I'm having terrible lag when playing wc3 when I'm plugged into my router but I have close to no lag when connecting directly to the outlet. There's nothing wrong with the router; everything else works perfectly (and it's brand new) so I'm guessing the problem is on my end. Is there a common set of ports that should be opened when playing online games like this one or something? : /
What router(please make sure to answer this question)? Routers have firmware updates too. so check that out.
Is it wireless? if you use wireless your pings increase allot and much more if there is interference like a microwave(only when it runs) or 2.4GHZ cordless phone nearby
If the router has wireless and you do not use it, turn off the radio(wireless it self) so no one can leach your speed.
How many other machines on it? Are you running downloads/uploads?
The biggest cause of lag is too much upload. Upload is the slower of the 2 and when you start to run out of upload bandwidth you have trouble sending responses(confirmation packets and whatnot) to the server causing lag.
The second one is a cheap(not always price wise) router(or old firmware) that has a low limit for connections. When the router runs out of connections(the number of computers it can talk to on the net, games may establish multiple connections to a server) it starts to just drop new ones, this sucks and has caused me to take back many a router. This normally only happens when using peer to peer sharing software as they make a massive number of connections.
Last thing to check is your routers firewall. Sometimes they are just too damn sensitive and start blocking stuff that should be allowed. Firmware updates sometimes fix this.
If you're using a linksys router i've found that enabling the SPI Firewall in the router causes Steam games like CS: Source and TeamFortress 2 to lag very badly. I checked the logs and it showed that the router was dropping the UDP packets because it thought they were a DoS attack when i was receiving, and it was dropping them when i sent them because it thought i was trying to DoS the server.
Basically if i turn the SPI Firewall in the router off my games stop lagging, no more choke or loss. Also I noticed that while the SPI Firewall was turned on the Steam Server browser would return very few results and return them very very slowly. Turning it off i get way more servers and they pop up almost instantly.
My problems were on a linksys WRT54GX2 router, i then upgraded to a linksys WRT600N router and had the same problem with the SPI Firewall. Luckily though the WRT600N is supported by DD-WRT, they're a group that creates custom firmwares for linksys routers using broadcom chipsets. I flashed their firmware onto the router and it opened up so many new features that the linksys firmware doesn't provide. It also performs way better and lets you see so much more information about the router and your network.
Check out their website to see if your router is supported if you have a linksys: http://www.dd-wrt.com/dd-wrtv3/index.php. Just make sure to read about your router on their forums and make sure you're downloading the right firmware otherwise you could brick your router. If you're going to flash the DD-WRT firmware make sure you have a TFTP server app and one of the linksys firmwares (latest will do) so you can unbrick the router if it happens. Mine flashed fine, you'll most likely not have to worry about bricking it if you research on their forums and download the proper firmware.
I took back a WRT54G because it crashed all the time(more often from steaming DVD's over wireless). My friend does not even use his anymore due to problems.
Dlinks old routers had issues of running out of connections and locking up(more of an issue with more computers). but the new ones with QoS are very good. The dir 655 was the only router to finally match my old SMC7004abr(there are cheaper ones without gigabit that should work as well).
The QoS will prioritize game packets(as well as streaming media) and you can manually set for apps you want to force to have high or low priority(give it a port and some other info and it will do the rest).
One of my old linksys router used to crash also when using the wireless. I think it was a BEFS114 v4 or something, but it only crashed when i had wep or wpa enabled. If i disabled the security and just used MAC Filtering the router ran fine and never crashed.
In my situation QoS didn't do anything to help with Steam games being unplayable since it was the firewall that kept dropping all the UDP packets, nothing would fix it except for turning off the firewall. Opening the ports it used did nothing. I hate how pretty much every linksys product includes a firewall but in no way at all are you able to control what is allowed and what isn't allowed through it. If something is being blocked that you want to come through, there's no way to tell it. All you can do is turn it off.
I did not give it(My WRT54G) enough time to lag in games, if it cant copy files and stream DVD's it goes back. I run all routers with at least WEP on.
The Dlink(older) I once had just locked up with lots of connections.
SMC's Baracade G(wireless, not my old one) did the same dropping packets with the SPI of too. you would change settings to make it not happen so often. It had something to do with lots of unestablished(half open) connections. This happens with games and P2P quite a bit.
I was playing Day Of Defeat Source without lag even with other computers running P2P apps. That used to never work without tons of lag. For me at least QoS is working.
Okay, so what I have is the NETGEAR router WNR834B. I am running wireless, but I tried switching to a cable and it didn't improve my conditions at all. There are two more computers on the network, but they weren't running when I tried to play and I always turn off downloads when playing online games.
I'll try turning of the SPI firewall and see if that helps, although that sort of seems like a bad thing to do in the long run : )
Thanks! If you have any more suggestions, please do tell me!