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Network Issue- Speeds fine bad ping

GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

I don't know if this can be classified as a hardware issue at all, but I don't know where else to get help.

This is a problem that started maybe 2 weeks ago. I built my new computer last month; however I don't think me using a new rig will ruin the net for the entire household.

My internet connection has always been shady and would drop out for maybe 5 minutes a couple times a week. I complained about it, they told me it was my router, I bought new routers, they still told me it was my router. I learned to live with the few minutes of no internet each week.

About two weeks ago though my ping began to shoot through the roof anytime I play ANY online game. This is on my computer, or my girlfriend's computer. So comcast was called and they once again blamed my router because the speeds were great. I asked what they wanted me to be using and they said they could send me their own Gateway that would fix all of my problems. So I got it in the mail two nights ago. Needless to say it fixed nothing.

Comcast is telling me the internet is working as it always has, but I assure you I did not play 1200 hours of Dota 2 while being being unable to control my character or staring at a frozen image. I've tried opening ports (though they never were open before), I tried resetting everything, I tried yelling to the heavens for help, but nothing will work.

If I run speed tests my downloads are 25mbs, upload 4mbs, and ping is 40ms. If I go to cmd and ping google.com or steampowered.com I get 35ms and 80ms pings respectively. I will however get 1-3 pings in a row about every 10-15 pings that come in at 150-1100ms. I ran a ping to steampowered.com while playing Dota 2 today and those jumps in ping happen at the same exact time that I freeze up in game. What could be causing this, how can I fix it?! Someone please help because Comcast swears up and down everything is fine.

I will be forever in debt to anyone who can solve my problems, thank you!

 

 

 

Comments

  • ToxiaToxia Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1,319Member Uncommon

    You gotta tell them the right thing and get them to come out and test lines

    Tell them nothing is working, that your router is hooked up and showing green lights but internet still dont work(have router off)

    they'll have toc ome out n check your lines as theyll think thats the problem.

    The Deep Web is sca-ry.

  • grndzrogrndzro Reno, NVPosts: 1,150Member

    The internet company may charge you if they come out and find nothing wrong.

    Do a traceroute on your line to see if there is problematic hubs. If found report it to the cable company.

    Exchange your router if it was provided by the cable company. They usually will do this for free.

    Purchase a network card from newegg. Usually under 10$

    Clean and tune up windows. Trim unneded services.

    Run Trendmicro housecall.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,052Member Uncommon

    Sounds like either you are being throttled by internet provider (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwidth_throttling)

    Or your router is having issues (sometimes pluging it out from power and resetting does wonders)

    Here is a great way to test

    http://www.pingtest.net/

    In either way look for packet loss - this is critical for online gaming

     

    image

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Toxia

    You gotta tell them the right thing and get them to come out and test lines

    Tell them nothing is working, that your router is hooked up and showing green lights but internet still dont work(have router off)

    they'll have toc ome out n check your lines as theyll think thats the problem.

    This will not work.  As stated above, if they find nothing wrong, they like to charge customers for wasted service calls.

     

    You should make it clear to your ISP that the problem is intermittent.  Don't say anything about games.  Record the exact dates and times the problem occurs for a few weeks and give that to them.  They can check logs of various things.

     

    The next time it happens, instead of doing a ping in command prompt, do a tracert.  That will be much more useful in determining the cause of the fault.  Here is the exact command I would suggest using:  tracert -d -w 250 8.8.8.8

    You can copy that to clipboard and paste it by right-clicking on the blue bar at the top of the command prompt window.  Since your intermittent issue has only a short window to troubleshoot, it does not waste time resolving host names and it does not waste more than 250ms waiting for a response.  The IP address 8.8.8.8 is Google's public DNS server and can be replaced with any other IP address, but not a website name like yahoo.com.

    Run the command as many times as you can until pings return to normal then post the results here.  More can possibly be done after we see those results.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by syntax42

    Originally posted by Toxia You gotta tell them the right thing and get them to come out and test lines Tell them nothing is working, that your router is hooked up and showing green lights but internet still dont work(have router off) they'll have toc ome out n check your lines as theyll think thats the problem.
    This will not work.  As stated above, if they find nothing wrong, they like to charge customers for wasted service calls.

