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Frustrating Latency Issues

Last response: in Networking
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October 14, 2012 2:46:43 PM

Hello people of Tom's Hardware!

I have visited this site many a time in order to aid myself in questions regarding computers; most issues I have ever had have been resolved merely by browsing this site!

However now I feel I actually need to ask you all a question regarding my internet.

I'm not sure if this is the right place or whatever but here goes:

I've had a lot of trouble at various points with my internet (Virgin Media is my provider) I am currently running their 60mbit/s connection package, which gives 60mbit/s dl speed and 2.5mbit/s ul speed. Now this is all fine and dandy - I can download games from steam at upto and including 7.3mb/s which gives little waiting time, HOWEVER, often I attempt to play a game only to find that despite the server telling me I have a ping < 100ms, I still find myself teleporting horribly across the map and sustaining large amounts of lag. I check my bars and all seems fine, yet EVERYONE complains about my lag! I often conduct speed tests and they usually show 60/2.5 as they should, however at times I find my download speed is SEVERELY reduced (tests show more like 1.5/2.5). This should explain the reason for my lag spikes, but unfortunately there is literally no correlation between the two - I will have teleportation issues even when my interent is supposedly running at full power! If anyone has any idea how I could solve this issue please tell me.... I will provide any other information!

A couple of things to bear in mind:

- The issue is NOT FPS, I get a solid 91fps on MW2 but still have the teleporting lag
- I have tried resetting my router 21415 times, and it makes no difference
- I have spoken to virgin and they are no help at all - sometimes say there is a "local problem which will be fixed soon"... The last time they said this I had deliberately unplugged my computer from my router to see if they were bullsh***ing me, and clearly I was right
- I have a Virgin superhub router so it is not my router which cannot process the information properly

Any help is greatly appreciated,

Ed
October 14, 2012 6:07:01 PM

I will first assume you are using a lan connected pc and not wireless. Wireless gets very random performance with games.

It is highly unlikely you have a bandwidth issue since games use very little. Since you get good ping times then the only thing left is packet loss. I would open a cmd window and leave a constant ping to the IP that your router uses as its default gateway. This is the ISP router and really the only one you can get fixed. You could ping further into the network but it does you little good to know that 2 ISP at some node in the path have a problem..its not like you can call them up.

If you do not see loss from this then your problem is likely not a network issue. You could verify this if you have a second machine and could run network tests when you game machine was having a issue.
October 15, 2012 5:42:48 PM

I pinged the default gateway for a long time and didn't really see much issue there - in game it was practically <1ms all the time, the on occasion =1ms, then out of game a couple of time it stretched up to as high as 5ms but aside that it pinged away happily for a good half an hour.....
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October 15, 2012 6:10:01 PM

Not your default gate which is your router. The default gateway for the router itself. This is the ISP router at the other end of their connection. It tests the network between their office and your house. I would expect anywhere between 5ms and 20ms.

If you do get <1ms to the ISP it is much better than most people
October 15, 2012 6:38:55 PM

Okay I've done it properly now, thanks!

I was given 2 ISP's by my cmd prompt, and I ran two seperate pingtests, the data is as follows:

Test for DNS server #1:

0% packet loss

Minimum ping: 15ms
Maximum ping: 444ms
Average ping: 53ms

(It was fluctuating wildly for the entire test)

Test for DNS server #2:

0% packet loss

Minimum ping: 9ms
Maximum ping: 196ms
Average ping: 44ms



.....this does not bode well I assume.
October 15, 2012 6:45:45 PM

Sorry for double post, it wouldn't let me edit my previous message?

Just retested DNS server #2 and I got these bad boys:

Minimum: 9ms
Maximum: 438ms
Average: 117ms

Wow.
October 15, 2012 8:35:10 PM

Not the best. I bet you do it the middle of the night and you get lot better results.

You could call them and ask if they can do anything about it. First challenge is to get someone that understands that this show a problem between your house and them.

Since there is no loss it generally means there are no true errors. It most likely is just them over selling there network and lots of your neighbors being hogs. :( 
October 15, 2012 9:29:23 PM

My neighbours are all old people, hardly any of them even use the internet! I've been running more tests and it is getting worse....

DNS server #2:

Minimum Ping: 14ms
Maximum Ping: 1249ms
Average Ping: 142ms

5% packet loss

Who should I ring up? My ISP? I doubt they will help they are usually completely useless!
October 15, 2012 11:33:12 PM

Neighbors in a very general way. Most system share bandwidth with hundreds of houses around them. They are very secretive about how many people are sharing and how much total bandwidth is available.

You have few options, the problem does not appear to be in your house. The only people that can help are the ISP but you are right they are useless. Maybe you get lucky and there is a issue with the cable going to your house. They can see this if they choose to look.

If they are running at 100% for your network segment they will never admit it.
!