[SOLVED] What is the difference between how laptops and computer use wifi?

Aug 31, 2019
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Me and my housemate both use wireless internet at home to play.

He plays on a laptop that's 1 year old and I play on a computer that was bought a month ago.
We play the same mmorpg (guild wars) using the same wifi, the only difference is that he uses a laptop and I a PC.

On my PC however the game keeps disconnecting, but on his laptop it does not.
I went back and forth with GM's and tried several things and tests to rule out any interference, contacted the company I bought the computer from, contacted my ISP, and now I'm basically grasping at straws while I wait for my ISP and the GM's to get back to me about the issue..

Feel free to look at my topic for more information: https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/85262/my-game-crashes-at-least-once-a-day-on-brand-new-computer
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The antenna for a laptop is generally behind the screen, so when the laptop is open, the antenna has best chance of getting a signal. Many PC based WIFI cards have antennas that are hidden behind the case or a USB WIFI adapter has a very tiny antenna. Antenna placement is usually the biggest difference.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The antenna for a laptop is generally behind the screen, so when the laptop is open, the antenna has best chance of getting a signal. Many PC based WIFI cards have antennas that are hidden behind the case or a USB WIFI adapter has a very tiny antenna. Antenna placement is usually the biggest difference.
 
Aug 31, 2019
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Thanks for answering, that makes a lot of sense :)

The weird thing is.. When I disconnect from the game, my internet doesn't waver at all. I can skype with others and have a skype call with them while playing the game, and continue to call with them just fine when the game connection breaks off.

The GM said something about packet loss, does that have anything to do with the antenna or wifi cards?

Thanks for your patience thus far. In reviewing your Ping Plotter test, I did notice that there was a hop seemingly on your Internet Service Provider's servers (hop number 5, for reference) that is reporting 95.8% packet loss.

We sometimes find that we can ignore these rare occurrences where the packet loss spikes to 100% (or near there) since we can generally assume these are more likely to be various IP masking protocols, or other intentional spikes put in place by a server host that simply causes the data returned to be indistinguishable by ping testing programs. However, since this hop does appear to be different from the number of other hops that report 100% packet loss (and, those 100% loss hops also show no IP or other data, while the 95.8% packet loss one does) I am concerned this might be a part of the problem.

Another hint that something is interfering with the connection either in your network or (more likely, because of the above details) ISP's infrastructure are the black screen "crashes" which you are encountering. These cases where the screen goes black but facets of the game (such as the sound, music, and cursor) function correctly are actually not a graphical failure or crash in the normal sense - rather, these are indicative of a connectivity problem.

These black screen faults tend to occur when there is severe interference between the game client and servers that causes a disconnect, but also intercepts any instruction sent to the client to reload the character select screen or display an error. For this reason, you'll be disconnected from the game service and friends will see you suddenly go offline, but the call to load a different graphical scene or perform more complex game interactions will fail to reach its destination. At this point, the client sort of just gives up, thinking that its done its job, despite the fact that some of the instructions got lost in transit.

So, at this point, I would like for you to reach out to your ISP and see if they can address or explain this spike of packet loss that we see in your network test. You're free to report back to us and let us know what they say if they decide it is not a problem, and we can work from there.
 
It can be any part of the wifi chain that causes packet loss. In general it is some interference causing it but even that is affected by many factors. For example a damaged antenna will result in lower signal levels which means it is harder to detect the wanted signal from the interfering noise signals.

Way too many variables to say for sure. It can be anything from defective cards to what kind of paint is on the walls.

Games are very different than any other form of traffic. They are extremely dependent on the timing between packets. You can likely see issues on skype due packet loss but people just ignore some small distortion in the sound. Games depending on the game may freeze or crash but in the vast majority of cases you just get lag spikes.

You can pretty much ignore any of the advice you got on the other post because another machine in the house is not being affected. Besides your ISP will never fix things that are far away from your house....it may actually be in another ISP network.

Your best test next is to try ethernet cable. This will rule out the game itself having some issue. It is not uncommon for games to blame the network when it is say a video driver issue. They get stuck in the video processing and don't bother to check if data has arrived on the network connection so they blame this delay on the network rather than them not checking. It is like you saying you did not get a email but you never opened the email application to even check.

If it works ok on ethernet you are kinda stuck. You could try different wifi drivers but I doubt that is the problem. You quickly get into the buy a new card solution. If you are going to spend money I would consider powerline units instead. They have much fewer strange issues than wifi especially when it comes to online games.
 
Reactions: Raichi
Aug 31, 2019
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Alright thanks :)

They are still looking into it so perhaps they will fix it x_x I mean I really hope so. I think if they can't come up with anything they are going to ask me to find out if my internet card/hardware is not damaged or anything. Aaand since I don't know anything about how to tell damage or not I will probably return the PC to the stores tech department and have them look at it.
 

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