At about 6 pm I start getting frequent high ping spikes even if no one is using the Internet
I'm on cable. In the day time I get 20-30 ping and after 6 pm I start getting ping spikes up to 1000 ping. On weekends it starts even earlier.Are you on cable, DSL, satellite, what?
What kind of ping are you seeing in the day and how is it different at night?
Unolocogringo is probably spot on that it's the fact that at night everybody is home and they are browsing, gaming, streaming, etc., just like you. Especially if you are on cable and do not have a dedicated unshared line. If you have other people at your house that are using your own connection at night too, that probably makes it even worse. Also, people in OTHER places are accessing those game servers at night as well, and server congestion probably also adds to the mix.
This just comfirms mine and @Unolocogringo theory - your ISP hasn't upgraded the link from your neighborhood to its central location. I'm afraid there;s nothing you can do but ride their a$$ and complain.I'm on cable. In the day time I get 20-30 ping and after 6 pm I start getting ping spikes up to 1000 ping. On weekends it starts even earlier.