on fast data transfer, such as online trading or remote access to company resources.

Even in entertainment, where streaming video and music is common, good latency management can make the difference between enjoying your favorite content without interruptions or suffering through slow and tedious loading.

Main factors affecting Wi-Fi latency

Wi-Fi latency can be influenced by multiple factors, from interference from other networks to improper hardware setup.

Network congestion, especially in densely populated environments where multiple networks operate simultaneously, can significantly increase latency.

The physical distance between the device and the access point, as well as architectural barriers, also play a significant role.

Moreover, outdated or poorly configured hardware may not be capable of efficiently managing network traffic, resulting in additional delays.

4 key strategies to implement to minimize Wi-Fi latency

Optimizing the network environment

The configuration of the environment can have a significant impact on Wi-Fi network latency. Some tactics include:

  • Reducing interference: Appliances, dense walls, and other electronic devices can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal. Using analysis tools can help identify sources of interference to mitigate them, for example, by moving the access point away from devices that may cause interference.
  • Changing channels: Wi-Fi channels in densely populated environments are often saturated, which can increase latency. Network scanning tools can identify the least congested channels so administrators can adjust the access point settings and avoid congestion.
  • Strategic placement of Access Points: Placing access points in central and elevated locations can improve coverage and reduce latency. It is advisable to conduct prior coverage studies for this purpose.

Selecting and configuring hardware

The right hardware is essential for a low-latency Wi-Fi network:

  • Using advanced hardware: investing in high-quality access points and switches, designed to handle large volumes of traffic and low latencies, is crucial. Devices supporting the latest standards, such as Wi-Fi 6, offer significant improvements in speed and latency reduction.
  • Updating and configuring firmware: keeping network device firmware up-to-date is vital to ensure optimal performance and security. Properly configuring advanced access point options, such as transmission mode and power-saving options, can reduce latency.

Traffic management and QoS

Smart management of network traffic is key to minimizing latency:

  • Implementing QoS policies: These allow prioritizing traffic based on application, device, or type of service. Giving preference to sensitive applications, such as videoconferencing or online gaming, ensures they have the necessary resources to operate without delays.
  • Limiting and load balancing: Implementing bandwidth limitations for non-critical applications and balancing the load across multiple connections or bands can prevent network saturation and maintain low latency.

Updates and network maintenance

Proactive network maintenance is essential for minimal latency:

  • Regular network performance monitoring: Using monitoring tools to continually assess network performance allows for identifying and resolving issues before they significantly affect latency.
  • For example, Galgus’ Network Health platform monitors the health status of the network and each of its access points. One of its main advantages is that it is useful both for non-technical users and specialists.
  • Regularly applying security and performance updates not only protects against vulnerabilities but can also improve network efficiency.

By implementing these strategies, organizations can ensure a robust and efficient network infrastructure, capable of handling modern traffic demands with minimal possible latency.

These actions, combined with a proactive approach to network management, can result in significant improvements in user experience and business productivity.

Why Galgus technology is the simplest and most efficient option to reduce Wi-Fi latency

Currently, one of the most suitable decisions to reduce Wi-Fi latency is to opt for Galgus’ own CHT (Cognitive Hotspot Technology), which, along with our devices, forms a high-value solution for the most complex scenarios.

CHT does not require a centralized controller, making each access point smart, monitoring its environment and sharing the results with others, so that they ultimately operate in a coordinated and autonomous manner.

With this focus on minimizing Wi-Fi latency, it offers advantages such as:

  • Reducing interference, optimizing signal quality and connection speed.
  • Proactive load balancing, distributing users among available radios and avoiding congestion.
  • Creating a robust mesh network, enhancing network stability against external interference and rerouting traffic when necessary.
  • Controlling traffic, limiting the upload and download data abuse by some devices.
  • Ensuring airtime fairness, preventing slow devices from saturating other users.

In addition to reducing latency, this achieves greater network control, scalability, and minimization of failures and infrastructure costs.

Minimizing Wi-Fi latency is essential to ensure a smooth and efficient user experience in a variety of critical applications. From online gaming to business communications, reduced latency can make the difference between success and failure.

At Galgus, we understand the importance of an optimized network. Our experience and technology are geared towards helping you achieve the lowest possible latency, ensuring that your connection is fast, reliable, and ready to face the challenges of the digital world. Contact us today and take your Wi-Fi network to the next level.