     

    You should make it clear to your ISP that the problem is intermittent.  Don't say anything about games.  Record the exact dates and times the problem occurs for a few weeks and give that to them.  They can check logs of various things.

     

    The next time it happens, instead of doing a ping in command prompt, do a tracert.  That will be much more useful in determining the cause of the fault.  Here is the exact command I would suggest using:  tracert -d -w 250 8.8.8.8

    You can copy that to clipboard and paste it by right-clicking on the blue bar at the top of the command prompt window.  Since your intermittent issue has only a short window to troubleshoot, it does not waste time resolving host names and it does not waste more than 250ms waiting for a response.  The IP address 8.8.8.8 is Google's public DNS server and can be replaced with any other IP address, but not a website name like yahoo.com.

    Run the command as many times as you can until pings return to normal then post the results here.  More can possibly be done after we see those results.


    +1 - do this

    No telling where the problem is - it could be your router, it could be your ISP, it could be some farmer in Idaho ran over a fiber optic line while he was plowing up potatoes and it's nothing to do with you or your ISP.

    tracert will tell you where the problem is though.

    98% chance that your new PC has nothing to do with it. 90% chance your router has nothing to do with it either. The cable company only checks for problems between you and them, they don't check between them and the rest of the world - and there's a lot of "rest of the world" where the problem could be.

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,583Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GrubbsGrady
    If I run speed tests my downloads are 25mbs, upload 4mbs, and ping is 40ms. If I go to cmd and ping google.com or steampowered.com I get 35ms and 80ms pings respectively. I will however get 1-3 pings in a row about every 10-15 pings that come in at 150-1100ms

    Does the ping increasing like that happen constantly? If it happens allways when you try, then you could just try to get some Comcast worker to come to check it out. You might end up having to pay Comcast if it's not their fault, but at least their worker will be able to pinpoint where the problem is and tell you how to fix it. It'll likely end up cheaper than trying to fix the problem by replacing your router/other components which likely work just fine.

    You could also try to use the tracert and ping -commands to find out the problem. You could start by checking if ping to your router stays constant, then doing a tracert to some ip address (eg. google, see syntax42's post), and test every hop given by tracert to find out which hop is the first one where you'll get those ping increases to 150-1100ms.

  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member

    Where is your router located/moved your new PC to another room and if you are using wireless and to many walls are between your router and the wirless tend to fuck shit up.

    If not; i would spam your ISP company and if they don't help tell them you are closing your account with them beacuse you have found a better ISP company.

    There is also a small chance that someone is tapping into your line, have you encrypted your router?

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torgrim

    Where is your router located/moved your new PC to another room and if you are using wireless and to many walls are between your router and the wirless tend to fuck shit up.

    If not; i would spam your ISP company and if they don't help tell them you are closing your account with them beacuse you have found a better ISP company.

    There is also a small chance that someone is tapping into your line, have you encrypted your router?

    The OP did not mention wireless.  I would hope they are not using it, as wireless is suceptible to interference from many household devices, like cordless phones and microwaves.  Any serious gamer will ensure they have a solid connection to their wireless router by removing sources of interference and positioning the router as close as feasible to the computer, but only if they are forced to use wireless.  Educated gamers prefer a wired conneciton for lower latency and higher reliability.

     

    Threatening the ISP doesn't produce the best results unles you have exhausted a lot of troubleshooting time with them on the phone.  It would be far better to save it as a last resort because they are used to hearing empty threats.  Instead, spend time on the phone with the support center.  It costs them a LOT to operate phone support centers, so it is in their best interest to get the problem fixed with as few and as short of calls to the service center as possible.

     

    Tapping into someone's line is old-school telephone terminology.  In this day and age, it is far more productive for a hacker to distribute trojan horses by posting fake porn or pirated game downloads on the internet.  Even a wireless router in a residential area is not likely to be snooped because the data transferred is almost never valuable.  That said, any encryption on the wireless is better than none, just to keep your neighbors from using your bandwidth.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon

    I once lived in an apartment, and every so often, my ISP would disconnect for a minute or two. It was always frustrating, because it seemed to occur most frequently when I was trying to raid in Everquest.

