What is an IP Address?
A series of digits assigned to a device that is connected to a network that uses the Internet Protocol to communicate between devices. IP addresses are written and displayed in readable notations so that humans can identify it easily, for example 192.168.1.0.
What are Packets?
Units of data that are transferred between a starting point (e.g. your PC) and a destination (e.g. an NCSOFT Server) on the Internet.
What is an Internet Hop?
A hop is part of the path between a starting point and a destination on the Internet. Packets pass through these hops as they travel between the start point and the destination. Every time a packet is passed to the next device, it is considered as a “hop”. The hop count is the number of devices the data must pass through between the starting point and the destination.
What is a Firewall?
A security system for networks that monitors and controls network traffic and activity using a set of security rules. A firewall controls the border between a trusted website and/or a secured network and an outside network (e.g. the Internet) that is expected to be an un-secure or un-trusted
What is “Latency”?
Latency is an expression used to measure how fast a data packet is travelling between two points. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). The higher the value, the slower your data is being transferred.
What is a DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name Server. It is a server that houses a database of public IP addresses and the registered hostnames. Mostly, it is used to resolve or translate the common names to IP addresses as they are requested.
The DNS servers are using software that communicates with each other using special processes. To explain further, a DNS server is the one who translates www.fuser.com you type in your browser to the corresponding IP address that it is registered to. Every site and IP that your computer translated using a DNS is saved to memory that is called a “DNS Cache”. Sometimes a DNS Cache becomes corrupted or outdated and once this happens, you won’t be able to connect to some sites. This may prevent you from downloading certain files from the servers or stop you from connecting to the game. In order to resolve this, you may need to flush your DNS cache using the command line window or by restarting your PC.
Note: DNS servers are also known as nameserver and domain name system server. There are DNS servers that are called root servers and there are only 13 of its kind in the world. If you would like to know more about this, you may check the link https://www.iana.org/domains/root/servers.
What is Bandwidth Saturation?
Once a network reaches its limits, performance will become a lot slower for all connected devices. This is called bandwidth saturation. This usually happens when your ISP sets a data cap and that data cap has been reached; your connection speed will become significantly slower. If you are getting high latency for a long period of time, it may be a sign that your bandwidth is saturated. For example, if latency spikes correlate with events like uploading large files or several people using the network at once, the problem is probably related to your home network. Or, if you experience a latency spike while uploading large files or downloading a lot of data, you may be saturating your home network.
What are the causes of latency?
- Internet Traffic Load - you may experience latency issues during peak times (e.g. weekday evenings). This will vary depending on your geographic location and Internet Service Provider (ISP). You will suffer from higher latency at peak times because your ISP's servers become too loaded.
- Speed – your internet speed has a very high impact on limiting the performance of your connection to our servers. Basically, if you have a higher internet speed connection, you'll experience better latency.
- Distance from the Server - your current location relative to our servers (e.g. you live in a different country). Your data will be travelling through a lot of different servers and may take multiple different routes. This affect how quickly it can reach our servers.
- Use of Wireless Connection - wireless connections have a higher chance to suffer from interference compared to a wired connection. This will translate in higher latency at times.
- Background Downloads and Updates - some of your applications may be taking up some or most of your available bandwidth. If you're downloading or updating applications while playing, you'll want to let it finish first or pause it while playing.
What is “Packet Loss”?
Packet loss is the loss of data while in transit from point A (your computer) to point B (our servers). This can result in insufficient information being received, corruption of the information received or the complete loss of information.
What are the causes of Packet Loss?
- Connection– the type of network connection can be a cause of packet loss. Wired connections are more reliable than wireless if you are transferring large amounts of data for example. Some connection types (e.g. WiFi Connection, Mobile Data connection) are also affected by distance. At longer distances, those connection types will experience packet loss. This is why we do not support certain connection types such as Mobile Hot Spot or Satellite.
- High Latency– If your latency is high, the slower network speed may cause a problem with transferring data packets consistently.
- Bandwidth– Bandwidth can also be a factor in causing packet loss. It is possible that you do not have enough bandwidth, or the current bandwidth wasn’t optimized properly.
- Hardware– This could be an issue if there are older hardware devices being used as a transfer point or the physical infrastructure is not optimized such as the cabling, materials and devices used.
- Inconsistent Jitter– Jitter is basically the spacing in between the packets being delivered. An issue may arise if the timings are inconsistent.
What is VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It uses technology to establish some of the advantages of a private network across the internet. One potential advantage of using a VPN is that it allows you to reach servers from across the globe with better latency. It could improve your latency if for example you are in Australia and are connecting to our servers in the US or Germany. Without a VPN connection, you would experience high latency because of the distance.
A VPN will usually come in handy when you’ve exhausted other troubleshooting steps such as restarting your modem, connecting directly to your modem if you are currently using Wifi, and contacting your ISP. Just connect your VPN to either a US or EU server and once established, run the game client and you should notice a difference. Additionally, if you are in the same region with the server you connect to and you’re still getting high latency, a VPN may help you connect to a less congested route which in turn should improve your overall latency.
Note: While using a VPN can be a useful service, it is not supported by NCSOFT in any way as it is a third-party program. Some of the proxies used by VPNs are also used for suspicious activities so we advise our players to use them at their own risk. Listed below are a few more potential downfalls to using a VPN service.
- The VPN Service may collect and sell your personal data.
- Using a VPN may actually make your connectivity issues worse. Especially if the VPN is routing you to servers that are father away from our servers.
- Your account could get compromised. If the VPN service you are using is breached, it could increase the chances that your account information ends up in the wrong hands.