Hark mine woes and weep!

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Atomkilla, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    What follows is a relatively long and a relatively tiring story about the problems I've had and am still having with my Internet connection, problems seemingly unsolvable. This is written out of despair, hoping someone here might help me, since those who are paid for it, cannot.

    You've been warned.

    Here we go...

    About a year ago I decided to upgrade my Internet "package"- increase download and upload, speed in general, add wireless and so on, along with upgrading my computer - new motherboard, GPU, CPU etc. along with upgrading to Win 7.
    Soon after making that upgrade, I started having problems with my connection - it would get lost from time to time i.e. I'd just disconnect for a brief period of time, and then reconnect again. This would happen regardless how much of my "connection flow"was occupied - meaning regardless if I were downloading, uploading, playing something online, or simply typing messages via Skype, the connection would break, again and again.

    I decided to give a call to my ISP/cable company to come and fix it. The tech support came in, did their work, mainly something with the incoming signal, though I'm not too sure... However, after a brief period of time, there was a recurrence in the problem.
    I again started to lose my connection, and so on. The cable guys came again and again...and again...and again...and you get the drill. They came many, many times. They'd check my signal and equipment, say it was top notch, and then just leave.

    Soon after that, I got occupied with school and so on and didn't have that much time to spend online - so the problem - which was still there - became less recognized.

    Another year has passed, another summer has come. Freedom.
    And with freedom comes a need for wasting time on the Internet. And with freedom comes frustration.

    The problem still persisted, but this time, I decided to take a more active role. I got myself a fancy little program called Pingplotter, which has been of great help. It, along with Speedtest and Pingtest allowed me to pinpoint the problem...more or less.
    And the problem is, seemingly, in the packet loss. My ping is relatively stable - around 45 - my connection is hardly used, and then BAM!, I get a 100% packet loss.
    To illustrate it, here's a Pingplotter screenshot which was taken after it'd spent the last night "screening".

    The red area indicates the packet loss, and the black line indicates the ping. As you can see, the ping is relatively okay (the connection was clean, nothing was going up or down the stream), while the packet loss just comes and goes.

    Now, some of you may say, that isn't looking that bad, but bear with me, I shall elaborate.

    During this summer I've been a real bitch to my ISP company. I had them come over ten times (this is not exaggerating) to change my cables, my modem/router, ethernet cable, make sure my wireless is properly "locked - every single thing. I also had my motherboard changed, and along with it my network interface controller. In short, I did everything. The problem slightly diminished.
    What you see above is a graph taken last night, basically, after all these changes and fixes. Trust me, before doing that, the graph looked a lot, lot different. Let's just say it was way, way more red, and the black line wasn't so flat lying down (if anyone is really interested - though I doubt it - I can dig up old Pingplotter images I've saved).

    In short, the problem persisted...again.
    Here comes the best part.

    Just for the sake of knowing, I connected my modem/router to my laptop via ethernet. The connection there? Flawless.
    Ping is less than 30 when the connection is clean, and collectively, I have a total packet loss taking about 5 minutes daily there - meaning that if I lose connection, it connects after 10-20 seconds at max, several times a day - something I consider perfect tolerable and normal.
    Remember that my computer, my big machine, is new, as well as the laptop. And only the big thing suffers.
    Oh, and be it mentioned, that I'm the only person I know who has this problem. My uncle, living in a house next door, has absolutely same ISP and internet package. Yet he doesn't have any problems.

    The question I have for you, if anyone could possibly know, is why?
    Also, before someone says the most simple solution: "Why not change the ISP?", my answer is, it's impossible. These guys are the only ones who cover this part of town.

    I simply have no idea what it could be. Hardware? Software? It's obviously something local, since I'm the only one here who's troubled, maybe something with my machine only...
    Am I emitting some sort of bio-energy that kills connection?

    Whoever reads all this, I thank you. Whoever bothers to actually reply, I thank you even more.
  2. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Did you try to do a new windows installation? Who knows, maybe your system is borked.
  3. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Yes, the Windows 7 was re-installed not so long ago, and the problem persisted.
  4. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    Is this a wired or wireless connection? I had a similar intermittent connection loss issue, on a wireless connection. It was a setting in either device manager or the router setup webpage.

