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Applications that require a fast network response, like video calls and online gaming, may not work well when Nagle is enabled. The delays caused while the algorithm takes extra time to assemble smaller chunks of data can trigger noticeable lag visually on a screen or in a digital audio stream. Such applications typically disable Nagle.

This algorithm was originally developed at a time when computer networks supported less bandwidth than they do today. The example described above was based on John Nagle's experiences at Ford Aerospace in the early 1980s, where nagling tradeoffs on Ford's slow, heavily-loaded, long-distance network made good sense. There are increasingly fewer situations today where network applications can benefit from his algorithm.

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