Why is latency to my VPS high?

Some customers wonder about the latency they see in connecting to their VPS from west coast USA or other countries.

Unfortunately there will always be some latency especially when  communicating over a long distance. Our servers are in the east coast USA (North Carolina) and in Texas.

 Data on fiber optics can't travel faster than the speed of light. If we assume that its about 3,000 miles from California to NC, this google query shows us the distance it takes to travel that distance at the speed of light:

  "3000 miles / c"

The answer is 16.1 milliseconds. That is the time it takes to go 3000 miles at the speed of light. However a ping time shows the time it takes to get there and for the return to come back, which would be 32.2 ms at the speed of light. However we also have to factor in other variables. For example, each router hop will add some latency as the packet is being analyzed and routed. Also traffic flows along fiber routes through large cities, not in a straight line across the country.

With the overhead all included, 80ms is a typical response time  you'll see going from one coast of the USA to another.

When traversing continents there are further complications involved because most submarine cables are congestion points and further degrade speed and latency.


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