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[SOLVED] Can somebody help me interpret these PingPlotter results?

Dec 23, 2019
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Hey guys, I've been having issues with my ping for about 6 months now (moved out for college so it wasn't an issue for 4 months). I've called Cox about 12-13 times at this point and have had 3 tech visits with the boss coming out once himself. They can not solve the issue on their own and even tried charging me for the visit saying that it was our fault for the issue. I disagree as every test I have ran seems to point to the issue being out of our control and on their end but I digress.

The issue I am having is my ping will spike anywhere from 60-400ms every 5-10 seconds and makes using the internet troublesome and playing video games virtually impossible (I play competitive online games at a high rank so any ping spikes at all can ruin a match for me). I have tried everything possible on my end and the issue seems to persist. I have tested multiple computers connected straight into my modem, used differnt modems, and even purchased a new router and the issue is still occuring.

I ran a PingPlotter and would just like if someone can interpret the results and maybe confirm or deny if my assumptions are correct. If anyone has any advice on how to fix this issue on my own I would appreciate it very much, if not maybe just tell me how to get past the cannon fodder of s****y call center representatives that is Cox support.

PingPlotter results: View: https://imgur.com/a/YOWzufR
 
I think you've confirmed that something is wrong at the point of the modem. If the signals levels are correct, then it would be an issue with the modem or noise somehow, but that's still the isp's problem. I think it's safe to call them now and save a screenshot of your modem uncorrectables to show them.
 
Well, the biggest problem I see is that you've got almost 50% packet loss to your first hop which is your own router. :eek:

Try running ping 192.168.1.1 and see what the ping times are like. If you're on wireless, get on a wired connection and try the same test as well. Post the results and we'll go from there. :)
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Well, the biggest problem I see is that you've got almost 50% packet loss to your first hop which is your own router. :eek:

Try running ping 192.168.1.1 and see what the ping times are like. If you're on wireless, get on a wired connection and try the same test as well. Post the results and we'll go from there. :)
When I ping just 192.168.1.1 I do not get any packet loss and ping times are ~0.4ms with two spikes of ~1.6ms after I ran it for 5 minutes. I'm also on a wired connection already.
 
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This tends to be the problem with automated tools like pingplot. You have to really double check so sometimes it is easier to just do it manually.

What you now need to do is open a number of cmd windows. You want to leave constant ping run to a number of hops in the list you get from pingplot. The ones to start with are hop1 your router, hop 2 the ISP first router and the final destination. If you find nothing in the first 2 hops continue adding hops. The higher the hop number the farther away it is and you have to hope it is still in control of your ISP, you can do nothing if the problem is say in Level3 or Googles network.

Be very careful interpreting the results. Problems in intermediate hops do not mean anything unless they also cause issue to the final hop.
 
Dec 23, 2019
14
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This tends to be the problem with automated tools like pingplot. You have to really double check so sometimes it is easier to just do it manually.

What you now need to do is open a number of cmd windows. You want to leave constant ping run to a number of hops in the list you get from pingplot. The ones to start with are hop1 your router, hop 2 the ISP first router and the final destination. If you find nothing in the first 2 hops continue adding hops. The higher the hop number the farther away it is and you have to hope it is still in control of your ISP, you can do nothing if the problem is say in Level3 or Googles network.

Be very careful interpreting the results. Problems in intermediate hops do not mean anything unless they also cause issue to the final hop.
I ran a tracerroute and got all the IP's between me and google.com. Hop1 seems to be fine with 100 pings with <1ms every time and 0% loss. Hop2 (10.x.x.x) I am getting 6ms min, 87ms max, with 14ms average. I then ran hop2 and hop3 at the same time and it seems like these ping spikes are carrying over and I'm assuming explains the fluctuations in game since usually I am at ~55ms to the game server but it will spike to a maximum of 130ms sometimes higher.

I'll also add that it isn't a constant issue and sometimes the ping will spike but it isn't to detrimental (rarely happens) but previously I have pinged the 10.x.x.x address and have seen times of 200ms+. It doesn't seem to be effected by the time of day/traffic either because I have had it been fine at peak hours with everyone in my house online but other times at 2am with no one else home it will be unusable.
 
Leave the ping cmds run in background windows. When the problem happens in the game you can check to see if the ping show the same issue.

If the second hop had packet loss the ISP would tend to fix it. Spikes in the latency they tend to not want to fix. Since it is intermittent they likely also have issues detecting it themselves. Although it can be network equipment issues in general delays are a result of a overloaded connection. It could be something like too many of your neighbors are using the network. This generally does not happen much anymore since the networks are so fast. It also only happens on something like cable tv connections, things like DSL the connection between you and the ISP are not shared.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Leave the ping cmds run in background windows. When the problem happens in the game you can check to see if the ping show the same issue.

