I just discovered very strange thing while testing my internet connection.
My ping is smaller than it should be. For example ping time to Arizona State University is about 14ms.
eryk@eryk-pc:~$ ping www.asu.edu PING www.asu.edu.cdn.cloudflare.net (126.96.36.199) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=1 ttl=60 time=13.8 ms
I’m living in Poznań in Poland so my distance to Arizona State University in a straight line (very optimistic assumption) is about 10000 km. Considering the fact that ping time is a time for two directions (to the target and back to home). So my ping packet have to cross
20000 km distance. Speed of light is 300 000 km per second that is 300km per millisecond. So the smallest possible time to ping Arizona State University with my packet travelling at a speed of light is
I have noticed similar results for servers located in Australia and some other States of America.
Is my internet connection five times faster than light?
As you can see from the output, you aren’t actually pinging some server in Arizona or even the United States. Apparently, they decided to protect their website with Cloudflare, which employs a content distribution network to even the load. A CDN works with many nodes, each servicing a (geographic) region. That means the node you’re pinging is very close to you.
Because Cloudflare uses Anycast (Wikipedia info) with all of their data centers, you’ll connect to the same IP address no matter where you are in the world. Every data center offers all services. Internet routers decide on the best route (to the closest/best reachable data center) and direct your connection that way.