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Contributor
Kshanaha
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Short Version - My internet spikes, mostly during online gaming but sometimes noticeable during less intensive things, and continues to do so after a lot of troubleshooting (bypassing router, testing different machines and games) and replacing as much hardware as possible.  I can't figure out what is going on but it makes most online games unplayable.

 

Long Version - Previous to this problem, my internet was extremely fast and consistent.  I rarely experienced any lag spikes even while using my Linksys E3200 Wireless Router (which I believe is a decently powerful router, but I am clueless about these things).

 

A little over a week ago (Saturday, May 26th around 8-10pm) my dogs ran into the little desk I keep my modem and router on.  This effectively disconnected my internet (nothing fell, or was obviously unplugged, but the internet was out and the green lights were orange instead).  After rebooting my modem and router (unplug, wait, plug back in) my internet was back up and working.  However this is when the spiking began.

 

Basically what happens is my internet/connection will be chugging along at super fast speeds (at least, I assume a sub 100 ms ping/latency is fast since it seems pretty fast compared to most other "gamers" I play with).  Then it will spike, popping up to a few hundred ms, sometimes even approaching 1000ms or over.  Please note, my FPS stay in the same general 30-60 (depending on game) so I do not think it is a graphical issue.  These spikes occur frequently during online gaming, often once every 10-20 seconds, maybe even more frequent if a lot of stuff is going on (a lot of animations and things on screen).

 

A list of troubleshooting things I have tried or tried with Comcast techs and phone support

 

- Test other games

- Test other computers

- 2 Full virus scans from different virus scanning services (McAfee and I forget which)

- Disable firewall

- Connect directly into the modem, bypassing router which is unplugged and wi-fi thing on comp turned off

- Replace Modem and coaxial cable - replaced both with my own equipment that I purchased and then later with comcast leased equipment

- Replace router and ethernet cable - tested with a brand new router and ethernet cable, actually replaced ethernet cable twice

- Comcast tech came out to replace the cable from the street up to the house (orange one that is buried)

- 2nd Comcast tech came out to replace the cable that connects to the orange one and brings it into the house (black one that wraps around the house and comes into the outlet

 

As far as I can tell, everything has been replaced that could have possibly been damaged by the dogs.  In addition to that, I believe at this point everything that brings the internet from the street to my personal computer has been replaced and still the spiking is occuring.  Is it possible there is something going on downstream (upstream? some directional stream) that is causing this and the D/C just somehow triggered or worsened it's effect?

 

Sorry for the incredibly long message, just wanted to get as much info in as possible.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,719
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Looks like the "due diligence" was done. You could try escalating your issue via this method;

 

Send an email to:

we_can_help@comcast.com

Include all of your information, full name, service address, phone numbers where you can be reached easily, as well as the phone number associated with your account, your account number, and details about all the issues you have been having. Also include a link to this post.

 

Contributor
Kshanaha
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Thank you, I will try that.  I was not aware of this resource.

 

If anyone else has any ideas though, I will also continue checking this forum just in case.

 

I'll reply if/when the issue is resolved.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,719
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Good luck with it !

Contributor
Kshanaha
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Are there any kind of tests I could run to help diagnose the problem while I wait for a response from the comcast escalation specialist?  Something along the lines of a tracer route or ping a specific IP or web adress?  I have seen others mention something about downstream and upstream numbers on the modem.

 

Basically just looking for anything that can help me gather more information that might help find the exact location of the problem.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,719
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Certainly. You can make note of the modem's signal stats when things are good and then again when they are bad for a reference. You could also perform and document some traces to say www.google.com.  And also perform and document extended pings your WAN (Comcast default gateway) to look for jitter / high latency / packet loss.

New Visitor
Fumeden
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-07-2012

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

I'm having the same prboblem, and have been for a few days.  Dogs didn't break anything, but I'm noticing my latency (when gaming) jumping from 35ms to 816+ .  Its happening about 10-15 secs.  I've reset the modem, router, PC, checked for spyware, malware, viruses.

Contributor
Kshanaha
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

I took at look at some of the connection sticky messages on this board and eventually found my way to my modem information page.  After comparing all my modem's "stats" to what the stickies indicate are decent levels it looks like everything checks out...

 

Except for my Upstream power levels.  I unfortunately don't have the info in front of me (at work and didn't think to post this earlier" but the upstream power level was showing right around 32 (like 31.something or 32.something) which appears to be slightly below the recommended amounts.

 

Is it possible this could be causing my issue?  I think the modem that was replaced is a refurbished thing (has a big "Tested" sticker on it) and I was wondering if this upstream power level is something that might be affected by the specific modem.  As in, if I were to buy a new modem would it be likely to have a better upstream power level (assuming 32 power level is not good with DOCSIS 3).  Also, how do I know if my line is currently DOCSIS 3 or DOCSIS 2?

 

Unfortunately, comcast folks have been monitoring my line for the last couple of days (I guess from their end) and have been unable to find any issues.  A tech is possibly coming this weekend but I was wondering if this was something to possibly direct him toward (since the previous 2 techs were unable to identify any issue, although I actually showed them the spiking in games). 

 

Just for troubleshooting purposes I took my computer to my brother-in-law's house about 5-10 minutes down the street and the lag issues vanished.  And his connection is theoretically worse than mine (Comcast but a cheaper option).

 

While I tried buying a new modem before, this was before comcast replaced all the lines, so I am wondering if I might have more luck this time.  But I don't quite know how upstream power levels work.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,719
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

You stated that the modem was changed. That return (upstream) power level is indeed bit low so the CMTS / system at the headend may be having problems hearing it. The system is supposed to automatically adjust (strengthen) the return power until it can hear the modem reliably. If this is not happening then there is something wrong in the lines / hardware (possibly an amplifier on a pole) somewhere in the neighborhood.

 

You can't fix this. If the premise facing techs decide that it is something that they can't find or fix at your home, it is they who are responsible for escalating an issue to the line / maintenance dept. techs to investigate in the neighborhood and correct. The one thing that you can ask the next premise tech is to please escalate it.

Contributor
Kshanaha
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎06-04-2012

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Oh ok, thank you.  I wasn't sure if that upstream power level was something a new modem would fix.

 

I replaced the original modem when the problem first began, but returned it and went back to the first modem when the new one didnt fix the problem.  I think the 1st tech that came out then replaced that original modem with another modem but I think it was a refurbished modem.  I was thinking (probably irrationally) that a new modem might help again now that they repalced most of the lines coming into the house.  But that is because I didnt realize what that upstream power level meant.


Thank you for the clear explanation.  I will try and direct the 3rd tech to look into that as a possible issue.  The problem I keep running into is each person I speak to thinks the people before him didn't know what they were doing so he goes through the exact same steps and nothing new gets looked at.  It also doesn't help that I cannot seem to find any way of showing the problem without showing it IN a computer game.  Which of course makes it a question of maybe its the computer and nothing is wrong with the network.  Hopefully the fact that I used the same computer and games successfully at a family member's house will help.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,719
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Latency/Ping/Lag Spikes - Can't find the cause

Good luck with it !