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Why do I get ping spikes (large jitter) at different times in the day?

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  • Networking
Last response: in Networking
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January 7, 2010 7:33:47 PM

Hey everyone,

Recently I have been experiencing large lag spikes (of up to 500ms) for fairly long periods at different times during the day. Although I am using a wireless set-up, which I believe have been known to cause lag problems, I do not believe that it is a wireless related problem for two reasons: (1) It doesn't appear to be periodic with a fixed period between occurrences (as would be the problem with windows scanning for other wireless connections). And (2) I have ran numerous cmd prompt ping tests to my router and the results were usually 1ms with it very rarely going up to a maximum of 55ms (I have read threads from others with wireless related problems experiencing ping spikes of up to 2000ms to their router, making 55ms sound like an unrelated problem).
I have googled/looked all over various forums and the only possible reason I can find for my problems is that my local exchange may be being overloaded.
My OS is windows 7 and my ISP is BT.

If anyone can help shed some light on this situation and/or come up with a fix I will be truly grateful. :) 

Thanks in advance!

Jeff - Network newbie

P.s. I'm not sure that this is the correct category for this question to be asked in but I couldn't find a more appropriate one.

More about : ping spikes large jitter times day

January 7, 2010 7:48:52 PM

Edit: Right now, while it's on a spike period, my bandwidth has also dropped significantly to less than 1Mbps!
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January 8, 2010 4:01:56 PM

spikess are usually just spikes, not consistent. If it's lasting more then 1-3 seconds, either it's hardware issues or interference.
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January 8, 2010 5:42:06 PM

Kewlx25 said:
spikess are usually just spikes, not consistent. If it's lasting more then 1-3 seconds, either it's hardware issues or interference.

It's not hardware issues as I have not changed my hardware since it was working fine. And I've never heard of anyone having interference lag spike issues, could you explain further?
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January 8, 2010 6:01:41 PM

During one of the spikes try pinging an ouside IP address and compare that with a non-spike period. Also ping your router during the spike and see what you get.
If the internet ping is slow but your router ping is normal then the problem is outside your network and your pretty much SOL.
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January 8, 2010 9:19:46 PM

Here are two of the three ping test results:

Ping test to router during spike:
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=53ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.254: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

Ping test to Google during spike:
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=74ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=66ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=125ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=111ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=125ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=98ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=115ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=77ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=119ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=63ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=106ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=106ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=67ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=44

It's currently on a spike but I will ping test Google again once it's back to normal.
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January 8, 2010 9:43:58 PM

Ping test to Google not during spike:
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=67ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=63ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=65ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=77ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=67ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=63ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=59ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=64ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=67ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=58ms TTL=44
Reply from 209.85.135.103: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=44

I guess this means the lag is out of my control?
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January 9, 2010 12:19:51 PM

Haha I've absolutely no idea how it could have been doing it but it appears that it was Spotify that was causing the ping problems. It seems to be happening when Spotify has been open for a while... next time it happens I'll check that it is Spotify but in the meantime I'm interested to know how Spotify could have affected my ping in this way :??: 

Thanks again
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February 3, 2010 6:09:42 PM

Hi Jeff
I was having huge lag issues also, so bad people were complaining of choppy phone quality on my Vonage.
It turned out to be my cable modem.

You can check that by rebooting the modem (pull the plug for 30 sec and plug bask in)
Then see if the spike level is affected

Pinging Google.com with 32 bytes and being over 50ms is real slow
I'm @ 10 - 15 ms

I went to Time-Warner and swaped out the modem for a different brand and that seems to have fixed it

Randy
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!