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Amberdragon
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Unplayable Games - Lag and Packet Loss

Here I go again, experiencing exactly the same issues I had about a month or so ago.  Really bad lag, looks like packet loss.  I'm not going to  bother phoning again just to argue with the idiot on  the other end of the phone that its a 'third party equipment issue'.

tb1.png

 

 

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Andrew-G
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Alessandro Volta
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Re: Unplayable Games - Lag and Packet Loss

Your image has been rejected because it shows your IP address. You'll need to use the option "Share today's snapshot graph" to create a BQM link you can post, that removes the IP address you see when you are logged in to Thinkbroadband.

You will also need to provide further explanation of the setup, and evidence that enables VM staff to book a technician.  I can see by previewing the blocked image that there's a problem with the VM connection, that alone doesn't seem to be enough for VM, who will want evidence of either speed, power, noise or modulation problems.  You can try posting your hub's status data here (after a good few hours running, not just after a reboot), and I'd suggest some speed tests.  I've been experiencing similar low levels of grumbling packet loss, and what I observe is that this causes intermittent speeds, in my case they'll drop from 218 to 50-90.  If line condition improve speed picks up again, but it's the lowest speeds that count in defining a problem.

If you're using your own router, then as a temporary matter, you may need to put the router in access point mode, and have the hub in router mode.  In modem mode VM's untrained telephone bumblers will insist that any problems are your equipment (BQM shows they are VM's problem), but when dealing with the much better trained and helpful forum staff, they'll need to be able to interrogate the hub's status data, and they can only do that in router mode.

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Amberdragon
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Re: Unplayable Games - Lag and Packet Loss

Thank you for your reply.  As an initial measure I have created the link as suggested for the broadband monitor:

Amberdragon_0-1629216325073.png

https://www.thinkbroadband.com/broadband/monitoring/quality/share/4d65868afe77deb6ec28f8284373ec54e8... 

 

I'm running a Nighthawk XR500 with the Hub (2 or 3, can't remember which)  in modem mode.  The speed test at the Router (useful little feature on the router itself) is about consistent, except for the period of time yesterday where it dropped from my usual around 200Mbps to about 150Mbps.  

The lag on several online games made them unplayable (so not isolated to a single companies online server), and this was not only on the main gaming pc but on a laptop directly into the Netgear as well.  The previous day there were no noticeable issues with online gaming, as it has been for several weeks.  Prior to that I had a week or so of the same issue which seemed to magically clear when I got frustrated with Virgin Phone Tech support.  That could have been a coincidence though.  Prior to that week, several months of good gaming - particularly since around Feb when I invested in the Nighthawk, so its only just about 6 months old.  I seriously doubt its the Nighthawk as I replaced my previous Router due to Virgin claiming it was a third party equipment issue when I had the same problem on my Archer Router.

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Zach_R
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Re: Unplayable Games - Lag and Packet Loss

Hi @Amberdragon,

 

Thank you for your posts and welcome back to our community forums. We're here to help.

Also, thank you for creating a BQM for us as suggested by @Andrew-G. It's very helpful.

I'm so sorry to hear that you're facing some ongoing lag issues recently. As I'm sure you can appreciate, there's only so much support that we can provide regarding third party equipment. Is it possible to connect via our router only to see if the service issues remain for you?

Thanks,
 



Zach - Forum Team


New around here? To find out more about the Community check out our Getting Started guide


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Andrew-G
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Re: Unplayable Games - Lag and Packet Loss

@Amberdragon Seems you'll have to have the hub in router mode to allow VM to rule out your equipment, although the BQM indicates a problem on their coax network.  Worryingly, it looks like low level downstream over-utilisation - you see how it's very poor during the busiest hours, and then peachy all through the night until 9 am? Shows that the network, your hub in modem mode and the router are working perfectly when there isn't too much traffic on VM's local network. 

If I'm right (and I'm not always) what is happening is that there's simply too much data traffic on the same coax segment that you're on, and when that gets converted to or from analogue radio frequency signals at the far end of the coax network, the equipment can't cope, so data packets get queued.  Often that's not sufficient delay to make much of a dent in measured speeds, but it does destroy the fast latency needed for gaming and voice or videocalls.  If the delays are bad enough then software "times-out" and the requested data packets are abandoned, and this appears as packet loss, that will harm measured speeds and make streaming content difficult.  Because the problem can occur at a segment level, it's entirely feasible that some people around you won't be affected because although their traffic goes to the same pinch point, their particular segment isn't over-subscribed, or their internet use (eg causal browsing, email, social media, buffered content streaming) is entirely insensitive to poor latency.   Sometimes there's spare network capacity that could be redeployed to solve the problem, but to achieve that means breaking open the network, possibly laying new cables, cutting and rejoining (all of which is expensive work), and it isn't something that can be done by a field technician as an afternoon's job, it needs proper analysis and planning to find out whether there is actually sufficient spare capacity, whether network layout means that it can be chopped and changed without creating new problems, and then mobilisation of the necessary technical resources.  All of which is expensive and may not be economic from VM's point of view, in which case it won't happen.

This is of course VM's fault - they've over-subscribed their network, but absent any competent industry regulator there's no comeback on them, so they continue to sell contracts and upgrades until there's capacity problems.  There are supposed to be arrangements in place to stop this over-selling, seems they either don't work reliably, or they only become active when the problem has already arisen.   

If my suspicions are correct that this doesn't pass VM's threshold for over-utilisation, there will be no fault reference, forum staff and agents can only advise that there are no known problems, and in reality there is no possibility of a fix.  If the issue can be passed to VM's Networks who investigate and confirm a utilisation fault  there will be a fault reference assigned and a review date set (not a firm fix date, despite people using that term).  And then it goes into the big pile of capacity issues that Networks have, where it jockeys with all the rest for priority.  VM do spend tens of millions enhancing capacity each year, but that won't fix all congestion faults, and low level faults will never make the priority for investment.

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Gaming-Support/Unstable-ping/td-p/4711150/highlight/true

Sorry to be so downbeat, you'll have to hope my assessment is incorrect. 

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