For Immediate IT Support 613-288-5805 or email us

Understand QoS: Quality Parameters Explained

Quality of Service, or QoS, is an important tool in a network administrator’s toolbox. IT companies in Ottawa understand the evolving demands on company networks require more thoughtful and technical management.

QoS classifies each packet of information sent through the network. The classification is decided by how it can handle levels of these quality parameters. Network administrators or Ottawa computer services establish the QoS network settings. Based on the class, the packet is prioritized accordingly.

If a network had no restrictions, there would be no traffic issues. However, each network has its own limitations. IT companies in Ottawa work within each network’s limitations. There are key traffic parameters that describe the impacts network limitations have on the data movement through the network. This article will review quality parameters used to discuss network performance in Ottawa computer services.


Latency is the delay of a packet between the transmission at the source and arrival at the destination. The elapsed time may small, providing a low-latency connection. In other cases, the delay is significant, causing high-latency. The packet’s route may be direct but delayed by queueing. Or, the packet may take a longer route to the destination to avoid congestion.

Latency has the biggest impact on Voice over IP (VoIP) and online gaming applications. IT companies often encounter high latency issues in networks.


Jitter is the variation in latency between packets of the same data source. Packets are sent with even spacing from the source, but that spacing can change based on network congestion, queueing or other delays. At the intended destination, the amount of latency can vary packet by packet.

Jitter has the biggest impact on playback features on streaming audio or video applications.


The loss is the failure of a transmitted packet to reach its intended destination. It is normally expressed as a percentage of a higher percentage providing lower performance.

As the data is transmitted from the source, all of the data is broken into packets in order to be sent through the network. All packets should arrive at the destination. However, if some packets are lost, it has varying implications for the performance of the application at the destination.

Loss can have the biggest impact on file transfer applications where all packets are needed at the destination to complete the file.

Low Throughput

Throughput is the actual amount of data being sent within a given bandwidth, usually measured in bits per second (bps). It will generally be less than the bandwidth capacity due to the current usage level, as well as congestion, infrastructure capacity, loss or other factors. Low throughput occurs when demand is high, but the data passing through the bandwidth is low.

Quality Parameters and Your Network

Network quality issues are not created equal. These parameters need to be understood in order to understand how they impact different applications. Their impact determines how the administrator or Ottawa computer services will classify the application within your network. Careful management of quality parameters produces better overall network performance.