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Question Internet speed through WIFI drops during games

DoctorPokerFace

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Hey guys, so I recently built another new PC, and works great. However, my WIFI speed is incredibly inconsistent. I have a 500 Mbps plan from my provider and most of the time I only get around 140-ish Mbps. I can temporarily solve this issue by quickly disconnecting and reconnecting to my internet, and then I get around 460-500 Mbps. But of course, after a while of gaming, I start to rubber-band. So I quickly go check my network speed, and there it is again... 140 Mbps. I also noticed that my speed drops when I leave my PC on standby or just boot it up.

Any help is appreciated. I've been dealing with this issue for far too long. Thanks, gamers.
 
The good news is games don't care about the speed and will actually be more stable at lower connection speeds because the signal is harder to damage. You really shouldn't play games on wifi if you have any other option.

Now this is only a guess but you should be able to look at the network status of the connection and see what data rate it connects at. This is really not a speed but a data encoding.

What I suspect is happening is you are running the newest encoding called QAM1024. This is on wifi6 and some 802.11ac devices. This is a extremely dense data encoding which is how you get the high speed. Because it is so dense it is much easier to get damaged bits and have the data re transmitted...causing ping spikes. What wifi does is if it gets too many errors it will drop to a lower encoding rate. It does not actually completely drop the connection but you get lots of issues right at the moment it switches.

Now if it is still unstable at the lower rates you maybe just getting lots of interference. Now it can be other stuff. If you have repeaters in your house it could be jumping to a different radio. Some also jump back and forth on the 2.4 and 5g radios if you have the SSID set the same.

The actual best way to run games is to force the radios to run 20mhz and run your game on the 2.4g radio. This is going to get much slower speedtest results but the data encoding is much simpler and you are using less bandwidth so you reduce your chance of interference.

Then again wifi is a huge pain when you are trying to run games which is why it is not recommended. So many things cause issues that you do not even notice on almost every other application.
 

Herr B

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Connect your Computer with a cable to the router.

Wifi Signals are not suitable for stuff requiring a stable, consistent network connection (such as gaming).

wifi relies on magnetic fields which nearly all devices nowadays create. Even depending on the material in your walls, your wifi connection can fall off completely already the next room. A Big Motor from a vacuum, washing or kitchen machine can kill your wifi.

Amazon even had one instance where they built a storage beneath a motor factory. Their storage system wasn't working because the electric motors of the opposite factory killed their wifi signal. Wifi is just way to fragile..
 
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microtank

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The real question is what are using to get online wirelessly. Cause gaming can be done wirelessly. My favorite gaming server has a average of 58 ping all day today. A game I just played on I had a average ping of 34. Depending on your wireless network, will easily determine what's probably going on. But you haven't provided any information on what you are using to get the PC online wireless, and have mentioned how many devices are connected to this wireless network.. 500 mbps... ya I game on 4 mbps, and on pure wireless I have proven to myself that 512 kbps not 512 mbps can play gears of war 4 online without any issues. What's your entire set up?
 
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Herr B

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ya I game on 4 mbps, and on pure wireless I have proven to myself that 512 kbps not 512 mbps can play gears of war 4 online without any issues. What's your entire set up?
As said before. For gaming the internet speed is of secondary thought. The network stability/packet loss is the important measurement.
There are just too many variables for stable wifi gaming in order to give a general reccomendation from my point of view.. If you are located in a heavily occupied urban environment, I would generally advise against it. Way too many opposing neighbour networks and chances that surrounding flats will destroy your signal. At best the wifi router is located in the same room (which kind of opposes its use)
worst thing is that your ping is good, and every now and then you have lag spikes due to signal inteference.
 
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microtank

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As said before. For gaming the internet speed is of secondary thought. The network stability/packet loss is the important measurement.
There are just too many variables for stable wifi gaming in order to give a general reccomendation from my point of view.. If you are located in a heavily occupied urban environment, I would generally advise against it. Way too many opposing neighbour networks and chances that surrounding flats will destroy your signal. At best the wifi router is located in the same room (which kind of opposes its use)
worst thing is that your ping is good, and every now and then you have lag spikes due to signal inteference.
there is a number of things you can do about it, and I live in a major city, but it’s still pretty dense for residential one story homes. I live next 2 Air Force bases. One of them is highly sophisticated tech. But the way I have it set up is that it barely raises my ping. Even in a dense condo or apartment. There’s ways around it like lowering the power of the antenna. I’ve tools to see how networking. My main router is at 35 percent and it’s never an issue with gaming
 
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Herr B

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there is a number of things you can do about it, and I live in a major city, but it’s still pretty dense for residential one story homes. I live next 2 Air Force bases. One of them is highly sophisticated tech. But the way I have it set up is that it barely raises my ping. Even in a dense condo or apartment. There’s ways around it like lowering the power of the antenna. I’ve tools to see how networking. My main router is at 35 percent and it’s never an issue with gaming
That was not the point I was trying to make. Not everybody has the tools / knowledge available to achieve this.
Additionally it might work well for you but not for others.
Im an IT technician myself and I gave up on getting a stable wifi connection for gaming.
Worst thing I encountered was my huawei phone. When bluetooth was enabled, it would just act as a signal jammer and nobody in 15-20 meters range would have wifi connection at all anymore.

