What is network latency? REALLY?

Question:  
Is the standard measurement of latency  the time delay observed as data transmits from one point to another?
OR
Is the standard measurement of latency  the time it takes some form of data to make a full circuit back to the originating point.
brothertruffle880Asked:
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InfamusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I think this article will help you.

http://smutz.us/techtips/NetworkLatency.html
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LazarusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Measuring Network Latency
Network tools like ping tests and traceroute measure latency by determining the time it takes a given network packet to travel from source to destination and back, the so-called round-trip time. Round-trip time is not the only way to specify latency, but it is the most common.
On DSL or cable Internet connections, latencies of less than 100 milliseconds (ms) are typical and less than 25 ms desired. Satellite Internet connections, on the other hand, average 500 ms or higher latency.
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Rick_O_ShayCommented:
In simplest terms network latency is the delay time added for packets to get through the network.
It is generally looked at as one way because once the packets are delivered to the end station/application they are no longer in the network.

There are probably hundreds of sources of information on the web like wikipedia explaining this in as much detail as you care to read through.
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brothertruffle880Author Commented:
Rick_o_shay:
There are many sources of information.  And I read many of them.  However, I was wondering
if there was ONE standard definition.
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brothertruffle880Author Commented:
Which definition of network latency will a vendor use when promoting their equipment or service.  I guess probably the best looking measure.  Right?  

That goes to the core of my question.  Is there one standard definition that's used?
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LazarusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There is no set standard, just a most used and even then that's up to whom is talking. It's Apples or Oranges I'm afraid.
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InfamusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Latency differs depending on distance, network traffic, hops to destination and etc.

So ISP can't define or guaranty low latency.

Did you read the article?  It is very simple and straight forward and has answers to your questions.
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