Fighting Jitter: everything You need to know

12 March 2024

In the world of high-speed Internet and online gaming, Jitter is like an unwelcome guest that can ruin the best fun. Imagine you’re in the heat of an intense battle in your favorite multiplayer game, and you notice some delay or inconsistency in your movements. Frustrating, right? This is where Jitter comes in – a phenomenon of signal transmission delays that can disrupt the smoothness of online gameplay.

Before we go further, let’s define what exactly is jitter? Simply put, it is the variability in data transmission time over a network. When information is transmitted in data packets, jitter occurs when the delivery time of these packets starts to vary. This can lead to delays, and sometimes even packet loss. For gamers, even a small jitter can be the difference between victory and defeat. Every gamer knows that precision and reaction speed are crucial in the gaming world.

Understanding what Jitter is and how to minimize it is essential for anyone who values the stability of their Internet connection.

What is Jitter?

Jitter is essentially the irregularity in the time it takes for data packets to travel between two points on a network.

Imagine that a data packet is a train that should arrive at the station every hour. If it arrives once after 45 minutes and another time after 75 minutes, we talk about variability, which is jitter. It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and can be detected using various network testing tools.

Visualization of Jitter
What is Jitter? [visualization]

What causes Jitter? The causes can be varied: from network congestion, hardware issues, and its configuration, to bandwidth limitations. Networks are like highways for data, and jitter occurs when the traffic becomes uneven – it can be caused by congested “roads” or “roadworks” in the form of software updates.

From a gamer’s perspective, jitter affects the smoothness of gameplay and causes delays in response, which can have serious consequences in the world of e-sports. Understanding this phenomenon and ways to minimize it becomes crucial for our multiplayer gaming experiences.

Jitter and Other Network Parameters

  • How Jitter affects latency (lag) and packet loss.

Jitter has a significant impact on latency, often referred to as lag, and on packet loss, which directly affects the quality of the Internet connection. Increased jitter can lead to irregularities in data transmission, which are felt as delays in the performance of Internet applications, especially online games. Delays can cause some data never to reach its destination, which is particularly problematic in sensitive transmissions, such as voice or video calls.

  • The relationship between Jitter and Internet connection quality.

The relationship is direct. Low-quality Internet connections characterized by high jitter will negatively impact online experiences, from delays in gaming to interrupted connections during video conferences. Therefore, monitoring jitter is crucial for maintaining the stability of Internet connections, especially in places requiring high-reliability networks.

Acceptable Jitter

When considering acceptable jitter, we must remember that it varies depending on where it occurs. In online gaming, minimal jitter is crucial, ideally below 30 ms, to ensure smooth gameplay without delays. For video streaming or VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), the tolerance for jitter can be slightly higher. However, even in this case, values above 40-50 ms can negatively affect transmission quality, causing video stuttering or audio interruptions.

The impact of jitter on the quality of Internet services is significant. High jitter can cause disconnections, delays, and even loss of quality in Internet connections. Keeping jitter at a low level is key to ensuring high-quality Internet services, especially in applications sensitive to delays, such as online gaming, live streaming, or video calls.

How to Reduce Jitter?

To reduce jitter in a home network environment, several practical steps are recommended. First, ensure that the home network is properly configured. Also, make sure it is not overloaded with too many devices operating simultaneously.

Optimizing QoS (Quality of Service) settings on the router can significantly help prioritize network traffic, which is particularly useful for multiplayer gaming and calls. It is also important to update the router’s firmware and use Ethernet cables instead of Wi-Fi connections wherever possible. Using Ethernet cables can significantly reduce jitter.

Investing in a modern router that supports the latest network standards and using specialized network tools to monitor and analyze jitter can bring significant improvements.

Jitter in Online Games

Jitter in online games is a crucial factor affecting gameplay quality and the overall player experience. The variability of delays in data transmission over the network has a significant impact on multiplayer games, especially in titles requiring quick reaction times.

  • Specific Jitter Requirements for Gamers.

Online gamers, especially those participating in e-sports or games requiring quick reactions, such as first-person shooters (FPS), MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, or action games, have very high demands for connection stability. Ideally, jitter should be below 30 ms to ensure smooth and fair gameplay. High jitter can cause a player’s character to “teleport” or show delayed reactions. This significantly lowers the quality of gameplay and can decide the outcome of winning or losing.

  • How Jitter Affects Gameplay in Popular Online Games.

In games like “League of Legends“, “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive“, “Fortnite“, or “DOTA 2“, low jitter is crucial for maintaining smooth gameplay. Delays in data transmission can result in lags, which can have disastrous effects in these titles. For example, in FPS games, where split-second decisions determine the life or death of a character, jitter can make aiming frustrating and ineffective. In MOBA games, where precise skill usage and quick reaction to opponent actions are key, high jitter can prevent effective team coordination and appropriate responses to threats.

