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  • Packet Loss

    I have been having trouble in my gaming recently I will be doing one thing and then in an instant I turn and I'm doing something else, i.e. not killing the person who should be dead by now. I think my problem is packet loss from my wireless router. Would I be correct or is there a different problem that is going on. I can give details as needed but to start I've got a Netgear router going wireless to my Asus P5k-E wifi MoBo and this problem will happen in BF2142, PoE, and CoD4 and that is really all I play. This is very annoying problem so I'm hoping I can get this resolved.
    Reapator, overlord of ponies


  • #2
    Re: Packet Loss

    Hello.

    Probably you have issues with MTU.

    What is MTU?

    Short for Maximum Transmission Unit, the largest physical packet size, measured in bytes, that a network can transmit. Any messages larger than the MTU are divided into smaller packets before being sent.

    Every network has a different MTU, which is set by the network administrator. On Windows, you can also set the MTU of your machine. This defines the maximum size of the packets sent from your computer onto the network.
    Ideally, you want the MTU to be the same as the smallest MTU of all the networks between your machine and a message's final destination.

    Otherwise, if your messages are larger than one of the intervening MTUs, they will get broken up (fragmented), which slows down transmission speeds.

    Trial and error is the only sure way of finding the optimal MTU, but there are some guidelines that can help. For example, the MTU of many PPP connections is 576, so if you connect to the Internet via PPP, you might want to set your machine's MTU to 576 too. Most Ethernet networks, on the other hand, have an MTU of 1500 (which is the default MTU setting for Windows) or 1492 or 1480. DSL (PPPoATM) and DLS (PPPoE) may also have diferent values.

    First perform this test:
    1. Connect your PC with the router using Ethernet (LAN)
    2. Observer behaviour
    3. Connect your PC with the router using Wireless (WiFi)
    4. Observer behaviour

    Do you have the same symptoms?

    To counter attack your problems, I sugest the following:

    1. Check your ISP connection type (PPPoATM or PPPoE or whatever)
    2. Find the MTU value for that type of connection (you may ask your ISP about)
    2. Check your wireless router WiFi MTU value (should be 1492)
    3. Find the minimum MTU value for your network
    4. Change Windows MTU to that value
    5. Reboot

    You can test more:

    1. Go to Start/ Programs/ Accessories/ Command Prompt and type the following:

    ping -f -l 1472 64.34.163.112 (that IP is our BF2142 main server)
    (That is a dash lower case "L," not a dash "1." Also note the spaces in between the sections.)

    2. Press Enter. Then reduce 1472 by 10 until you no longer get the "packet needs to be fragmented" error message. Then increase by 1 until you are 1 less away from getting the "packet need to be fragmented" message again.

    3. Add 28 more to this (since you specified ping packet size, not including IP/ICMP header of 28 bytes), and this is your MTU.

    Note:If you can ping through with the number at 1472, you are done! Stop right there. Add 28 and your MaxMTU is 1500.

    For PPPoE, your MaxMTU should be no more than 1492 to allow space for the 8 byte PPPoE "wrapper," but again, experiment to find the optimal value. For PPPoE, the stakes are high: if you get your MTU wrong, you may not just be sub-optimal, things like UPLOADING or web pages may stall or not work at all!

    (TCP, IP, MTU and MSS magic numbers)

    1500 The biggest-sized IP packet that can normally traverse the Internet without getting fragmented. Typical MTU for non-PPPoE, non-VPN connections.
    1492 The maximum MTU recommended for Internet PPPoE implementations.
    1472 The maximum ping data payload before fragmentation errors are received on non-PPPoE, non-VPN connections.
    1460 TCP Data size (MSS) when MTU is 1500 and not using PPPoE.
    1464 The maximum ping data payload before fragmentation errors are received when using a PPPoE-connected machine.
    1452 TCP Data size (MSS) when MTU is 1492 and using PPPoE.
    576 Typically recommended as the MTU for dial-up type applications, leaving 536 bytes of TCP data.
    48 The sum of IP, TCP and PPPoE headers.
    40 The sum of IP and TCP headers.
    28 The sum of IP and ICMP headers.

    Hope I helped.

    Google for MTU if you need more info.

    Regards.
    sigpic
    "All wars are fought for money" (Socrates, 470-399 BC)
    "Only the dead have seen the end of the war" (Plato, 427-347 BC)
    "We make war that we may live in peace" (Aristotle, 384-322 BC)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Packet Loss

      When debugging any issue (not just networking), divide and conquer. Remove possible sources until you've identified a cause.

      First remove the wireless part of the router and re-test. Snake a cable through the house between PC and router and see if the problem goes away. Next, bypass the router and connect straight to your ISP source. (But briefly, and with as much firewalling as you can turn on in the PC. I don't trust Windows directly connected to the Internet, so make sure you're fully patched first.)

      Let us know what you find and we can go from there.

      You could also run a realtime traceroute that measures packet loss. There's probably another thread here with such programs listed. I typically use mtr in Linux from my internal server but there are Windows equivalents available.
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Packet Loss

        i have a 5-meg cable connection..should i call the cable company "help" people and ask what my MTU is you think..?

        how do you look to see what your current MTU is?


