Network RTT

Network traffic has two important components: latency and bandwidth.

Speed performance

Network Round Trip Times

One of the factors that has the greatest impact on the performance of a web page is the RTT: the round trip time of the network.

The higher the RTT at an origin, the better the performance by using servers geographically closer to the user.

Network traffic has two important components:

  • Latency
  • Bandwidth


What is the Latency?

“Latency” is the time lag between the sender and receiver of data, i.e. the time from when the source sends a data packet to when it is received by the destination.

Latency is composed by:

  • Propagation delay: the time it takes for a message to travel from sender to receiver.
  • Transmission delay: the time it takes to push all the bits of the packet into the link.
  • Processing delay: the time it takes to process the packet header, check for bit-level errors and determine its destination.
  • Queuing delay: the time required to process the packet.

The sum of these delays is the total latency.


What is the Bandwidth?

The bandwidth is the maximum throughput of a physical or logical communication path.


How can I check the topology and performance of my Internet provider?

Use the command traceroute like the example below:

$> traceroute

  traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
   1 (  7.120 ms  8.925 ms  1.199 ms 
   2 (  20.894 ms  32.138 ms  28.928 ms
   3 (  9.953 ms  11.359 ms  9.686 ms
   4 (  24.013 ms 21.423 ms 19.594 ms
   5 (  16.578 ms  71.938 ms  36.496 ms
   6 (  17.135 ms  17.978 ms  22.870 ms
   7 (  25.568 ms  22.865 ms  23.392 ms
   8 (  40.582 ms  16.058 ms  15.629 ms
   9 (  20.149 ms  20.210 ms  18.020 ms
  10 (  63.946 ms  18.995 ms  18.150 ms
  11 (  18.467 ms  17.839 ms  17.958 ms 

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