Question Very Unstable Internet recently most noticeable while gaming

Oct 12, 2021
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Recently my internet has been doing very unstable, few hours I can could do anything just fine. I can watch videos and streams fine but for the most part, but randomly/suddenly when I try and play any online game it's basically impossible to play, happens to all games. Sometimes videos/streams will load slower or buffer but it's not to the point where I can't handle it. Very few times where my internet will just get so slow I can barely watch videos.
The problem isn't just happening on my computer, my brother and I both play games and its the exact same.
Nighthawk R8500
Things I've tried.
- Update router software
-Check wires at modem and router
-Changed DNS to Google's (8.8.8.8) on router and on my family's devices.
-Restarted router and modem (multiple times past few weeks)

So I did a few tracert tests and got this. I can't ping my ISP either, I guess they blocked their devices from being pinged?








Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
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First step is to leave a constant ping run to your router IP. It is unlikely you find anything interesting but if you do you would be a issue with something inside your house.

It is unfortunate that the ISP router will not respond. This is the most common point of issues.

The other things is many other routers in the path also maybe configured to delay responding to ping if they are busy passing more important traffic. So you can't always trust random test issues as a problem.

I would leave a constant ping run to some ip like 8.8.8.8. This will test to see how large a issue you have. I would also leave it run in the background while you play the game sometime the game traffic itself is causing the problem.

Packet loss causes the largest issue. Very large ping times but it is more a number in a row not just 1 here or there. Also you are looking for large increases. A extra even 100ms is not really possible to see in the game.

After you are sure you can detect the problem with the ping command you need to try to find it and with the ISP blocking the best test point that is going to be hard. Note if you do not see anything it could be something else on your machine. Many times games claim they have high ping times when it is really some video setting issue and the game is getting stuck in a video route and then blaming the delay on a network when it was really the game did not bother to check if there was a packet in the received buffer.

I would then try to leave constant ping run to 8.8.8.8 and hop 3 at the same time. You want the problem to occur on both ping at the same time to rule out random router restrictions.

After this you need to call the ISP but they will in general only fix packet loss not latency. Ping/latency spikes are caused by data being buffered because of a overloaded connection. You of course need to check that you are not exceeding the bandwidth from your ISP but it could also be that you and your neighbors who share the same data connection to the ISP are overloading something. Most times issues like this are time of day related, it will work fine say very early in the morning but work very bad during the day and especially say 5-10pm when people are home from work.
 
Oct 12, 2021
3
0
10
0
First step is to leave a constant ping run to your router IP. It is unlikely you find anything interesting but if you do you would be a issue with something inside your house.

It is unfortunate that the ISP router will not respond. This is the most common point of issues.

The other things is many other routers in the path also maybe configured to delay responding to ping if they are busy passing more important traffic. So you can't always trust random test issues as a problem.

I would leave a constant ping run to some ip like 8.8.8.8. This will test to see how large a issue you have. I would also leave it run in the background while you play the game sometime the game traffic itself is causing the problem.

Packet loss causes the largest issue. Very large ping times but it is more a number in a row not just 1 here or there. Also you are looking for large increases. A extra even 100ms is not really possible to see in the game.

After you are sure you can detect the problem with the ping command you need to try to find it and with the ISP blocking the best test point that is going to be hard. Note if you do not see anything it could be something else on your machine. Many times games claim they have high ping times when it is really some video setting issue and the game is getting stuck in a video route and then blaming the delay on a network when it was really the game did not bother to check if there was a packet in the received buffer.

I would then try to leave constant ping run to 8.8.8.8 and hop 3 at the same time. You want the problem to occur on both ping at the same time to rule out random router restrictions.

After this you need to call the ISP but they will in general only fix packet loss not latency. Ping/latency spikes are caused by data being buffered because of a overloaded connection. You of course need to check that you are not exceeding the bandwidth from your ISP but it could also be that you and your neighbors who share the same data connection to the ISP are overloading something. Most times issues like this are time of day related, it will work fine say very early in the morning but work very bad during the day and especially say 5-10pm when people are home from work.
So I ran some pings, ran all 3 at the exact same time, slightly off by human error.
The graph below is data I took today. I wasn't playing any games at the time, I was just watching the results. Ran 100 pings each.



