Understanding What Is Net Lag
By: Olli Lounela (Finland)
19 Feb 1999
"The other thing is if someone complains about the speed.
The server can be as fast as you like, and to have so many players online
the server has to be quite good (and expensive!). However, noone can deny
that there is netlag. And you CAN complain about the net speed, tweet (or
any other admin) can say that the server is fast, and he can't do anything . . . . .
( * continued further down)
The point here is _how_ you do it.
Of course, I know fully well what netlag means (I was there when the term was introduced to everyday use in IGS), and most everyone who thinks just a fraction of a second understands that the net speed is not:
a) the same all over the world
b) dependant on the IGS
c) something IGS admins can fix
In particular, generalizing someone's netlag to apply to everyone is not at all realistic. I've had some 600 msec round trip (read: playing is totally impossible) condition persisting for months, and several times too, while no-one in the US would notice anything.
And I want to emphasize, even when for one reason or another the connection from (even large) parts of US or Europe to IGS become slow, it doesn't mean that the connection would be slow for everyone.
Hence it is very clear, that when _your_ connection is slow, it is not correct (or an excuse) to advertise on IGS, that IGS is slow.
( * continued from above) . . . . . to speed the net. I don't see how this is a violation to the disclaimer. Also I don't see why you don't alert others to the fact (it can be benefical to alert the admin)."
It is not in violation to grumble about netlag, and it's not in violation to tell people things are slow. To my best understanding, however, it is wrong to claim _IGS_ is slow (AFAIK, it isn't). And the admins cannot do anything about it since not all persons would be having the same problem. The speed of the net varies wildly from one connection to another (it is a _net_, remember), hence the speed or lag tends to be a very local issue -- indeed, you can see little difference between a problem local to you and another somewhere further away. Net lag comes and goes.
"Other times I start a game and I place a stone and don't get a servers response. This things happen. I can complain about them. I can also warn others about that, especially when the other player start to get nervous about the idiot on the other side who don't play."
This is the normal netlag. Some clients can take this into account.
"However I also know that this happens due to the number of players online. And that is one of the reasons why I play at IGS, the sheer number of available players and excelent games to observe."
The actual connection and the machine IGS resides in are perfectly capable of dealing with the needs of far larger player populace. For instance, the client protocol is very much an improvement over the traditional telnet connection in terms of the bandwidth use, and even that is not all that large.
What you've hit is the netlag, which is largely induced by all the other things happening in the net, like DOS- and misrouting attacks, governments hindering Internet, ISP's sparing money and not buying sufficient hardware, the net use growing faster than expected, WWW-browsing, spamming, and then some other things.
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