The amount of wifi issues I encounter in my dayjob is insane. Most often, a cable Is the most straight forward and reliable option. And be it just for testing if the issue is with the local wifi or with the provider/software the latter can be easily ruled out by testing with a cable.
 
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microtank

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I know what you’re talking about, I’ve been disconnected because of a garbage truck before because they have radios. But all those problems are gone.

we have 300 mbps in the house, half it is most likely used by 6 4K security cameras. We also have 3 Alexa’s one with a tablet that is continuously obtaining a lot of data. We have a Mac computer that has never been shut off for almost 3 years and I still never tried a speed test on what it’s getting wirelessly. So if it’s even getting 50 to 100 that leaves us with 75 mbps. Then we have 2 phones that aren’t mine and 2 iPads, and the iPads are usually on that aren’t mine. And those devices are on the default settings for updates and notifications. This doesn’t even include the total number of device which in total is 32 wireless devices.

I only use 4 mbps at max. My mini network gives me control of what I can do about the situation, my computer is configured to make sure issues don’t occur when I’m playing video games that only need 33.6 kbps. The adjustments I’ve had done on my devices that provide my mini wireless network always seem to improve success rate of server time out reduction. I only lose 1.0 percent of my packets for a entire of 16 hours straight of wireless connectivity. I’ve ran 7 devices on 6 mbps without any problems, no video buffering, no gaming lag, and it probably could’ve been more if it weren’t for hardware limitations and on the number of devices I got. Pure wireless can be done. 6 mbps is a estimate due to forgetting to observe a few other things, but that doesn’t really change anything. I never hear my one complain about the receiver or the transmitter in these devices anyways. And that’s usually the problem. Cause chances are people have extremely good internet and they still say it’s slow.

a cellphone doesn’t have the best receiver, a cell phone or radio tower transmitting that for you so you can have a compact phone. The misunderstand the rules and regulations of the FCC and transmitting massive amounts of data from a unit that broadcast radio signals and not receiving. Those are two different things and the fact remains a wireless network can do a certain amount of feet on paper when it comes to distance, but don’t even know what the CPU’s of all these devices and routers are doing while dependent on radio transmissions there is always going to be problems even if you stand right next to it.

there’s so many factors to include even if you have a 500 dollar wireless router.

I my advice. If you get something brand new on the market with this new tech, you have to understand that you might be stuck with it for a long time or you will be stuck buying even more and new stuff until it works and it’s costly and unstable when you realize it’s for the the sake of having internet access.

people to this day still provide misinformation about these devices and the biggest conundrum is not knowing the difference between mbps and MBps, and the fact that if you’re using a windows machine for example. What you’re usually seeing is the decimal amounts for data and not the binary conversions, and apple computers does binary. So it’s a mess, and when I find out people in rural areas are trying to watch Netflix and browse the internet on satellite internet and god knows what multiple devices.. and then try DSL and complain about it? No. I’m not accepting it.

wireless can be done and be recommended for online gaming I didn’t see here so aggressive testing and stabilizing the wireless connections for all this time, day in and day out to be told that someone with a specialization in IT and not specifying that expertise of point of interest... come on man.. I know for a fact that dial up inter via 56k modem is sustainable and still a good choice if you. Know. What. You’re. Doing. The fact these routers do even have a init string command or some of these modems do not have them has put more problems on the consumer, because they assume they want try anything, so now all we get is a handful of settings, and on the newer devices some of those settings are taken out. To this day, I still have a old linksys wireless N usb 300N adapter, and by default factory setting it will crash my windows PC, just like it was brand new. A wireless linksys usb 1200AC by default was giving me the same issues, and but this time, by default it’s stuck on AC, and gods knows what was wrong with the wireless N USB adapter when I was young, cause even after a firmware update which I know exists I still had connection issues, and I was in the room next door to the router. But somebody was using all the mbps on my wireless network, and not even understanding what his computer does while he even games. And then that was the same thing on my end, but I still took as many steps blindly not having tools to address the issue and... I still had problems playing quake 3 arena, but for some reason Metroid prime hunters on a DS and unreal tournament 3 on a Xbox 360 had literally no issues, until his computer decided it needed to automatically use bandwidth, knowing that World of Warcraft during those days barely uses 16 kbps in total and that’s technically 8kbps each for both upload and download.

