A ping essentially tells a user how effectively data is being transferred to an address without errors, and there are a number of causes for high ping including automatic updates, downloading and any programs that require a constant online connection can contribute to high ping. Additionally, distance from the nearest telephone exchange, as well as the connection infrastructure can also have an impact.
Although factors outside the computer user's control can have an impact, there are still a number of steps that can be taken to reduce ping — which can cause lag if gaming — on the user side.
Simple steps include making sure that automatic updates are turned off for all programs, which can be done by going into the settings menu of each program individually, or by turning off Windows automatic updates.
If games are lagging, the firewall and antivirus can often be a cause of high ping. This is normally easily resolved by simply adding the desired games as an exception, which allows it through the firewall or antivirus. Windows will automatically ask the user to allow access, but settings can also be changed by running antivirus programs, and searching the settings menu.
Changing connection type can often help. Moving from a wireless connection to a cable connected directly to the computer via the router can help reduce ping.