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large ping spikes, no explanation

Last response: in Networking
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November 20, 2013 3:28:14 PM

Hi there. I'm at my wit's end trying to figure this out. Disclaimer: I'm no IT sleuth.

So the problem is really recent and I can't pinpoint anything different in my setup that would warrant this to start happening. Out of the blue, I'll get these huge ping spikes that dominate my internet completely. When gaming (any game really, but it's the most detrimental in DOTA2 - you guys know what I'm talking about) all characters on the screen will run in place for one to two seconds and then resume whatever it was they were doing. There is no FPS loss. Essentially, it's a huge ping spike, then everything is back to normal. There is no rhyme or reason to when this happens. Sometimes (if I'm lucky) it'll go five minutes without, sometimes every 10 seconds, and sometimes every 15 - 130 seconds.

I can't figure this out. I've run spyware scanners and diagnostic tools, there is nothing hijacking my computer. I've closed down everything non essential - dropbox, java updaters, steam (when it's not a Steam game), you name it. I've tried reinstalling/updating the drivers to various devices.

I've run the resource monitor for two days now, pulling out my hair trying to identify the source of these spikes. The network graph lays low most of the time, then spikes to the top. Obviously this is my ping spike, it coincides with my lag instances when gaming. Thank you dual monitors.

The only things using my network that are worth mention are a few instances of svchost, but these don't report huge i/o usage at the time of the spike. The only indicator is the graph spiking. I checked to see what programs were using the svchosts, and they are legit. It's not my isp, my fiance is running games next to me with no hitch in his get-along.

At a loss. Help!

I'm using the same wireless connection card as he is, but I updated the driver for it just in case. No change. Here's my specs:

Intel Core i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67 GHz 4.01 GHz
8.GB Ram
64-bit Windows 7

Ah... like I said, I'm no IT sleuth, just tell me what else you need to know.

Any help someone can provide would be greatly appreciated. I'm on day two of this quest (read: my connection - the hardest boss in the game, lawl) and no dice. Thanks so much!

-Taryn

Best solution

November 20, 2013 3:39:02 PM

if possible try using an eithernet cable and see if you still have the same issues. alternatively if that solves the issue then you might want to look into getting a different wireless usb adapter another thing is that you might be getting interference from other sources if you live in an apartment complex or some place where there are a lot of wireless networks operating it would be beneficial to look into possibly getting a dual band wireless router something that operates in the 2.4 and 5Ghz range most routers will occupy the 2.4 band and that's where you will get the most interference. 5ghz band would be optimal also if your download speed is greater then 4 to 5 MB a second i would consider going with wireless AC router and usb adapter .. your basically bottle necking your network interface otherwise. not every one has 60Mbit internet connection but if you do know that wireless N isnt good enough to handle that.
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November 20, 2013 4:33:21 PM

first, remove every networking devices that you have set-up (switches, routers, wifi adapters, etc).
second, directly connect your PC from the modem provided by your ISP.
third, after you directly connected to your modem, run CMD, and type ping www.google.com -t
let it run for a good thirty minutes to an hour, and observe for any "request timed out"
if this is the case (having many request timed out) contact your ISP to further resolve this issue.
---
if there are no request timed out while connecting directly to your modem, hook up your network devices one at a time
ex: modem to router to your pc, modem to router to switch to pc and run a ping test as i stated above at each stage.
if ping tests comes back negative (containing many request timed out) it may be one of your devices failing, and because you should have ran a ping test at each stage, it will be easy for you to determine which exact device is causing the problem.
---
as you said this was really recent, i doubt this problem can be fixed by getting a dual band router supporting two different frequencies.
like i said, directly connect to your modem and run a ping test to confirm that it is not your networking devices!
let me know...
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November 20, 2013 6:15:47 PM

nuix0923 said:
first, remove every networking devices that you have set-up (switches, routers, wifi adapters, etc).
second, directly connect your PC from the modem provided by your ISP.
third, after you directly connected to your modem, run CMD, and type ping www.google.com -t
let it run for a good thirty minutes to an hour, and observe for any "request timed out"
if this is the case (having many request timed out) contact your ISP to further resolve this issue.
---
if there are no request timed out while connecting directly to your modem, hook up your network devices one at a time
ex: modem to router to your pc, modem to router to switch to pc and run a ping test as i stated above at each stage.
if ping tests comes back negative (containing many request timed out) it may be one of your devices failing, and because you should have ran a ping test at each stage, it will be easy for you to determine which exact device is causing the problem.
---
as you said this was really recent, i doubt this problem can be fixed by getting a dual band router supporting two different frequencies.
like i said, directly connect to your modem and run a ping test to confirm that it is not your networking devices!
let me know...



Bypassing the wireless card and any potential routers make sense, but as I said, the computer next to me is running the same setup as me and isn't having a single hiccup. There is no router, we're both talking directly to the modem. Try anyway? Worst case I may need a new wireless card I suppose. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks
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November 20, 2013 8:13:48 PM

while he has a point with the ping method. Channel interference can also cause issues like that. Most ISP's don't even offer the dual band routers. as I said before the 5GHz band is generally unused in most places. it would eliminate any issues with older versions or newer versions personally I just upgraded to wireless ac.
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March 27, 2014 9:27:10 PM

nuix0923 said:
first, remove every networking devices that you have set-up (switches, routers, wifi adapters, etc).
second, directly connect your PC from the modem provided by your ISP.
third, after you directly connected to your modem, run CMD, and type ping www.google.com -t
let it run for a good thirty minutes to an hour, and observe for any "request timed out"
if this is the case (having many request timed out) contact your ISP to further resolve this issue.
---
if there are no request timed out while connecting directly to your modem, hook up your network devices one at a time
ex: modem to router to your pc, modem to router to switch to pc and run a ping test as i stated above at each stage.
if ping tests comes back negative (containing many request timed out) it may be one of your devices failing, and because you should have ran a ping test at each stage, it will be easy for you to determine which exact device is causing the problem.
---
as you said this was really recent, i doubt this problem can be fixed by getting a dual band router supporting two different frequencies.
like i said, directly connect to your modem and run a ping test to confirm that it is not your networking devices!
let me know...



I had a similar issue. I like your troubleshooting method. After unplugging everything and plugging one laptop directly to the modem i stopped getting ping spikes every 30 seconds. I believe it has something to do with my second wireless router, I never found the culprit this way as I tried a little something whilst I was doing this.

I went into my modem/router settings (xfinity, theyre the same) and disabled UPnP and zero config and it works great now. I have yet to notice any negative changes so far.
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May 22, 2014 10:50:56 AM

For me it was dropbox. Everytime a new file was created in the network (by my family, or home security camera system), dropbox would sync and my ping would spike. Took me 2 months to figure it out. So now closing dropbox before playing means low ping the whole game. I wrote dropbox to see if there was something I could do other than turn off their service, but for now I'm just happy I found the problem. So maybe if you have a file sharing program like dropbox, try turning it off then watching the pings in CMD. Good luck
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