Question Wireless Access Point - Android Ping Response Time Issues

Mar 7, 2022
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Hi all,

So I have an issue that I hope you can help me with.

I have a smartphone that is connected to an wireless access point. When I ping from the Access Point(AP) > smartphone, I experience high and inconsistent ping times compared to when I ping from the Access Point > a non-smartphone device(e.g Linux laptop) which gives low and consistent ping times. I have tested this with different routers, as well as a different brand of router, and different Android smartphone devices but I still am left with the same problem. This has also occurred with other Access Points in a different location.

To add, if I ping the smartphone > Access Point, the ping times are normal(low and consistent).

I have attached two screenshots:
  1. Ping times from AP > Smartphone
  2. Ping times from AP > Laptop.
I would greatly appreciate any information regarding the high & inconsistent ping times from the AP > smartphone. Does anyone know if this is a hardware, software or Android network priority issue?


1. AP > Smartphone




2. AP > Laptop
 
What device is running this ping that you post. Is this a app on the AP itself or are you running it on some other device that is also somehow connected to the AP.

Even if it is the AP do you have a third device that you use to see this screen.

My thought would be if you use the phone to run this test it might be the overhead of the traffic displaying on the screen that is competing with the ping test traffic going to the phone at the same time.
 
Mar 7, 2022
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What device is running this ping that you post. Is this a app on the AP itself or are you running it on some other device that is also somehow connected to the AP.

Even if it is the AP do you have a third device that you use to see this screen.

My thought would be if you use the phone to run this test it might be the overhead of the traffic displaying on the screen that is competing with the ping test traffic going to the phone at the same time.
Thanks for the reply. The device I'm using to record such ping results for these screenshots is the router's software.

I also used a different router for such tests for AP > smartphone, while measuring the ping with my PC - still the same result as per the screenshots above.

I understand what your saying but unfortunately it is not the case in my situation as explained.
 
It would be very nice if the wifi chipset manufacture provided debugging information to explain what if any errors are happening.

You also have similar issues with phones, they do not have many good tools for performance monitoring.

So there are 2 things that can cause this and I can't think of a good way to find out or even to fix it.

It could be the phone itself is causing the delays because of software issues. The cpu on a phone is actually a lot more powerful than the router but there tends to be lots of crap running on the phone.

The other very common cause of this on wifi is getting errors. This is where a ethernet connection helps to see if it is wifi or not.
The delays are caused by wifi retransmitting damaged data which can take some time. This is why you see random delays since it can get errors even in the data it is attempting to retransmit and it will keep trying further increasing the delays. This is almost always caused by some kind of interference but there is not way to say for sure since the wifi chips don't tell. It would be nice if they had a display of number of packets with errors so you would know.

I don't know what to suggest. There is little you can change in wifi, stuff like the radio band or the channels it uses but all that is done on the router and you would think it would affect more than smartphones. I guess it could also be some setting on the phone but phones are so locked down there is not much you can set.
 
Reactions: Sam198
Mar 7, 2022
5
0
10
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It would be very nice if the wifi chipset manufacture provided debugging information to explain what if any errors are happening.

You also have similar issues with phones, they do not have many good tools for performance monitoring.

So there are 2 things that can cause this and I can't think of a good way to find out or even to fix it.

It could be the phone itself is causing the delays because of software issues. The cpu on a phone is actually a lot more powerful than the router but there tends to be lots of crap running on the phone.

The other very common cause of this on wifi is getting errors. This is where a ethernet connection helps to see if it is wifi or not.
The delays are caused by wifi retransmitting damaged data which can take some time. This is why you see random delays since it can get errors even in the data it is attempting to retransmit and it will keep trying further increasing the delays. This is almost always caused by some kind of interference but there is not way to say for sure since the wifi chips don't tell. It would be nice if they had a display of number of packets with errors so you would know.

I don't know what to suggest. There is little you can change in wifi, stuff like the radio band or the channels it uses but all that is done on the router and you would think it would affect more than smartphones. I guess it could also be some setting on the phone but phones are so locked down there is not much you can set.
Thanks very much for the information. I attempted to change to a custom ROM but that was still Android. I also rooted the phone and boosted the CPU but it had no change to the ping times. I just recently tested it with an iPhone and the same result occurs. I am interested in obtaining a pure Linux software based phone like the Pinephone(altough it does not contain flagship level hardware) and see if the same results occur.
 
Maybe try to ping the phone from a pc connected via ethernet just in case it is something strange with the router.

Since you seem to done more complex things maybe try to load wireshark on the pc and then copy a file between the phone and the pc. You should be able to see the actual timing between the packets. Maybe it is only ping packets that have this issue.
 
Reactions: Sam198
Mar 7, 2022
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10
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Maybe try to ping the phone from a pc connected via ethernet just in case it is something strange with the router.

Since you seem to done more complex things maybe try to load wireshark on the pc and then copy a file between the phone and the pc. You should be able to see the actual timing between the packets. Maybe it is only ping packets that have this issue.
Apologies for the late reply. I did try via the ethernet method but unforunately there was no problem with the ping, so the router doesn't seem to be the issue. I'll try out the Wireshark test and see what the results are. Thanks!
 
No what I mean is if the PC pings the device fine then it MUST be something with the router ping app.

When you ping from the PC to the phone the traffic goes from your pc to a switch chip (sorta it is really on the same physical chip as the cpu). It then goes from the switch to the wifi radio chip. When you ping from the router you go from the router CPU to the switch via what appears to be a gigabit ethernet cable just like your pc.

So the only real difference is the software running the ping.

Does the phone see these very high latency if you were to ping say 8.8.8.8 from the phone. Maybe this is just something strange about the router and not a real problem.
 
Reactions: Sam198
Mar 7, 2022
5
0
10
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No what I mean is if the PC pings the device fine then it MUST be something with the router ping app.

When you ping from the PC to the phone the traffic goes from your pc to a switch chip (sorta it is really on the same physical chip as the cpu). It then goes from the switch to the wifi radio chip. When you ping from the router you go from the router CPU to the switch via what appears to be a gigabit ethernet cable just like your pc.

So the only real difference is the software running the ping.

Does the phone see these very high latency if you were to ping say 8.8.8.8 from the phone. Maybe this is just something strange about the router and not a real problem.
Ok so when I use my PC as an AP, the ping times to the phone are still inconsistent and high, just like the router.

When I ping from the phone to, e.g 8.8.8.8, there is no issue with the ping.

Realtive to Wireshark test. I used my PC as a WiFi AP, and connected the phone to the PC WiFi AP. The timing between the packets didn't seem to be a problem.
 

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