    Let me know if this is a wireless issue and I can dig up some things to try.
  5. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Both, I guess.

    Technically, my computer is connected to my modem (which is also a rooter) via an ethernet cable, so it is wired.
    But it does "emit" wireless connection which is, of course, encrypted, and no other devices are using it.

    So I guess it is a weird connection. Because it is a router at the same time, it's natural for ping to be somewhat higher, and that's okay, but packet loss...

    As for laptop - I'm sometimes wiring it to the modem, sometimes using a wireless. Either way, the connection is, usually, way more stable. My computer is off when I'm using the laptop, so there's always only one device connected.

    I've dug up some "Modem User's Guides" CD which the ISP company left me when they installed it. I will look through it, maybe there's something of interest there.
  6. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    I can't find it unfortunately but the setting had to do with the wireless connection constantly looking for a better signal or something. After I disabled that setting, or put it to gaming mode or some shit, my intermittent lag spikes while gaming went away.

    So you're saying the issue is present when you have a hard wired connection? If so, I canna help ye.
  7. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010


    If you can, it would be much appreciated.
  8. Gerko

    Gerko Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    May 2, 2003
    Ok, this is basically wild mass guessing, and comes with little to no solutions, but ...

    You said it's both a wireless and wired connection? I'm assuming you're talking about your Modem/Router, and not your PC. Even so, make sure your PC doesn't have a built in Wireless, and if it does, turn it off in device manager or something. No good trying to connect twice.

    Your uncle next door with the same ISP has no problems whatsoever. Take your PC next door and have it run Pingplotter overnight.

    Electrical interference? Shouldn't be possible on a wired connection, but can't hurt to consider it. Any appliciances nearby? Cell phone, or DECT phone (uh, wireless landline.) Have you tried moving the computer (and cable) to another corner, or even room?

    Is your Power Supply Unit okay? You'd probably notice other effects with a failing PSU, but if you have a spare, (or can borrow one), again, can't hurt to try.

    On that note, try another electrical outlet, preferably from another "group" (Uh, different fuse in your fusebox) Both for your PC and and Modem/Router. Run an extension cord from another room.

    As I said, wild mass guessing.
    Good luck.
  9. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    ok, you are using the jack off your motherboard arent you.

    when you got your new motherboard, was it the same brand/layout?

    if you got a msi nvidi bridge, your new one a msi nvidia bridge?

    get a separate network NIC, make sure it has 10/100/1000 copper rj45.

    use that.

    you dont use integrated/on-board video card, why would you do the same for your network card? :)
  10. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    No, I don't have an built in wireless.

    I actually did, and it had shown good results, but that's not telling much.
    You see, there are nights and days when I have flawless connection, and there are days when it's bad...the latter are far more common.

    I'd need to put it there for a few days at least, which is, sadly, impossible, since there's not enough space for two computers and my uncle needs his machine on.

    Only appliance is my cell phone, yes, but it's a very old model. Almost monochrome, if you catch my drift. It isn't one of these fancy gadgets, so I don't think it is the source of problem.

    I haven't tried moving the machine, though. I will try it, but it may prove to be a problem, since, again, there isn't much space here either, space where I can put my machine and where cables can reach (I don't have a spare extension cord, but I may look into it, but I don't think that will help me).

    As for PSU, it's working fine. I had my computer checked several days ago, it came out with no hardware problems.[/quote]


    Yes, I've always used the NIC on the motherboard.
    The new motherboard is different from the previous one. New one is MSI, and the previous...Biostar something.

    I'm not sure what this means, sorry.

    Another expense regarding my machine would be too much at this time, but I will look into it unless I find some different solution.

    Can it be somehow related to my HDD?

    Basically everything on my rig is new, except for the HDD, which is several years old. Can it be a source of problems, somehow? Registry?

    I'm not really knowledgeable about this, sorry if my questions are dumb.
  11. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    Go into your power settings and create a custom profile that doesn't put your PC into standby when not in use. Now go into the device manager, check your network adapter (probably under advanced settings, it differs depending on NIC) and make sure there isn't any option enabled letting it go to sleep.

