Ridiculous latency in online games

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Apoplexy, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Apoplexy

    Apoplexy Member

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    Hi. I'm not sure if this post belongs in this forum or the PC Gaming forum, so my apologies if it's misplaced.

    I moved into my current house in mid September, at which point my roommates and I got Centurylink service installed. I was sitting at 56 ms on the dot for about a month and a half, bar any server side issues with the game. However, a few weeks ago I started having major issues with latency. Sometimes my ping is fine sitting at 56 ms like it always has, but fairly frequently it will spike to 180-200 ms in the middle of a game and stay there until I reset the router. Resetting the router fixes the problem for about 5 minutes, then it spikes again and stagnates around 200 ms. Tonight was atrocious -- I hovered at 500 ms for an entire game of league of legends, spiking up to 800 ms, obviously making the game 100% unplayable.

    I've called Centurylink support 3 times so far, which has been completely useless. They tell me to reset the router, and when I tell them that that only solves the problem temporarily they offer to send a technician to my house for $85. No thanks.

    I'm using a wireless connection, as running an ethernet cord from my roommate's room to my room is not feasible. I've heard Centurylink is particularly inefficient in their server routing, and I'm more than ready to switch ISPs if that will fix the problem.

    However, I'm certainly no networking guru and I want to do everything I can to fix any issue being caused by myself before blaming the ISP. These are my tracert results for a NA League of Legends server:

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Users\Luke>ping battle.net

    Pinging battle.net [12.129.242.30] with 32 bytes of data:
    Request timed out.
    Request timed out.
    Request timed out.
    Request timed out.

    Ping statistics for 12.129.242.30:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

    C:\Users\Luke>tracert 216.133.234.95

    Tracing route to 216.133.234.95 over a maximum of 30 hops

    1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
    2 1 ms 2 ms 2 ms 192.168.0.1
    3 24 ms 24 ms 23 ms tukw-dsl-gw62-254.tukw.qwest.net [63.231.10.254]

    4 23 ms 32 ms 23 ms tukw-agw1.inet.qwest.net [71.217.185.233]
    5 119 ms 120 ms 120 ms sea-brdr-02.inet.qwest.net [67.14.41.18]
    6 114 ms 117 ms 117 ms 63.146.27.70
    7 172 ms 170 ms 174 ms 0.xe-3-0-3.XL3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.114.66]
    8 338 ms 340 ms 338 ms POS6-0-0.GW3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.112.105]
    9 271 ms 278 ms 293 ms internapGIGE-gw.customer.alter.net [157.130.236.
    110]
    10 434 ms 469 ms 476 ms border1.po1-20g-bbnet1.lax010.pnap.net [216.52.2
    55.13]
    11 * * * Request timed out.
    12 * * * Request timed out.
    13 * * * Request timed out.
    14 * * * Request timed out.
    15 * * * Request timed out.
    16 * * * Request timed out.
    17 * * * Request timed out.
    18 * * * Request timed out.
    19 * * * Request timed out.
    20 * * * Request timed out.
    21 * * * Request timed out.
    22 * * * Request timed out.
    23 * * * Request timed out.
    24 * * * Request timed out.
    25 * * * Request timed out.
    26 * * * Request timed out.
    27 * * * Request timed out.
    28 * * * Request timed out.
    29 * * * Request timed out.
    30 * * * Request timed out.

    Trace complete.

    C:\Users\Luke>tracert 216.133.234.95

    Tracing route to 216.133.234.95 over a maximum of 30 hops

    1 2 ms 3 ms 1 ms 192.168.0.1
    2 23 ms 24 ms 23 ms tukw-dsl-gw62-254.tukw.qwest.net [63.231.10.254]

    3 23 ms 24 ms 23 ms tukw-agw1.inet.qwest.net [71.217.185.233]
    4 110 ms 108 ms 108 ms sea-brdr-02.inet.qwest.net [67.14.41.18]
    5 147 ms 100 ms 99 ms 63.146.27.70
    6 117 ms 114 ms 114 ms 0.xe-3-0-3.XL3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.114.66]
    7 289 ms 295 ms 281 ms POS6-0-0.GW3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.112.105]
    8 277 ms 438 ms 432 ms internapGIGE-gw.customer.alter.net [157.130.236.
    110]
    9 232 ms 226 ms 222 ms border1.po1-20g-bbnet1.lax010.pnap.net [216.52.2
    55.13]
    10 * * * Request timed out.
    11 * * * Request timed out.
    12 * * * Request timed out.
    13 * * * Request timed out.
    14 * * * Request timed out.
    15 * * * Request timed out.
    16 * * * Request timed out.
    17 * * * Request timed out.
    18 * * * Request timed out.
    19 * * * Request timed out.
    20 * * * Request timed out.
    21 * * * Request timed out.
    22 * * * Request timed out.
    23 * * * Request timed out.
    24 * * * Request timed out.
    25 * * * Request timed out.
    26 * * * Request timed out.
    27 * * * Request timed out.
    28 * * * Request timed out.
    29 * * * Request timed out.
    30 * * * Request timed out.

    Trace complete.


    Thanks for any help
     
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  3. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

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    If resetting the router resolves the problem (if only temporarily), the issue is likely on your end.

    Since you're on a wireless connection, I'd suggest switching over to a wired connection for testing, and see if the problem persists.

