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Massive lag spikes

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  • Internet Service Providers
  • Networking
Last response: in Networking
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December 7, 2010 2:58:45 AM

Sorry i've already posted this, but it turns out my ancient hotmail ccount is locked so I made a new email to authenticate my profile here on toms hardware.

Hello, I've been having issues lately with my internet connection. Online gaming has become unplayable due to massive lag spikes. I've ran a ping test and a tracert to see if it was also occuring while web surfing, strangely it was, except it wasn't noticable at all. I've been playing fine for many years without any issues. Im connected to my modem through a Linksys wrt54g directly with an ethernet cord and use shaw as my isp. I've formatted my drive and completly resnstalled windows 7 64-bit to no avail to make sure I don't have a virus. I have an i5 gaming rig and for the last month havent been able to play any games. There are no other computers connected to my network, I have tried plugging my computer directly into my modem and get the same results. I've also tried switching ethernet cords... as you can see I'm pretty desperate haha. Shaw says there's no problems on their side. I was wondering if anyone could help me? Here are both tests I ran to google.com, you can see the pingspikes pretty clearly.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Jono>ping -n 15 google.com

Pinging google.com [72.14.213.99] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=478ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=37ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=81ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=43ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=25ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=35ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=508ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=25ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=28ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=24ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=28ms TTL=53
Reply from 72.14.213.99: bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=53

Ping statistics for 72.14.213.99:
Packets: Sent = 15, Received = 15, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 22ms, Maximum = 508ms, Average = 95ms

C:\Users\Jono>

and the trace rt

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. C:\Users\Jono>tracert google.com Tracing route to google.com [72.14.213.147]
over a maximum of 30 hops: 1 1 ms 1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 60 ms 49 ms 34 ms rd1bb-ge4-0-0-2.vc.shawcable.net [64.59.146.130] 4 13 ms 16 ms 26 ms rc2bb-tge0-10-5-0.vc.shawcable.net [66.163.69.181] 5 64 ms 27 ms 45 ms rc3wt-ge14-0-0.wa.shawcable.net [66.163.77.138] 6 24 ms 15 ms 19 ms rc6wt-tge0-8-0-0.wa.shawcable.net [66.163.68.42] 7 21 ms 17 ms 14 ms 74.125.48.233
8 32 ms 47 ms 48 ms 209.85.249.34
9 17 ms 29 ms 14 ms 66.249.94.201
10 24 ms 1023 ms 21 ms 216.239.46.200
11 90 ms * 46 ms 64.233.174.97
12 54 ms 34 ms 27 ms 209.85.253.10
13 25 ms 30 ms 22 ms pv-in-f147.1e100.net [72.14.213.147] Trace complete. C:\Users\Jono>


I've also tried a registry fix for windows 7 I found online for the network throttle but it didn't work as well.

More about : massive lag spikes

December 7, 2010 6:17:39 PM

I'm telling you right now that Shaw Cable is a bunch of dirty liars. Cable broadband networks are shared networks that are notorious for these sorts of lag spikes. They can be caused by something as simple as faulty wiring to the user or as expensive as an overloaded node to the neighborhood, sometimes even worse. The fact that you're experiencing lag spikes as high as 1023 ms 10 hops out could put the traffic somewhere in shaw's infrastructure.

I had the exact same problem with Time Warner Cable, who refused to believe me until I took screenshots of my traceroutes and speed tests and demanded that a tech come out to my apartment to see them. I'm a network tech by trade and they still don't believe me.
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December 8, 2010 10:17:16 PM

thanks for the replies,
I entered all of those commands, and forwarded my ports but the problem still insists :( 
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December 9, 2010 12:41:34 PM

This isn't a port forwarding issue at all. Port forwarding is designed to map an external incoming port to an internal IP address, something that is not going on here. If he were only experiencing the problem say, while using BitTorrent, then that might be the issue.

If it were a port forwarding issue, the traffic wouldn't even get to your system anyways.

You need to call your ISP and demand that they run a latency test. If the first person tells you that there's nothing wrong on their end, demand that they transfer you to tier II support. If tier II support doesn't find anything, demand tier III. Usually by the time you get up to tier II or III they have enough experience to actually look into troubleshooting the problem. Tier I guys are there to route calls, and do basic troubleshooting. That's it. (Trust me, I have worked in IT call centers for three years) Telcos like to divvy the responsibility back to the customer so that they can avoid having to dispatch a team out to the node to troubleshoot. It costs too much money, especially if they find that the node is overloaded and need to add a new one.

Additionally, if you finally do get to the point where they dispatch a truck to your place, make sure they don't just run a line test at your house, MAKE them go out to the node and test out there. THAT is where the problem is. You have to be very firm with them because they assume that you have no idea what you're talking about (it's not like you ask questions or research or anything ;)  ).
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December 9, 2010 12:52:57 PM

Another thing that they like to do is schedule these appts for mid-day. Have them come out in the evening when this problem will be most likely to happen. If they come out mid-day, everyone else is at work and therefore not using the network heavily. Night time just after 6:00p and before 12:00a are peak hours for usage.
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December 9, 2010 8:42:42 PM

Thanks for the response again psychoteddy, I'll give them a call when I get a chance and be more assertive than usual haha, i've exhausted pretty much every angle to tackle this problem.
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December 10, 2010 1:41:42 AM

Thanks again for the replies dadiggle, these are great suggestions and I really appreciate the help, however I changed all the settings that you proposed but the ping spikes still live. To answer your question I have a SAMSUNG HD103UJ one Terrabyte hardrive.

Heres my DX diag
------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 12/9/2010, 19:17:08
Machine name: JONO-PC
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_gdr.100618-1621)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 05/24/10 14:48:53 Ver: 08.00.15
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 750 @ 2.67GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.7GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 8190MB RAM
Page File: 1917MB used, 14458MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7600.16385 32bit Unicode
and a ATI Radeon HD 5850
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January 3, 2011 3:32:57 AM

i have also had this problem now for over a month. ping fluctuates between 60ms and over 1000ms every few seconds making gaming damn near impossible. i am on shaw and i believe it is one of their nodes. downloads and other typical browsing seems to be fine...it only seems to effect gaming. very annoying to say the least. i call shaw and they give me the run around even when i provide them with a trace route proving it!
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January 4, 2011 4:53:27 AM

sounds like they are full of bs :) 
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