If the second hop had packet loss the ISP would tend to fix it. Spikes in the latency they tend to not want to fix. Since it is intermittent they likely also have issues detecting it themselves. Although it can be network equipment issues in general delays are a result of a overloaded connection. It could be something like too many of your neighbors are using the network. This generally does not happen much anymore since the networks are so fast. It also only happens on something like cable tv connections, things like DSL the connection between you and the ISP are not shared.
I just ran the ping test and yes the spikes in game occur as the same time as the ping spikes to the ISP. When I say intermittent it's probably fine around 24 hours out of a week. I've never had this issue before in the entire time I've been in this house and I've had cox the entire time. I don't know what to do at this point as I can't fix the issue on my own and it seems like my ISP refuses/can't fix the issue. But at the same time I'm not receiving the service I'm paying for in my opinion.
 

Wacabletech06

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Jul 4, 2019
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I do not work for Cox, but I work for another major cable company. Some of this stuff you may need to look up at a cox faq but what I want to know is what are your signal levels at the modem, and what are the error logs. If you own the modem or you are SURE its just a modem then its usually obtained by going to 192.168.100.1 which does not usually need a login and only works from your LAN. If its a gateway device (does routing, wireless, and modem in one device) it may be different depending on the company. Go to IPconfig and note the gateway IP, try going to that IP in a web browser and that should get you to a login screen next you have to look up the login usually admin and password but not always.

What we are looking for is -10 to +10 with SNR >34 on the downstream signal logs and <53 for upstream I prefer to see it between 35 and 45, though it will work up to 53 by the DOCSIS 3.0 extended standard which I will assume any large MSO has deployed by now since the DOCSIS 4.0 standard was released about 2 months ago [which is basically the DOCSIS 3.1 standard with full duplex enabled but I digress].

The second hop {if only one router at least]on your tracert should be the cmts. pinging to there is all you really need to do anything else and the entire area notices and trouble calls flood in, trust me. The on call guy gets called out real fast in that case. The problem is any part between your modem and the cmts can be the cause. A little more logic gets applied like is your whole neighborhood having issues your whole street or just your house?

If you know any of your neighbors you can try the same thing at their house and if they do not have the issue that reduces the likely problem down to the tap port you're off to your modem including all house wiring. What I suspect your logs will show is T3 errors which if within spec, means interference from bad or loose wires, and not necessarily the outlet your modem is attached to either, any loose or open fitting in the house allows the interference into your house network and interferes with the return on the return on the modem. In a 2 way communication if one deceive cannot request data, the other cannot send it. The average slightly experienced cable tech should know to and how to look for interference with his or her signal level meter and isolate to remove it as well as check the quality of signal and signal loss on the drop [wire that comes from tap to your house], and advice you what needs to be done. The hardest thing is to get old people to let you disable outlets they are not using but causing problems. They lived in a time where everything was activated, in the digital world that's no longer the case but you can't convince them of this no matter what. They view it as an evil ploy to make you call them out and charge them more money.
 
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Dec 23, 2019
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I do not work for Cox, but I work for another major cable company. Some of this stuff you may need to look up at a cox faq but what I want to know is what are your signal levels at the modem, and what are the error logs. If you own the modem or you are SURE its just a modem then its usually obtained by going to 192.168.100.1 which does not usually need a login and only works from your LAN. If its a gateway device (does routing, wireless, and modem in one device) it may be different depending on the company. Go to IPconfig and note the gateway IP, try going to that IP in a web browser and that should get you to a login screen next you have to look up the login usually admin and password but not always.

What we are looking for is -10 to +10 with SNR >34 on the downstream signal logs and <53 for upstream I prefer to see it between 35 and 45, though it will work up to 53 by the DOCSIS 3.0 extended standard which I will assume any large MSO has deployed by now since the DOCSIS 4.0 standard was released about 2 months ago [which is basically the DOCSIS 3.1 standard with full duplex enabled but I digress].

The second hop {if only one router at least]on your tracert should be the cmts. pinging to there is all you really need to do anything else and the entire area notices and trouble calls flood in, trust me. The on call guy gets called out real fast in that case. The problem is any part between your modem and the cmts can be the cause. A little more logic gets applied like is your whole neighborhood having issues your whole street or just your house?

If you know any of your neighbors you can try the same thing at their house and if they do not have the issue that reduces the likely problem down to the tap port you're off to your modem including all house wiring. What I suspect your logs will show is T3 errors which if within spec, means interference from bad or loose wires, and not necessarily the outlet your modem is attached to either, any loose or open fitting in the house allows the interference into your house network and interferes with the return on the return on the modem. In a 2 way communication if one deceive cannot request data, the other cannot send it. The average slightly experienced cable tech should know to and how to look for interference with his or her signal level meter and isolate to remove it as well as check the quality of signal and signal loss on the drop [wire that comes from tap to your house], and advice you what needs to be done. The hardest thing is to get old people to let you disable outlets they are not using but causing problems. They lived in a time where everything was activated, in the digital world that's no longer the case but you can't convince them of this no matter what. They view it as an evil ploy to make you call them out and charge them more money.
Thank you for this very detailed reply! I actually called Cox to inform them that my S/N ratio was off and power was very off. If I recall correctly it was 20+dBmV. After this they came and attached an amplifier on the signal coming into my house and two attenuaters further down the line and, after just checking, the power levels range from -0.4dBmV to 6.8dBmV and the S/N ratio ranges from 34.8dB to 39.7dB.