Jitter affects not only individual players but can also disrupt synchronization between all game participants. For professional gamers and e-sports tournament participants, where stakes are high, optimizing the Internet connection to minimize jitter is a priority.

Tools for Measuring Jitter

Tools for measuring jitter are essential for gamers and IT professionals. There are many tools and tests available online that allow you to measure jitter and examine other network parameters, such as download speed, upload speed, and latency (ping). Below is an overview of the most important tools that you can use daily.

Overview of Tools and Tests Available Online to Measure Jitter

  1. Ping Jitter Test by Fusion Connect – a tool for analyzing the quality of the Internet connection, including jitter and latency. It is a simple tool for diagnosing network problems, especially for online gamers.
  2. PRTG Jitter Monitor – a specialized tool for measuring jitter, which can help identify fluctuations in network connection quality.
  3. MTR (My Traceroute) – although more advanced and requiring command line use, MTR combines traceroute and ping functions to diagnose jitter and other network issues.

How to Interpret Jitter Measurement Results

Interpreting jitter measurement results is key to understanding the quality of the Internet connection and the potential impacts on online gaming. Here are some tips:

  • Low Jitter (<30 ms): Considered ideal for most online applications, including gaming. It ensures smooth and stable gameplay without “jumps” and delays.
  • Medium Jitter (30-50 ms): May not be noticeable to average Internet users, but gamers may experience some lag issues, especially in games requiring quick reactions.
  • High Jitter (>50 ms): Values above 50 ms can cause significant connection quality issues, including delayed reactions and “teleporting” characters. In such cases, it is recommended to find and eliminate the causes of high jitter.
Jitter Test on Geckonet Network Using Fusion Connect Tool
Example Jitter Test on Geckonet Network Using Fusion Connect Tool

Jitter measurements can vary depending on many factors, including network load and connection type (Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet). Regularly testing the connection and monitoring jitter is recommended for those for whom connection quality is critical. In the case of high jitter values, consider updating network hardware and optimizing connection settings.

Case Studies

Case studies related to jitter issues effectively illustrate how delay variability can affect user experiences in various scenarios. Analyzing these cases helps understand methods for diagnosing and resolving jitter problems.

Example 1: Jitter Problem in Online Gaming

Problem: A gamer experiences character “teleportation” and delays in the online game “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive“, significantly lowering their performance and gaming experience.

Solution: The gamer conducted jitter tests using online tools and identified that the problem was with their unstable Wi-Fi connection. This was especially noticeable during peak hours when many smartphones were connected to the Wi-Fi network. The solution was to switch to a wired connection (Ethernet), which significantly reduced jitter and improved gameplay quality.

Example 2: Jitter Issues in Video Conferencing

Problem: A company experienced issues with video conference quality, including delays and loss of image quality, making it difficult to conduct online meetings.

Solution: The IT department conducted a detailed analysis of the company’s network and diagnosed high jitter. By updating network hardware, increasing internet connection bandwidth, and optimizing QoS (Quality of Service) configuration, they were able to significantly reduce jitter, eliminating video quality issues during video conferences.


Jitter, or the variability of delays in data transmission over a network, is an essential parameter affecting the quality of Internet use, especially in applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency. High jitter can lead to issues such as character “teleportation” in games, delays in voice communication, and video interruptions in video conferences, negatively impacting user experience.

Our guide to jitter shows that low jitter values are crucial for smooth online application usage. Low jitter is essential for gamers to maintain competitiveness and ensure fair gameplay. In the context of video conferencing and VoIP, low jitter minimizes connection quality issues, ensuring smooth communication.

Tools for measuring jitter, such as the Ping Jitter Test by Fusion Connect, PRTG Jitter Monitor, or MTR, allow users to monitor the quality of their Internet connections and identify potential issues. Interpreting the results of these tools enables appropriate corrective actions, such as changes in network configuration, hardware updates, or even changing Internet service providers.

In summary, jitter is an important factor affecting the quality of the Internet connection. We encourage conscious monitoring and management of jitter in home or corporate networks to ensure optimal conditions for all online services. Regular testing and adjusting network settings can significantly improve online experiences, reducing frustration associated with delays.

In times when the Internet is an integral part of our lives, optimizing the Internet connection is key to stress-free network usage.

Sources and References

This article uses information from the following sources:

  1. Jitter on Wikipedia:

Links to additional materials and tools for jitter analysis:

  1. Ping Jitter Test by Fusion Connect:
  2. PRTG Jitter Monitor:
  3. WinMTR (For Windows):