    If it does, you're probably running into some interference, and switching to another channel may resolve it.

    If it doesn't, I'd suspect another computer in the network downloading or uploading something (and this can be any computer, including smartphones, tablets, etc.)
     
  4. Apoplexy

    Apoplexy Member

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    Yeah, I'm kind of leaning on the side of other people downloading stuff while I'm playing. I've asked most of my roommates if they're downloading when I experience lag, but haven't talked to all of them yet. Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Ghiedo27

    Ghiedo27 Senior member

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    It looks like the traffic is getting through your router and modem in 1-2 ms just fine. As long as it's consistently that fast through the first 3 hops, I doubt there's much a tech could do to help.

    If you look at the line with "POS6-0-0.GW3.LAX15.ALTER.NET" in both cases you can see a sharp rise in delay from the previous hop (from ~170ms to 340ish in the first example and ~115ms to 285ish in the second). That's most likely the primary issue for your latency issues. That hop is probably well outside your ISP's network, unfortunately. It wouldn't hurt to call now that you have a specific problem to report, though.

    Just make sure you do a traceroute before you call so you know you have an up to date IP address (152.63.112.105 in this case) and that it is a current issue with that location.
     
  6. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
    Super Moderator

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    Locally OK
    1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
    2 1 ms 2 ms 2 ms 192.168.0.1

    Start to slow down
    3 24 ms 24 ms 23 ms tukw-dsl-gw62-254.tukw.qwest.net [63.231.10.254]
    4 23 ms 32 ms 23 ms tukw-agw1.inet.qwest.net [71.217.185.233]


    Getting Bad

    5 119 ms 120 ms 120 ms sea-brdr-02.inet.qwest.net [67.14.41.18]
    6 114 ms 117 ms 117 ms 63.146.27.70
    7 172 ms 170 ms 174 ms 0.xe-3-0-3.XL3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.114.66]


    Very Bad
    8 338 ms 340 ms 338 ms POS6-0-0.GW3.LAX15.ALTER.NET [152.63.112.105]
    9 271 ms 278 ms 293 ms internapGIGE-gw.customer.alter.net [157.130.236.
    110]
    10 434 ms 469 ms 476 ms border1.po1-20g-bbnet1.lax010.pnap.net [216.52.2
    55.13]


    :cool:
     
  7. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

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    Traceroute is only useful as a performance diagnostic in a completely controlled environment, and even then, it's not that useful. Excessive latency on remote hops could be caused by transient bandwidth bottlenecks on the local network.
     
  8. Ghiedo27

    Ghiedo27 Senior member

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    Right, it's important to remember that every new line is a totally different packet and that added latency can happen anywhere up to that point. However, if you run traceroute multiple times and the increase in latency is regularly on the same hop, you at least have a case for reasonable suspicion.
     
  9. Apoplexy

    Apoplexy Member

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    I talked to my roommates, and it turned out one of them was torrenting like there was no tomorrow. Asked him to lay off and my ping seems to have gotten better. However right now I'm hovering at 300 ping and my roommate says he isn't torrenting.

    On the other hand, my other roommate is hosting a minecraft server on our network. I'm assuming this is taking up pretty much 100% of our upload, but would this cause high ping for me as well? I'm also getting ~.5 mbps when I'm paying for 20 mbps. Any ideas? Thanks
     
  10. theevilsharpie

    theevilsharpie Platinum Member

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    You know how your roommates claimed to have laid off the torrenting?

    They lied.
     
  11. Apoplexy

    Apoplexy Member

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    I just went around to all of my roommates and watched them run a speed test -- they didn't have any torrent programs running in the task bar that I saw, and I really don't think they're lying. The internet went back to 20 mbps / 30 ms ping for about 30 seconds an hour ago, so I played a game of LoL, but as soon as I started it went back to hovering between 300-400 ms -.-. This is the most frustrating thing. I just want to solve this problem.
     
  12. Danimal1209

    Danimal1209 Senior member

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    It's your friends.....
    Are you paying for this service by yourself or are they pitching in?
     
  13. Apoplexy

    Apoplexy Member

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    Yeah, perhaps you are right. We're all pitching in ~$5 a month, which is pretty cheap. Still, I feel like there should be something specifically causing the abysmal latency and download speeds. My roommate runs his minecraft server all the time with no issues on my end, and all my other roommates are going about their normal internet activities tonight.

    I talked to my friend who lives ~10 blocks away and also has Centurylink as his ISP -- he was sitting at about 90 ms latency and 6 mbps download (what he pays for), while I'm at 400 ms latency and .35 mbps download (about 2% of what I'm paying for).

    If it really is just too much congestion on the network from my roommates, would upgrading to a faster provider be the solution?
     
  14. Danimal1209

    Danimal1209 Senior member

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    Using nearly all the upload capability can bring the entire network to a halt.
    Torrenting does the same.

    What router do you have?

    You could also log in to the router and see if you can change some QOS settings to favor your gaming.

    If your buddy is paying for 25% of the bill, have him limit his torrenting to 25% of the internet speed.
     
    #13 Danimal1209, Dec 11, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  15. s44

    s44 Diamond Member

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    Run QOS on your router.

    Heck, make sure you're running one with enough horsepower and a stable enough firmware to handle your local load.

    Tomato on an Asus or Linksys N router is probably your best option.