What is Ping?
Ping is the echo request/response round trip time between two points. Battlefield uses ICMP (type 8) protocol for ping. It's a simple handshake request from the client verifying the existence of the end point (server).
e.g. Client -> Server "Are you there?", Server -> Client "Yes, I am."
What is Latency?
Latency in the networking field is synonymous with Ping. Generally meaning round trip time of a unit from A to B. But in Battlefield, and in most FPS games i'ts the round trip time including the server processing time of a packet. On top of that latency in Battlefield is based on UDP, not ICMP.
Latency increases/Delays are caused by distance, errors and error recovery, congestion, the processing capabilities of systems involved in the transmission, and other factors. Even if you remove these hardware-type delays, you still have the speed-of-light delay. It takes nearly 30 ms to send a bit through a cross-country fiber-optic cable, a delay that can't be eliminated.
- Delays of distance (called propagation delays) are especially critical when transmitting data to other countries (especially when you consider all the equipment along the way that adds delay).
- Delay problems with real-time traffic
- Delay problems with transaction processing systems
- Problems with variation in delay (jitter)
- Causes of delay, including congestion, processing delays, queueing delays, and propagation delays
- Survey of TCP performance issues that result in delay
- Monitoring and controlling delay (traffic management, traffic shaping, and traffic engineering)
- Other solutions to the delay problem, including content distribution architectures, QoS (quality of service), prioritization, and differentiated services.
For every 100 meters of fiber optic cable there is 0.001ms of latency. For every kilometer of cable there is 0.01ms. For every 100 kilometers of cable there is a 1ms delay, and for every 1000 kilometers of cable there is 10ms of delay. So from LA to New York that’s about 2778 miles, or 4470 kilometers which gives us a delay of about 44ms each way. Round trip being 88ms. That's not counting any delays from hardware (router/switch etc) along the route your data passes or any of the other listed delays. That's also considering the complete route is 100% fibre and a very straight line.
Routes are not direct, nor are the straight. Routes zig zag, thus increasing distance.
What is Jitter?
Jitter is a variance in latency over time. If every packet takes exactly the same amount of time to travel from A to B, there is no jitter. If the packet delivery times are inconsistent, we call it jitter. Jitter can be overcome with buffering, but that adds to overall latency/lag. Overcoming a lot of jitter might require buffers so large that the resulting lag would make a game terribly unresponsive. High jitter, greater than approximately 50ms, can result in both increased latency and packet loss.
Network Speed, Bandwidth, Throughput
Bandwidth is the maximum units of data that can travel through a 'channel' in X units of time. For example 250 Mbps (Megabits per second) means a maximum of 250 Mb per second.
250Mbps is not faster than 200Mbps in matters of speed ( data latency..A to B ).
Think of it as small pipe vs big pipe. In 1 second the bigger pipe will transfer more water (volume) than the little pipe. Thus, the same file is downloaded faster for the big pipe, than the small pipe.
Yet, if the 200Mbps user is closer to the destination, it can/will download said file faster do to less latency.
A 5Mbps cable user in NY can technically download a 10MB file from Chicago faster than a 200Mbps fibre user in Dubai.
The "Throughput" of a connection is the "actual" maximum units of data that can travel through a 'channel' in X units of time do to network route, distance and delays (refer to delays above).
e.g. You may have a 250Mbps connection, but you only get a throughput of 212Mbps.
Furthermore your local connection may be fibre, but beyond that locality it may be (usually is) copper.
e.g. House to ISP and ISP's surrounding network (e.g. 100 miles) may be fibre, beyond that it can be copper.
NO ISP can guarantee your data's route to be 100% fibre. They can only make that guarantee as long as the startpoint and endpoint (destination) is on their network. They control the first hop destination, beyond that the independent exchanges control the route.
Mb vs MB
There are 8 Megabits (Mb) in 1 Megabyte (MB)
250Mbps equates to 250Mb / 8 = 31.25MBps
200Mbps equates to 200Mb / 8 = 25MBps
There are many variables that affect your latency. Distance from client to server, the protocol used, the traffic, the network infrastructures your data passes through (including your modem/router, ISP), the number of hardware exchanges (pit stops) etc along the route. Your localized network quality (fibre,cable) has little to no bearing on the connection quality outside said network.