if you reject old games and what limitations they has to deal with back in the day and how they overcome them with dial up internet including the big 3, 28.8 kbps, 33.6 kbps, and the 56 kbps modems.. no.. I achieved less than 90 ping on a quake 3 arena for a Sega Dreamcast using its dial up 56k modem. The entire benefit of that working online and still play it today and many other old games that still have servers.. if you want to play games wirelessly, it can be done, and it can be done with massive interference from other wireless devices. Cause you still have to ask yourself.. if cellphone companies can still provide service in a stadium full of people... then why can’t I do it with my own wireless network in a highly dense area? Cause people still don’t know init strings are used today and they are paying for a 2nd internet service.

gaming can be done online wirelessly. And it actually can work extremely well, especially if literally have no access to the main router/modem.. cause these combos are a disaster and do not have the proper dbi antennas.

for gaming, you need the proper bandwidth with a maximum of 9 mbps download and a maximum of 1 upload to play any game you want online. You will want 100 percent signal and observe the reading consistently. One glance is not good enough and one way of doing is not good enough. If you want to broadcast radio waves and use them, you’re gonna want to configure everything to the point where it’s going to be in your favor.

dial up internet is still useable to this day even for gaming and some of the newer ones. The issue is do not use AOL, and do not refuse the fact that wireless internet can’t be used for gaming.
 
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Herr B

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I agree with you on the point that gaming via wifi can be done. Buts that's about it.

I have a good experience in IT Support and the effort you are putting into this can simply not be demanded from a consumer. The average consumer can not even tell the difference between a Lan Cable, Wifi and Internet. A normal consumer does not know that internet speed and internet speed are not the same things.
There are 3 Variables to consider:
  • Bandwith
  • Latency
  • Stability / packet loss
Let alone configuring the wifi for slower speeds to get better connection and further reach (thus oftentimes better speed). The average Person would think higher speed = better connection = faster internet. The Marketing departments of internet providers also do not do any good for that. Most consumers are not in knowledge that a stable connection is more important than fast speed.

Second point to me are your connection speeds. Sure, gaming with those speeds is fine. But just for instance, downloading the latest minor Daily patch of my Favourite Game would easily take 51 Minutes with your referred 4MBps connection speed (For 12 GB of patch) versus 2 minutes with 100 MBps download speed on lan.

But all that argumentation aside. I think most consumers want a plug and play experience:
  1. Plug in router
  2. Connect to wifi
  3. Go
From my experience, this is just often not the case on Wireless Lan.
In comparison, a lan cable is pretty much the most straight forward of an experience which I can think of:
  1. Plug in router
  2. Plug in one end of the Lan cable to the router anbd the other end to the computer
  3. Go
I understand the Limitations of a cable. Most of all, you have the dammit cable dangling around which you might have to route through the apartment. This is a huge bummer and I get that. OP can try to optimize the Wifi but I'm just saying: You Mileage may vary depending on your environment and even on the material of your wall (e.g almost nothing passes reinforced concrete and Plasterboard is also often a big issue and vertical floorings as well)

I know so many people complaining their provider is <censored> and the internet often doesn't work when in fact they have their router set up in the basement trying to route wifi up to ground level, possibly with 3 range extenders to the top floor.
When I visit Friends, the Wifi is in fact often so bad that I decided to install a second Simcard in my laptop with Europe wide unlimited Internet so that If I visit people, I do have somewhat good connection.

Still my statement remains: testing with a cable is good for ruling out any issues with your provider (which there are in most cases none).
 
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Herr B

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As said before. For gaming the internet speed is of secondary thought. The network stability/packet loss is the important measurement.
There are just too many variables for stable wifi gaming in order to give a general reccomendation from my point of view.. If you are located in a heavily occupied urban environment, I would generally advise against it. Way too many opposing neighbour networks and chances that surrounding flats will destroy your signal. At best the wifi router is located in the same room (which kind of opposes its use)
worst thing is that your ping is good, and every now and then you have lag spikes due to signal inteference.
As for bringing the topic further, I agree more information is required:
  • Which router is beeing used?
  • Possibly which settings, networks standards / connection speeds are set?
  • How many rooms (horizontally) are you away from your router?
  • How many floors (vertically) are you away from your router?
  • If not in the same room, which material is used in the walls?
  • Are there Range extenders involved?
 