    If that still doesn't work, just bite the bullet on one of these.
  12. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    My PC doesn't go to sleep. I made sure that doesn't happen a long time ago.
  13. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    Can you use pingplotter to measure the ping and packet loss ONLY between your computer and the router? If so, that would tell you whether the problem is with the connection from the ISP to the modem, or with the connection from the modem to your computer.

    Usually, on-board NICs are just fine. I'm especially dubious that the NIC is the problem since you've had the issue persist between two different motherboards and their NICs.

    I work for an ISP (AT&T) as a technician, so believe me when I tell you that just because you've had a dozen (or more) techs out doesn't mean there isn't a problem on the ISP's end.
  14. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    Peak usage hours? My connection suffers during lunch time and other hours.
  15. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    kyuu, to test the ISP all he should have to do is run tests to his default gateway.

    all that other stuff he is testing wont really help or indicate the problem if he is not only testing to his DG.

    the key is to when you start having problems, run tests to your router IP.

    if that is testing clear, make sure you test to something else to make sure you still have the problem.

    then move to your DG, and then other places.

    the proper methodology is to run concentrated tests to try to find out where the problem is.

    running a whole string of traceroute polling does not help much unless you actually know how to read it.

    that graph you posted says the problem is between 8 and 9.

    which can be misleading if the problem is actually at hop 2 and you dont see it until testing to hop 9.
  16. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    Sadly, it can't. Or I cannot find that option, at least.

    I took this into factor, and yes, it is understandable during peak hours, but it can happen almost at any time. Pretty random, actually.

    Okay, now I've opened a single graph for each of these, 1-8 (there's only 8 now), and am measuring.

    I changed my ethernet cable today...again.
    It's the one I've been using on my old modem - I removed the one which came with the new modem.

    So far, the connection is pretty clear. Very little packet loss today. But I don't think it's because of the cable, I was using this same cable earlier when there were problems.

    Maybe the modem took time to reconfigure to the new PC...or that's something the ISP guy told me when I mentioned this earlier, and the problem was with the old motherboard.
    Or maybe I'm just lucky today.

    Will keep measuring, and keep you posted.
  17. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    On your picture I can see that your first hop is to IP That is almost certainly your modem/router/gateway's address. You said you opened up a graph for each individual hop? So if and when the problem crops up again, you should be able to see if the problem is on that first hop or not.

    If it is on the first hop, then that indicates the problem is with the modem itself, the computer, or the ethernet line. If it's on any other hop, the problem is with some part of your ISP's network.
  18. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    Oh, okay.
    Yes, that's my modem's gateway, and looking at the graph of the past 24 hours, I've had some minor packet loss on each hop aside from that one except at two times - each lasting for about a minute.
    Aside from that, that hop has a 0ms ping while I'm not downloading anything.

    The other hops had some "additional" packet loss which was in sync, so to speak - they all had packet loss at the same time, and their maximum ping was roughly the same (around 160).

    Sorry for the confusion earlier.

    I will post the pic of the graph later during the day, I want to have a full 24h measurement before I do that.
  19. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Alpharius oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    I'm making a new post, rather than edit, so that the topic goes highlighted.


    The graph is shown in 48h format with all hops, 1-8.
    The biggest packet loss, at around 20:00 yesterday was caused by me.
    I was downloading a game off Steam, and intentionally stopped the download and made the computer go to sleep, thus having a packet loss. I did it so that I could see if it would recuperate from the loss once I woke it up, and continued a download (this has been a major problem in the past).
    As you can see, it has successfully done so, and has had some minor packet loss during the night and in the morning.
    I suppose you can label the time around 00:00 as peak hours, since it was Friday night.
    Another spike in ping around 02:00 was. again, caused by me. I downloaded another game off Steam.

    I can safely say that the past 24+ hours have been with a great connection, but I am not going to go making any predictions. I am stopping this tracing now, and will start another one in the morning.
  20. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Did you ever bother to get the modem/router replaced? That's about all I can think of, aside maybe from the shitty NIC your motherboard has.