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Weird Fluctuating cable internet problem~Plz help!

Last response: in Networking
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February 11, 2007 4:29:00 AM

Heya, I've had Comcast cable for about 4-5 years now and most of the time it's been great but I've been having a problem that's been off and on. A little over a year ago I built a new computer that had an ASUS A8n SLi-Premium mobo. Anyways the onboard ethernet was horrible and I just went and bought a new ethernet card and it was fine for 1-2 months.

The problem is that my connection randomly fluctuates, the ISP on the phone tells me my connectivity is great blah blah doesn't seem to be any problems but it's obvious there is. I'm not using a router or a splitter. There's horrible delay whenever I play games and my ping spikes from 20-400 about every 20 seconds. What used to be a temporary fix for the problem was to pull out the power cord from my modem and put it back in and there would be a 20% chance that it wouldn't act up again, but that would only be fine for a day when the problem would come back. Anyways a technician came out, checked signals everything was perfect and replaced the cable modem since it was old and it worked fine for about 3-4 months when the problem reoccured again.

Since it was pretty much the same problem I figured a newer cable modem would fix it so I went and exchanged the one I had previously received with an RCA modem which has been fine for about 6-7 months until now. I called the ISP and of course the connections "fine" but I can tell its not. So I'm having a techie come tomorrow but I have no idea what he's going to fix since I'm pretty sure there isn't a newer version of the cable modem than an RCA one that I already have. I rarely ever disconnect it's just my ping fluctuates randomly and tons of delay. My download speed is fine sometimes, other times my download speed will be about 50kb/sec when it should be 300+ and I can tell websites are taking forever to load.

Any help would be greatly appreciated or if anyone has had a problem similiar to this one that could give some input that would be great...

Thanks.
February 11, 2007 6:19:26 AM

There are a lot of factors that could affect your internet speed:

1. Upstream, Downstream, and SNR

2. Node capacity and performance

3. Servers that your traffic is being handed off to

4. Background peer-to-peer programs

Start off by entering this into your IE address bar. Tell me what your Upstream and Downstream power levels are and your SNR.
February 11, 2007 7:37:51 AM

Signal Acquired at 591.000 Mhz
SNR: 35.6 dB
Received Signal Strength -4.9 dBmV
Bit Error Rate : 0.000 %
Modulation 256QAM
Frequency 34.0 MHz
Power Level 43.3 dBmV
Channel ID: 4
Modulation 16 QAM
Related resources
February 11, 2007 11:16:14 AM

Your Upstream power levels are kinda low but I don't see where that could lead to any issues. To be honest, your signal is fine but we won't stop there. Open your command prompt an enter "tracert tomshardware.com" without quotations. That's tracert, space, and tomshardware.com. You can substitute any website for tomshardware, preferrably one that you continually have problems with. This will show you where you might encounter hangups during the routing of your internet request to it's destination. If Comcast was experiencing excessive latency among a route or node, that would of re-routed the traffic. Post your findings with tracert. It could also be an issue with your node. Internet traffic could slow down during peak hours if too many customers are on the same node utilizing the bandwidth. Check out your network utilization under windows task manager just to make sure there isn't any programs hogging your bandwidth without your knowledge. If all else fails, consider the time of day you usually have issues. If it's in the evening, there is a good chance your node is overloaded.
February 11, 2007 12:31:19 PM

Sample tracert at 9AM


February 11, 2007 12:48:34 PM

There isn't any excessive delays in your response times. Do you have any other computers in your home that you could check your intenet access on because I don't see anything wrong with your tracert, and I doubt if the Tech will see anything either. If you don't have anything running in the background or if it's not your computer, it might be an issue with the head end or your node. Do a "ping -t google.com" in your command prompt. It will loop infinitely. Stop it with ctrl and c. Let it loop for about 30 seconds and check your packet loss. If your computer has to re-send packets due to loss, it can increase network latency.

What problems are you having?
What speeds are you seeing and what site are you going to to check them?

Click here

And here
February 11, 2007 4:23:21 PM

The problems that I'm having are delay in games, such as if I click to go somewhere it will sometimes take 3-4 seconds longer than it should. It's not the server because I'm the only person with this problem. It's weird because my ping is fine but I definately notice it as well with loading some web pages like aol.com it will take up to 10-15 seconds but if I refresh the page sometimes it will load right away as it should or just take the 10-15 seconds.... again it fluctuates so its really random. Or it won't even load the page and just sit there with the bar not moving then timing out. I notice it in download speeds since I should be getting 300+kb/sec when my download starts off at about 200 then just keeps decreasing and ending up at 50. Oh yes and I'm not using a router, just a direct connection from the computer to the modem and this is the only computer in the house. The technician came and didn't fix anything, just said he bumped up my 6mb connection to 8 which didn't help at all. He said somebody would take a look at the line outside someday during this week.

For the speed test - 7766 kbps download / 361 kbps upload with 54ms

For the speakeasy speed test - Download Speed: 9108 kbps (1138.5 KB/sec transfer rate)/ Upload Speed: 363 kbps (45.4 KB/sec transfer rate)


February 11, 2007 5:48:55 PM

All your numbers are where they should be. It might be an issue with your computer, hardware or software related, unfortunately. I hate to say that to individuals unless all other avenues have been taken but your speed an internet specs are within range. Be careful because if a tech comes out and decide that the problem is computer related, you might get charged.
February 13, 2007 9:38:34 PM

I am having a similar issue with my Comcast as well. I recently moved to a new apartment after living a few blocks away with perfectly working cable internet. They replaced my modem during setup of the new apartment, and my cable running from the wall is significantly longer than before. Aside from that, everything else is just fine. Now, my internet gets lag spikes every minute or two. I have downloaded "Netmon" and keep track of the ping while playing games. Whenever I get kicked out of a game, the ping has spiked from 30ish to "timeout", with timeouts sometimes lasting up to 5 seconds. Netmon is just continually pinging yahoo.com. Sometimes this problem seems to go away, but it doesn't seem to be a function of time of day. The problem seems to be more pronounced when I'm using my router, but it persists when I bypass the router. When on the router, both computers in the apartment experience outages simultaneously.

I don't see how the longer cable at my new place could be causing this. I suspect the new modem, but the phone tech says everything is fine with it. I think my setup is OK since it worked a few weeks ago at my old place. When I get home tonight I can post the same info as the original poster... any thoughts?

Rettere
February 14, 2007 7:54:20 PM

Well I went and got linksys cable modem and problem hasn't gone away... I honestly don't know what to do from this point since ISP has no idea what it could be
April 2, 2009 3:13:13 AM

has anyone found a solution to this yet? I am having the same exact problem as hfour, and my tracerts and pings are exactly alike. They are not normal btw interloper... they really aren't. they should be consistent, even though I have 0% loss
August 4, 2009 1:15:21 AM

I am currently having what seems to be a similar problem. I have had intermittent total packet loss to all hops of a 16 leg trace route. The loss varies anywhere from 1 second up to about 50 seconds, usually averaging 5 seconds. The Comcast tech came out last Thursday and confirmed the issue. He described it as intermittent upstream SNR issues, where the SNR drops from an acceptable 30+ to around 15. Only on the upstream side. This is a very temporary problem, so it is hard to diagnose. For me, it is happening only during the day.

When I asked the tech what causes it, he said it could be anything, but that it was likely to be a bad connection somewhere. Comcast did "cut in" a new node on the day that it started, so that might've caused it. It is not normally an issue, as it is so intermittent, but I am using my Comcast connection to maintain two VPNs, and they die whenever I get that issue.
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