So this data set is from last night. I only did my router and google, didn't think to do any others, such as the hop 3 you recommended. This is what it looks like when games are unplayable.



It seems to be time related like you said. I can't verify this but I'll pry continue to test each night around. Got home at and went on my PC around 5:00 no lag. Was getting a constant 3ms on my router for the most part. No lag while playing any games. My brother gets home at 5:45 and gets on his PC around 6:30ish. My other family members work from home and pry around 6:30-7:00 They stop work and they then watch their shows or do whatever they do on their phones and such and gets to the point a resulting in the 2nd graph. It still continues to have issues even when It's like 1:00 AM on the weekends and I'm the only one awake. I'm not sure about my neighbors being on the same data connection. It wouldn't surprise be because my town signed a contract that only allowed residents to get charter spectrum internet.

How do I go about checking that my household is not over exceeding the bandwidth from my ISP?

As I'm writing this I have a constant ping to my router and it's starting to act like the graph from yesterday. Random "request timed out" and high pings in the 200s. No constant 3ms like earlier.

This is all pings to my router. Does this verify packet loss, meaning I should contact my ISP about it?

(I didn't run all 4 tests at the same time, did one at a time)


 
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That is rather problematic when it your router especially when you are using a ethernet cable

The cable itself transmits data at some fixed percentage of the speed of light. If there are issue the data is dropped ie loss but not delayed.

This means it is either your pc send the ping and the router delays responding for some reason or the router quickly responds but your pc is busy and does not check the network buffer for the response immediately.

So you have blanked out the IP of your router. Are you ping a actual public IP. Most times router ip are something like 192.168.0.1 which is a private ip. To some extent 3ms is a bit high to ping something inside your house. Most time you get 1ms but it could just be the way it reports the data.

Now if you are pinging the WAN ip of your router that can give very strange results because in some cases the data is sent to the isp router that then just send it directly back. It tends to be very inconsistent they way router manufacture do this. You always want to ping the LAN ip address.

If you have another device see if it too gets issuses ping the router. This would mean it is more likely some issue with the router. You could also try a linux USB boot image. This runs completely from the USB stick and does not damage your windows install. It this works then it has to be something strange with some setting in windows.
 
Oct 12, 2021
3
0
10
0
That is rather problematic when it your router especially when you are using a ethernet cable

The cable itself transmits data at some fixed percentage of the speed of light. If there are issue the data is dropped ie loss but not delayed.

This means it is either your pc send the ping and the router delays responding for some reason or the router quickly responds but your pc is busy and does not check the network buffer for the response immediately.

So you have blanked out the IP of your router. Are you ping a actual public IP. Most times router ip are something like 192.168.0.1 which is a private ip. To some extent 3ms is a bit high to ping something inside your house. Most time you get 1ms but it could just be the way it reports the data.

Now if you are pinging the WAN ip of your router that can give very strange results because in some cases the data is sent to the isp router that then just send it directly back. It tends to be very inconsistent they way router manufacture do this. You always want to ping the LAN ip address.

If you have another device see if it too gets issuses ping the router. This would mean it is more likely some issue with the router. You could also try a linux USB boot image. This runs completely from the USB stick and does not damage your windows install. It this works then it has to be something strange with some setting in windows.
Yes I am using IP 192.168.1.1 Wasn't sure if I should have hid it or not, so I just did. I tried on another windows device with another version of windows. I also tried on an app on my IPhone and I get the same results as my main PC.
 
This pretty much says the router has a problem. I would check for any firmware upgrades. I would also factory reset the router and at first set the very minimum the admin and wifi passwords. Maybe there is some strange configuration option set on the router causing it.

After this you start considering a new router.
 

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