    I was on WiFi - 99.9% of the time it was fine. Decent download speeds all the time, ISP (AT&T DSL) wasn't horrible, I would just drop out at random times.

    Turns out, it was my upstairs neighbor using her microwave oven to make popcorn to watch movies. It would interfere with my WiFi, and it would drop out.

    ----

    A few years later, I had moved to my current house. Knowing that WiFi can have intererence issues, I decided to use Powerline Ethernet. It worked fine for a good long while too. Then it started to drop out. I blamed the ISP (a radio link, it's rural area, so that's all we get besides satellite). I switched routers. I changed out ethernet cords. I pulled out my hair. Just every couple of days or so it would disconnect for a minute or two - just long enough to lag me out in the middle of whatever I happened to be playing at the time.

    It was one of my Powerline adapters was starting to fail - it finally totally shit the bed one day and stopped working entirely, and that was the only way I really figured it out (since it worked fine 99% of the time). I switched back over to WiFi and all was good again (as long as no one turned on the microwave oven).

    ----

    Long story short, intermittent troubles are the most difficult to troubleshoot, and it's often something inane and totally not obvious until after you've already figured it out. In both cases, had I just bit the bullet and ran an ethernet cable down the hallway for a few days, I probably would have figured it out sooner than later (but my dog loves to play with that kind of stuff and try to eat it... and I haven't been in a place where I can run CAT5 through the walls yet).

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,174Member Uncommon

    Tapping into lines isn't uncommon. Wardriving is very prevelent among open WiFi networks. However, that doesn't usually give you intermittent ping problems - that usually gives you slow transfer times and bogged down connections (along with the FBI knocking on your door with a warrant for Child Pornography).

    If it's cable, it's also fairly common to have people illegally tap into the cable line and leech the free unencrypted analog signals (old school stealing cable). That degrades the overall network, but that would probably be a more persistent problem as well - all the time crappy internet, along with TV problems. But it's possible.

    It's not so much that someone is trying to steal your data, or sniff your network packets. It's more about them trying to leech your bandwidth or steal free TV channels.

    Now botnets are a different story, but that is more of a malware/virus problem than an internet problem. One of the symptoms can be sluggish internet, but it often has a lot of other problems too, like computer is very slow, lots of reboots/lockups, webcam randomly turns on, etc.

  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

    Thanks for all the responses. I have made some more calls with no luck other than being told I can pay $10 more and my problems will be solved due to a "boost". He guarantees this will now fix my problems 100%, so we will see how that goes.

     

    In the meantime I have tried to do a tracert during the ping spikes, but I can't catch them in time it seems. This is the best I have gotten during them (It isn't the same as someone told me to do as I couldn't get it up in time) hopefully this is still proper?

    http://tinypic.com/r/35db0k4/6

  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member
    Originally posted by syntax42
    Originally posted by Torgrim

    Where is your router located/moved your new PC to another room and if you are using wireless and to many walls are between your router and the wirless tend to fuck shit up.

    If not; i would spam your ISP company and if they don't help tell them you are closing your account with them beacuse you have found a better ISP company.

    There is also a small chance that someone is tapping into your line, have you encrypted your router?

     

     

    Tapping into someone's line is old-school telephone terminology.  In this day and age, it is far more productive for a hacker to distribute trojan horses by posting fake porn or pirated game downloads on the internet.  Even a wireless router in a residential area is not likely to be snooped because the data transferred is almost never valuable.  That said, any encryption on the wireless is better than none, just to keep your neighbors from using your bandwidth.

     

    If your have not encrypted your router you can just search for open Lines with a wireless I used it a lot when i didnt had a job I used some guy internet for free.

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    The OP still has not said how they are connecting to their router:  wired or wireless.

     

    You can copy things in command prompt by right-clicking the bar at the top of the window, and going to edit -> select all, then edit -> copy.  Paste it into a notepad and edit it to remove the lines we don't need to see.

     

    From looking at that screen capture, I only see your pings to the first hop after 10.0.0.1 being extremely high.  That might be something to bring to their attention if you can replicate those results consistently.  Try pinging that IP address (76.117.216.1) for a few minutes at various times of the day and if you get consistently high pings, bring that data to the attention of your ISP.  I have my doubts of that being the culprit, though, because pings after it are fine.  It may just be set to have a very low priority for responding to pings.