Last time I called they said no one else in the area reported any similar issues, but my neighborhood consists of mostly older folks so they might not be noticing slight spikes in ping as much as someone who plays an online game might.

Last time a tech came out it was a temp tech that was flown in from Florida so maybe he was not as qualified or something and had issues detecting the problem. But the next time the boss or manager or whoever came by and ran a bunch of tests and said he saw the issue and tried a couple things to fix it to no avail. I eventually moved back to school and since no one else in my house was greatly effected and the problem just never got fixed, so I'm not sure how it was left off.
 
I think you're on the right track by checking the signal levels. Also look at the correctable and uncorrectable errors. Shouldn't be too many of those either. To give you some comparison, my modem has been up for 23 days and the max uncorrectables is just over 12,000 and correcables is 575. (Actually, this sounds a bit high to me, but my connection seems fine and pings are good too.)
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
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If you were at +20db there was no need for an amplifier and it needs to be removed. Maybe it was put on initially until something down the line was fixed and then it never got removed, but +20 Db is overdrive. Consider someone taking a megaphone and yelling in it 10 foot from you. Your ears would accept the waves but your brain would say No Effing way. So is the modem. But this should be showing up as T4 errors. I actually run my modem at +12/30 just to see the actual limits for errors and since November 15th when I had my drop changed, I have had one T4 but levels change as temperature does too so it was probably over +13 at that point. I also keep my cables new and clean so its not real world but theoretical limits.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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I think you're on the right track by checking the signal levels. Also look at the correctable and uncorrectable errors. Shouldn't be too many of those either. To give you some comparison, my modem has been up for 23 days and the max uncorrectables is just over 12,000 and correcables is 575. (Actually, this sounds a bit high to me, but my connection seems fine and pings are good too.)
My modem has been up for 6 days and my max uncorrectables is 316,139 and my max correctables is 706,812,250 in the same channel. Now comparing my numbers to yours I would say that there's a pretty major issue with mine lol. I feel like this may be causing the issues I'm experiencing. This same channel has a 1.7dBmV power level and 32.8dB S/N ratio so it seems strange that there would be this many issues. I remember when my power levels were to high and the amount of corrected/uncorrectables was very high on every channel

It won't let me post an image of my modem status page or else I would but nearly every channel has over 1 million corrected with very few being less than that and even then are still in the tens/hundreds of thousands and the number of uncorrectables seems to spike around channels 11-30 with the results as follows.

4 = 16
9 = 57
11 = 2384
12 = 7304
17 = 17870
18 = 316139
19 = 11070
20 = 18332
21 = 4562
22 = 6326
25 = 312
26 = 5908
27 = 2188
28 = 2323
29 = 5094
30 = 8608
33 = 30
34 = 31
 
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Reactions: SamirD
Dec 23, 2019
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If you were at +20db there was no need for an amplifier and it needs to be removed. Maybe it was put on initially until something down the line was fixed and then it never got removed, but +20 Db is overdrive. Consider someone taking a megaphone and yelling in it 10 foot from you. Your ears would accept the waves but your brain would say No Effing way. So is the modem. But this should be showing up as T4 errors. I actually run my modem at +12/30 just to see the actual limits for errors and since November 15th when I had my drop changed, I have had one T4 but levels change as temperature does too so it was probably over +13 at that point. I also keep my cables new and clean so its not real world but theoretical limits.
They came to do the "repairs" about 4 months ago so I may not be remembering correctly but, if I recall, they said that the amplifier was put onto my cable for my TV's so it would have enough power to go into the splitter for every TV in my house. I'm not exactly sure if this relates to my internet as I have a decent understanding of networking but more on the electronics level opposed to the electrical.

When you said this error was a T4 error would this be related to the event log in my modem? I see that there are about 50 events in the past 6 days with event levels 4,5,6. with 6 being the most common. I'm not sure if this is normal or not though.

You reminded me that I also replaced every cable with a brand new and confirmed to be working ones.
 
I think you've confirmed that something is wrong at the point of the modem. If the signals levels are correct, then it would be an issue with the modem or noise somehow, but that's still the isp's problem. I think it's safe to call them now and save a screenshot of your modem uncorrectables to show them.
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
45
2
565
5
When you said this error was a T4 error would this be related to the event log in my modem? I see that there are about 50 events in the past 6 days with event levels 4,5,6. with 6 being the most common. I'm not sure if this is normal or not though.

You reminded me that I also replaced every cable with a brand new and confirmed to be working ones.
Unless you have like 5 splitters to feed tv you do not need the amp. Your levels are too high. T3/T4 is an event log error yes.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Unless you have like 5 splitters to feed tv you do not need the amp. Your levels are too high. T3/T4 is an event log error yes.
Just double checked and they actually removed the amplifier that there was on it, I guess at some point one was needed but it wasn’t any more, currently there are just two attenuators.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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I think you've confirmed that something is wrong at the point of the modem. If the signals levels are correct, then it would be an issue with the modem or noise somehow, but that's still the isp's problem. I think it's safe to call them now and save a screenshot of your modem uncorrectables to show them.
Thank you very much, I’ll contact them with this information and see where to go from there!
 

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