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        • #5
          Re: Packet Loss

          Googling for "windows mtu" turned up this page:

          http://www.dslreports.com/tweaks/MTU
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Packet Loss

            Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
            When debugging any issue (not just networking), divide and conquer. Remove possible sources until you've identified a cause.

            First remove the wireless part of the router and re-test. Snake a cable through the house between PC and router and see if the problem goes away. Next, bypass the router and connect straight to your ISP source. (But briefly, and with as much firewalling as you can turn on in the PC. I don't trust Windows directly connected to the Internet, so make sure you're fully patched first.)

            Let us know what you find and we can go from there.

            You could also run a realtime traceroute that measures packet loss. There's probably another thread here with such programs listed. I typically use mtr in Linux from my internal server but there are Windows equivalents available.
            I second Monkey's approach. If things worked fine for you for a while and then trouble started, it's dubious it's your MTU. FWI, wireless routers induce lag. Wired FTW.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Packet Loss

              How to find if you drop packets:
              Start cmd. (Start, Run, cmd.exe)
              type "ping www.google.com -n 1000"
              That sends one thousand pings to Google. You want to have 0% packet loss.

              If you drop packets, you need to find out where. Use trace route:
              Start cmd. (Start, Run, cmd.exe)
              type "tracert www.google.com"
              It will show each point on the route to Google. Then use the ping procedure above on each of the points, starting with the first one the list to find out where the packets are dropped. Your router is the first stop on the route.

              Another thing: could someone else be using your network? If another user is downloading something or even just browsing the internet, it will adversely affect your ping (if only temporarily).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Packet Loss

                Packet loss is a proveable condition - either one of the links in your network path is dropping packets or it is not. Use BleedingKnee's suggestions to try and discover if you are losing packets or not.

                As ScratchMonkey said, eliminate variables one by one. First eliminate wireless - go wired. Wireless is a poor performer - never use it for gaming. Next rule out your local network - use a new cable and connect directly to your cable modem or DSL modem. Some cable modems permit direct addressing, giving your computer a genuine routable IP (as opposed to a NATed IP, like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x). Getting a routable IP will rule out your local network (except for your computer and cable). If you still have trouble at that point, I would go through the pain of calling the ISP - you may have a weak signal or otherwise bad link that they'll need to prove out.

                As a former internet engineer, I can assure you that problems on the internet itself do not last long. In other words, it is entirely possible to have a bad night on the 'net, but it should never persist for days at a time. If your performance issues linger for days or weeks, you have a local (ie your computer or LAN) issue or an ISP (cable, dsl) issue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Packet Loss

                  my network is secure and this problem has occurred for about a month now.

                  the ping:

                  I lost 15 packets (1%) and my connection timed out several times during the ping. time to tracert I guess

                  pinged my router and lost 4 packets out of 500 pings. minimum ping 1 max ping 360.

                  I guess my router is having problems then
                  Reapator, overlord of ponies

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Packet Loss

                    I've not tried to game over wireless, so I can't speak to how lossy it is. But it's simple to test by just running a wire. It doesn't have to be pretty. The local OSH hardware store has cheap network cables, better prices than computer and office stores, strangely enough. You can pick up a 50 footer and run it over the carpet, out the window, across the roof, whatever. Just for testing.

                    If that isolates the problem, and you can't get a better wireless signal, the real work begins: Dressing a cable inside the wall and through the attic to the router. Avoid sharp bends, which violate CAT5 standards. Keep the pairs twisted right up to the connectors. Don't pinch the jacket on the cable (eg. by tight stapling). Use cable wraps but don't cinch them too tight. My local Home Depot carries the hardware needed, including wall plates with Ethernet outlets.
                    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Packet Loss

                      Your router's busted! Your ping to a wired router should be 0 or 1ms. Wireless I dunno. Try setting the router back to defaults or upgrading the firmware.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Packet Loss

                        Bleeding is right. You've definitely got a bum router.

                        Damonte highly reccomends any of the WRT based routers. Linksys works very well, but that is a personal opinion.

                        "Everytime I read your posts I do it with Morgan Freeman's voice in my head as if he is narrating your life" - Aimed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Packet Loss

                          But it hasn't yet been established if the problem is the wireless or the router. Until you check that, I wouldn't replace the router. If the problem is poor signal, a different router is only going to fix it if it has a better radio, and the Linksys G/GS models don't have any leg up there. (An N might help, with its MIMO antenna. But you still need to identify the problem first.)
                          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Packet Loss

                            purl=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833150015]This[/url] is what I currently have. Mine does have MIMO, I think that is the only difference in the two.

                            I guess I'll just have to get my machine down from the 3rd floor, just to see if that is it
                            Reapator, overlord of ponies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Packet Loss

                              sry for off topic, but something on this page keeps crashing my browser, anyone have any clues what and why?
                              powered by Windows 7

                              . . . .

                              Comment

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