See also: Sayings | Network

An annoying occurance of a large ping response that may happen when network traffic (latency) is high. This is common on IRC where network speed may vary from server to server or during games such as CounterStrike where the network connection begins to fail and results in the death of an avatar because they could not adapt to rapid changes in the game environment.

Users should try to determine their bottleneck before trying to repair the problem.


Fixing Lag

Note: The following are listed in order (usually) of their ease to fix. If unsure of the problem, check these possible problems in order.


  • Moving your connection to a different server, as in the case with Internet games, IRC, and some downloads (often called Mirrors).
  • Getting a better internet connection such as DSL, Cable, or T1.
Note: poor Internet services will have worse lag time. See Ping for more information.


    • Some games are optimized for no-longer-built 3Dfx cards.
    • Windows XP has higher system requirements than Windows 2000 but is very similar in most respects.
    • Linux tends to run faster in most cases than Windows systems on the same hardware.


  • Reducing the number of programs that are running simultaneously. (Future topic: Getting Rid of Excess Programs).
  • Copying a given game or program from CD/DVD to the hard drive. This can be done in Windows with programs like Alcohol 120%.
  • Upgrading to a faster computer:
    • Adding more RAM.
    • Getting a faster processor.
    • Getting a faster hard drive or using a RAID system for multiple, slow hard drives. Also using SCSI hard drives, which require an extra board.
  • Buying components that have a low CPUoverhead. That is: devices that handle activities on their own. Example: products called “WinModems” are notorious for costing less money but slowing down one’s computer. Good SCSI components, meanwhile, handle some jobs usually reserved for the CPU, leaving more room for the user‘s needs.
    • Getting faster components such as a faster CD/DVD drive or peripherals.
  • Buying a new computer. This can be preferable to upgrading since many upgrades have a certain ceiling before it can be upgraded no more. For instance, motherboards have a limited number of slots for RAM.


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