Question Random Internet lag spikes

Apr 19, 2019
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So to start off im using TP-LINK Wireless USB Adapter.
And for few years it was working perfectly fine but about few weeks ago I started noticing random ping spikes when gaming.

Most of the time my ping sits at around 30 - 40 ms and every few minutes or 20 - 30 seconds ping spikes up to around 500-700 ms.
At first I tried restarting my router and it seemed to fix it for few hours or so and ping spikes came back.
Tried to boot into safe mode with networking , left pc running for about few hours and everything seemed to be fine , after that booted into normal mode , at my surprise everything was working fine without any hiccups for whole day and the next day lag spikes came back to haunt me.

After looking through google and stuff and not finding definitive answer decided to do some pinging with cmd to google and to my surprise the ping spikes happened when I was doing nothing. Every 50 - 70 pings in cmd the time of reply hops from 12 - 20 ms up to 1700 - 2300ms for once and then goes back down again, but sometimes noticed it going 700ms once then 1200ms and then back to 12 - 20ms.

Did tracert to google too and it came back with
Tracing route to google [ip]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1. 1ms 1ms 1ms
  2. 1ms 1ms 1ms
  3. 1ms 1ms 1ms
  4. 5ms 9ms 5ms
  5. 12ms 11ms 12ms
  6. 12ms 12ms 12ms
  7. 14ms 13ms 13ms
  8. 13ms 13ms 12ms
Trace Complete.

Would really like some help on this cause whenever I play any online game it gets unplayable and annoying.
Thank you.
P.S First time here.
 

AtkinsFriendly

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May 26, 2015
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This might be a tough one to figure out. We'll need to narrow down the issue and figure out if it's your PC, wifi, router, or internet.

My advice right now is to remove the wifi from the equation. Are you able to plug the computer directly into your router and perform a ping test?

FYI, in CMD you can run command "ping www.google.com -t" to continuously ping google. Ctrl+C will stop the pinging.

On wifi, start pinging - wait for it to hit 1000+ms and come back down to 12ms. Then, disconnect wifi and hook up Cat5e cable directly to router to your PC. Run test again and see if it spikes.

If it spikes, on the cable, then we know it's not your wifi. Try test again on another PC or laptop. If it still happens, then we know it's your router or internet.
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Sadly cant remove the wifi . There is no possible way for me to connect directly via cable currently , unless something changes in future.

For CMD command/s I been running them continuously for past hour at least
One is pinging at google and other one at my local ip adress "Dunno if there's any difference"

From what I know this only happens/seems to happen only to me alone so far, cuz on laptop it does not seem to happen at all at least with cable connected.
Can stream 4k videos without any buffering/loading on other devices that are connected.
 

AtkinsFriendly

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May 26, 2015
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So lag spikes of 1 or 2 seconds you wont notice on streaming video. Video streams would be cached before a lag spike and can usually recover before it effects quality. You'll only really notice lag spikes in games or live feeds.

Pinging both internally and externally of your local LAN is probably a good thing to do.. if there is a significant spike on the internet ping but not to your local LAN then it's probably your internet.

What type of internet do you have, also what type of wireless are you using (A, B, G, N, AC?)

What model router/wifi card do you have?
 
Apr 19, 2019
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So the ping spikes happen in both local and internet.


Type of internet - Fiber-Optic
Wireless Mode: 802.11n "I guess thats what u mean"
Router Model : TL-WR841N
Wifi USB Adapter : TL-WN821N(C)_TL-WN822N_TL-WN823N
 

AtkinsFriendly

Reputable
May 26, 2015
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Ok - so we narrowed it down to WiFi, PC and/or Router issue and not your internet. I'm going to lean more towards your PC being the problem however.

Do you have another device on your network that we can run the same test on?

Wireless drivers up to date on your device?

Do you see any CPU spikes during your testing on your PC?

How many devices are on your wireless network?
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Yes I can run the test on laptop and track there too.
Everything should be up to date.
No CPU is always on around 20% going to lower 10% once in a while on full idle.
Currently there are 5 Devices connected at this moment including my desktop.

Note: Gave my pc another restart yesterday and as always internet runs smoothly without any hiccups for up to few hours and after that those spikes come back up
 
I strongly suspect this is wifi interference. You could prove it is not the pc or router by using ethernet but with spikes that large it is likely wifi. The only way to get large of a delay would and it not be wifi is if the router cpu or pc cpu was so busy it did not have the time to process the data.

It is likely some form of wifi signal coming in from outside your house. It could be a neighbors wifi or one of those cars with wifi hotspots in them. There is almost no way to avoid these any more. You used to be able to do stuff like change wifi channels but it is so crowded that that seldom helps. Pretty much this is the reason they say never play online games on wifi. It works ok when it works but you get massive random lag spikes in the game.
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Ye about crowded channels its true , checked with app on android and I see noodles of different Wifi names and stuff.
Running the ping test on another computer "Laptop" that is most of the time connected via cable did not show any ping spikes.
So it only happens on my pc for some weird reason
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Ok so.
It might be either my PSU not providing enough for all the usb ports "But that not likely"
Or just almost dead Wifi Adapter.

So this is what I did.
I decided to use USB tethering with my Android.
Well before everything worked properly my PC kinda gave up on me for some time.
Plugged in the USB in one of the ports and connected it to my phone my PC just said nope , everything started lagging "Even the cursor movement" and it got to the point to where the "Blue Screen" did not even manage to show up on screen "saw some blue cubes appearing at top left corner of screen one by one" and pc just shut itself down.
Okay I said and tried to restart. Powering on pc just spun the fan for about 10 seconds before shutting down again.
After unplugging all connected cables and plugging them back pc managed to boot up somewhat before it gave me blue screen again and turned itself off without restarting at all.
And we came back to Turn on - 10 seconds - Turn off.
So at that moment I decided to swap ram sticks and properly clean out the dust from my cpu fan.
After spending about 10 minutes and so cleaning stuff up and putting everything back into place pc turned on properly.
Tried the USB tethering thingy with one cable but it did not work , swapped to another and it worked. So far after about 3 hours or so I had no Ping spikes what so ever.
 

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