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DoctorPokerFace

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As for bringing the topic further, I agree more information is required:
  • Which router is beeing used?
  • Possibly which settings, networks standards / connection speeds are set?
  • How many rooms (horizontally) are you away from your router?
  • How many floors (vertically) are you away from your router?
  • If not in the same room, which material is used in the walls?
  • Are there Range extenders involved?
Thank you all for the replies. Sorry for the late response.

  • I'm currently using the router that was provided by my provider (Bell Home Hub 2000)
  • I'm not really sure, I just know that my built-in wifi is capable of wifi6, while I'm sure my router is only capable of wifi5
  • My router is located in my living room and my pc is right above it on the second floor.
  • Walls are made up of wood, drywall, and fiberglass insulation
  • Nope I don't have any range extenders
I also want to add that my last PC also ran on wifi and this problem did not exist. My new PC uses the built-in wifi6 from my motherboard and I think that's the issue. It's capable of playing games with no lag for a decent amount of time, sometimes with no problems whatsoever. But when I do start to lag, it never stops. I don't know much about networking but maybe it switches to a different channel that's unstable and cant switch back. I hope there is some setting that can just keep my wifi stable consistantly.
 

DoctorPokerFace

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The real question is what are using to get online wirelessly. Cause gaming can be done wirelessly. My favorite gaming server has a average of 58 ping all day today. A game I just played on I had a average ping of 34. Depending on your wireless network, will easily determine what's probably going on. But you haven't provided any information on what you are using to get the PC online wireless, and have mentioned how many devices are connected to this wireless network.. 500 mbps... ya I game on 4 mbps, and on pure wireless I have proven to myself that 512 kbps not 512 mbps can play gears of war 4 online without any issues. What's your entire set up?
I'm using my wifi6 adapter that is built into my motherboard. It's an Asus Strix b550-(wifi) motherboard.
 

Herr B

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Id consider 2 floors vertical very problematic, 1 Floor problematic.
flooring is mostly made out of reinforced cement, which acts as a pharadeic cage.
As microtank said, you can try Lowering the speed in order to get a more stable (albeit a little slower) connection.

Your Motherboard should have come with a wifi antenna. Did you mount that?
It should screw right on the Back on those 2 golden screw on connectors:


Few steps you can try:
  • Try moving the wifi antenna around to find a better spot.
  • Try to move the wifi antenna as far away from other electrical devices and the computer as possible
  • Try to find an open spot for the antenna, It should not be enclosed, obscured or tuck into a tight corner.
  • Try to lay the antenna flat rather than standing up.
I actually used a simillar board for the build of my stepdad. The wifi would get totally obscured by the bluetooth mouse. Try to disable as many wireless devices as possible and test if that fixes the issue. If so, wired Devices can solve your issue. Can also work to get different bluetooth equipment but if thats the case, its kind of a gamble.
 
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microtank

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Thank you all for the replies. Sorry for the late response.

  • I'm currently using the router that was provided by my provider (Bell Home Hub 2000)
  • I'm not really sure, I just know that my built-in wifi is capable of wifi6, while I'm sure my router is only capable of wifi5
  • My router is located in my living room and my pc is right above it on the second floor.
  • Walls are made up of wood, drywall, and fiberglass insulation
  • Nope I don't have any range extenders
I also want to add that my last PC also ran on wifi and this problem did not exist. My new PC uses the built-in wifi6 from my motherboard and I think that's the issue. It's capable of playing games with no lag for a decent amount of time, sometimes with no problems whatsoever. But when I do start to lag, it never stops. I don't know much about networking but maybe it switches to a different channel that's unstable and cant switch back. I hope there is some setting that can just keep my wifi stable consistantly.
Wifi 6... like by default settings and on 5 ghz frequency.. that is going to literally have troubles going through walls. And looking at the antenna from the recently above image. 5 dbi or 6, or god knows what without me looking to the specifications.. AC and AX 802.11 networks.. that’s literally designed for the same room. The way they get around that issue is mesh routers, that way you have a node path then a pure Omni path, and even then depending on distance. Try to get that pacific PC in that pacific location by telling the Ethernet adapter you want to use 2.4 ghz, and to do that you would want to try going to the Ethernet adapter settings in the device manager option, right click your Ethernet adapter when you find it. Right click properties find the 802.11 option, see what’s it’s on, and change it to 802.11 N. See if that works, and if it doesn’t, then there’s other things going on and in the wireless age, people usually have like at least 15 devices always connected to the network.. and if those devices need to be online.. then ya it’s probably gonna be a mess to stabilize everything
 

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