     

    Another thing to try is increasing the packet size of your pings by adding "-l 1024" to the end of the line.  That's a lowercase 'L'.  Example:  ping google.com -l 1024

    If you get consistently high packet loss, it could narrow down the cause of the issue.

     

    Again, pings are usually not enough to troubleshoot with.  Use the tracert command I wrote in the first post so it doesn't have to resolve DNS addresses or waste time waiting for a server that doesn't respond fast.  It seems you have a limited time to troubleshoot the issue when it happens, so you need a command that pinpoints the issue fast.  Type it in before gaming so you can alt-tab to it and press enter to make it go.

     

    Another thing I can think of is checking your modem's error logs.  The ISP should have done that, but they often lie about what they see if they don't want to fix it.  You will have to compare the errors in the log with the times you notices interruptions in your gaming.  You are keeping track of those, right?  Accessing your modem's logs should be as simple as typing in the IP address of it in the web browser.  My guess is your modem is 10.0.0.1, based on your traceroute.  That could be something else, though, depending on your home network setup which you have not revealed yet.

  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

    To clear up any confusion here, I am using wired connection for the desktop I have been doing the testing, and where I first noticed the problems. My girlfriend's computer is connected wirelessly and it has the same problems I have at the exact same time. The wii U is also wirelss, which is what we are using for video streaming services, and it will have to load during the same times that I am getting the high pings showing on my desktop. I will try some more tomorrow to catch the tracert at the right time to get some results from that.

    Comcast is calling me tomorrow at 6pm to check on the internet status, and I believe they said they will be sending someone out because our cable has been pixelizing as well (if the cable doesn't work the issue is suddenly serious enough to get us on the phone with two new people and them talk about sending someone out asap).

    I'll post results as soon as I can come up with something to show, thanks.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    As a former cable technician, I am pretty certain your issue is the coax cable in your walls.  Its what causes 90% of the issues with cable internet.  The problem you experienced is Comcast technician's typically are not as well trained as Cox Cable Technicians.  It is a very lazy solution to tell someone its their equipment because it typically isn't and at best it will solve problems long enough so the blame does not go to the cable technician who told you that.

    The easy way to tell what the heck is happening on the lines is to open a web-browser and type in 192.168.100.1  This brings up the cable modem screen.  On the screen in the signal section are several indicators of a bad coax wire.  They are Upstream Signal, Downstream Signal, and MER/SNR.  Here is the acceptable levels of these signals.

    Upstream 38 to 54.  Ideally 42.

    Downstream -10 to 10.  Ideally 0.

    MER/SNR 33 to 54.  Ideally above 37.

     

    If you notice any of these signals outside that range there is a problem with your coax.   If the upstream is too high, or the downstream is too low then your signal is split too many times before it reaches your modem.  If the upstream is too high and the downstream is fine, there is an incorrect amplifier on your line.  If the upstream is too low and the downstream too high, the signal is too strong.  If the MER/SNR is below 33 then its commonly one of the following in order of likelyhood.  Bad fittings at the end of cable; cable is not grounded at entry into home; bad splitter; bad wire.

    There is a possibility it is the cable modem.  However, you are using one of their gateways so it should be fine.  If your old modem was older then 6 years old it probably was too old to begin with.

    There is also the possibility that the problem is on their end.  Comcast usually offers a decent signal to its subscribers, so it should not be an issue but it happens.  Especially on a two week type deal.

    If you do get someone to come to your home to service your cable signal and if Comcast offers any sort of internal wiring insurance, then get the insurance.  Its usually only a couple bucks and there is a 90% chance that it will cover the cost of the service call.

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    The cable line to the modem is something I had not considered, but I should have.  If you live in an area which has experienced below-freezing temperatures for the past few weeks, it is possiible water in the cable froze and damaged the cable.  However, if your cable line is newer than five years, I would be surprised if this has happened.

     

    Your modem's diagnostic page should have signal levels and and error log.  Those can reveal issues with the line and issues with your provider's repeaters.

