What is jitter in computer networking?

In a perfect network, data packets would arrive at consistent intervals. Jitter represents the inconsistency or variability in these arrival times. Jitter is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). Tools and network monitoring systems analyze packet arrival times to calculate jitter, providing insights into network performance and potential issues.

  1. Causes of Jitter:
    • Network Congestion: High traffic or congested network links can cause packets to take different paths or encounter delays, leading to varying arrival times.
    • Packet Queuing: Queuing in routers or switches can also introduce jitter as packets wait in buffers before transmission.
    • Varying Transmission Routes: If packets take different routes due to changes in network conditions, the delay for each packet can vary.
    • Signal Interference: Wireless signals can face interference from other devices operating on similar frequencies or physical obstacles like walls, causing variations in packet transmission times.
    • Signal Strength Fluctuations: Changes in wireless signal strength due to environmental factors or device mobility can impact the consistency of packet transmission times.
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