  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

    The weather has been below freezing here, and we were also directly hit by hurricane sandy- so I don't know if that could have weakened something along the way. I took a screenshot of my up/downstream as noted earlier. Anyone see something off with these?

    http://tinypic.com/r/1nyaeu/6

     

    Just got off work so I'll be doing some more tests when I wake up- will post results.

     

    Someone also suggested that I do this smokeping thing, so I thought I'd post the link to that also in case someone can take information from that http://www.dslreports.com/r3/smokeping.cgi?target=network.fd352eed88de910f849d5347408f04c5.KS

     

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon
    wow that signal is perfect.  From the smoke ping it looks like there is a sudden uptick from 4PM to midnight.  Thats pretty standard for cable service as those are the times of highest activity.
  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    Pings to California are fine all day, but pings to Kansas are sporadic from 5pm to 7am then miraculously get better.  Can you set up pings to other servers using that tool?  It might reveal some routing issues if used in combination with traceroute results.

     

    Right now, it is looking more likely that Comcast has something to fix which affects a lot of people.

  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

    That tool sets itself up so I can't actually select what locations it is testing, or at least I think thats how it is- I can't find any options to go along with it. I've been doing ping/tracert all day and can't get anything that is consistent. Comcast is sending me someone on Sunday morning. I don't know what I am going to show them to prove I have issues, the only constant is If I play a game online, or stream netflix/amazon then you see a constant high ping spike every couple of minutes that lasts for about 3 seconds. I think it sounds minor, but its bad enough to cancel any streams and lose connection from games.

    Trying not to lose hope here but if the comcast people can't help me out on Sunday I think I will be cancelling my service and calling it quits with online games...will have to stream from my tethered phone or something for videos. My knowledge here is limited and they seem to simply not care. They are the only high speed provider available in my area and for the amount of money I am paying its not worth it to have great web browsing speeds but nothing beyond that. This is very depressing, I'll keep everyone updated just incase I somehow find a solution or the tech who comes out can help us. Hopefully it saves someone else a lot of grief.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon
    You can show them the smoke ping.  There is also the possibility that you are experiencing ingress due to a bad fitting and it goes up during that time frame due to cold weather and how radio frequency travels in the air.
  • GrubbsGradyGrubbsGrady brick, NJPosts: 350Member

    So I just decided to try and do some more tests, and I turned my computer on with a game as well as my girlfriends and then streamed a video on the wii. For 30 minutes I was able to keep 0 spikes and have a perfect connection like I had a few weeks ago.

    Around 9:30pm that went to hell and I am right back to where I was. This is the first time I was able to do anything slightly internet intensive and not get lag though. I am running pings/tracerts and I still can't catch the problem with a trace, but I am seeing less of my high pings tonight and more request timeouts. Don't know if that means anything new?

  • syntax42syntax42 Columbus, OHPosts: 1,305Member Uncommon

    Maybe I'm missing something...  Are your ping problems only happening when someone on the network is streaming video?  Does it happen when it is just you on the network with no other devices actively doing something, including Windows updates?  

     

    Your original post seems to indicate an issue when you are the only one on the network.  However, if others are using it, especially for streaming video, you are maxing out your bandwidth and that is what is causing problems.  On cable internet, your bandwidth is shared with people in your neighborhood and your maximum throughput can drop a lot in the evenings.  They may have quality of service assurances set up on their equipment to ensure you still get a minimum amount of bandwidth with reasonable pings, but only if you are not also maxing out your bandwidth.

     

    At this point, I would advise you to record the times of day when your internet is unusable for gaming.  This is assuming it isn't because you are trying to stream video, download files, or run a torrent program.  After a week or two, you should have a pattern you can show to your ISP and that may help them troubleshoot.  If you are unable to play online games due to high pings every night, I would let them know that and tell them you are not satisfied with the service.  DSL is better for gaming because your bandwidth is not affected by others, but it also costs more for the same amount of maximum bandwidth.

     

    We have not eliminated software issues.  Malware can clog bandwidth at unpredictable times or all of the time.  You could have a program on your network which attacks other networks on command that is used in the act of DDOS attacks.  If you haven't done so, install a firewall and scan for viruses.  Microsoft Security Essentials provides free virus protection and there are a few free firewalls out there, like Comodo.

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