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Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

UnmannedCam
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎21-11-2020

Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

Hi all!

I've recently helped my girlfriend's mum "upgrade" her internet from a massively overpriced 17Mbps line to plusnet's 60-something Mbps package. The reason she's not done this sooner is because of the hassle that entails should there be any issues. Now I'm living the nightmare of being dropped into exactly the scenario I said was unlikely and she said she'd want to avoid - fun times.

To preface this issue, it's important for me to get it resolved ASAP as she relies on an off-site VPN to work from home. Any sort of latency spike or dropped packets will disconnect her from this VPN and halts her from working at all for a few minutes. 

Traffic at the moment I expect is massive, so a drop every now and then would be tolerable, but what I have at the moment is pure lunacy - I'd certainly not charge for this service. We counted 24 spikes at the beginning of this issue within 1 hour, which, as you can imagine, is essentially unusable.

I've:

- Replaced the router (TWICE, three seperate router models and a fourth as a WAP - TP-Link VR400, Plusnet hub one (useless), Asus DSL-AC55U, Archer D2 using other routers as modems)

- Tried combinations using multiple routers, e.g. using Hub One as a modem only and a TP-Link Archer D2 as WAP, amongst other combinations

- Replaced the DSL Filter (Two/three times)

- Replaced the DSL cable

- Tried various router settings across 3 routers

- Verified the spikes still occur even if the device monitoring for them is in a DMZ

- Tried multiple alternative DNS's 

- Used the test socket

- Prayed to the powers that be for some miracle to erase the issue like magic

Unfortunately, despite thinking for the past week or so that the issue had been resolved with the Asus DSL-AC55U, they're back. Perhaps it's a peak-time thing.

The spikes and packet drops seem to happen frequently and semi-predictably - I'll attach a couple of pingPlotter graphs I have. It should be noted that these spikes/drops are present on both wired and wireless (2.4 and 5GHz) connections. They seem to be worse on 2.4G wireless.

In some cases it almost seems like some sort of "heartbeat", where the packet loss/spikes occur rhythmically.

I should note that my speeds are absolutely fine, so please if someone from Plusnet sees this and tries to run a line test, don't tell me it's all good because I'm getting 70+Mbps, because that's meaningless if I can only get 70+Mbps in 5 minute bursts.

I don't even know what can be done for this at this point, I'm seriously considering moving elsewhere because, from past experience, I have a horrible feeling the fault will never be diagnosed (properly) or it'll be blamed somehow on my hardware that has been replaced and/or used elsewhere without issue. I've seen numerous other posts with this same issue, and the fact it can be fine for a week and then manifest again for no good reason will make verifying the fault is no longer present incredibly difficult - I don't want to end up in a situation where I'm outside of the time period to cancel the contract because I'm waiting on a fix.

Anyway, sorry for the wall of text, I'm just at my wit's end - any help anyone can offer, plusnet or otherwise, will be greatly appreciated. Pingplotter images are attached. 

Thanks all!

-Cam

 

 

4 REPLIES 4
Baldrick1
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 7,416
Thanks: 3,314
Fixes: 226
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

@UnmannedCam  Welcome to the forum.

I agree that you have a very tricky issue here but before getting committed to going elsewhere be aware that the 14 days cancellation period starts from the day of signing up for the service, not the go live day. 

RichardB
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 865
Thanks: 282
Fixes: 29
Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

Hi @UnmannedCam 

I my experience VPN's do not drop out due to latency spikes.

Which VPN is in use?

I have seen VPNs drop when the client IP address changes, could the VPN drops be due to the BB dropping and then reconnecting with a new IP address?

If the line is dropping, I would raise a fault with Plusnet via the troubleshooting process at:

https://faults.plus.net

However, I would advise not using the modem in Asus DSL-AC55U, it has the awful mediatek modem chipset which is not approved by Openreach. The mediatek chipset has a history of instability with lines ending up with significant reductions in download speed and being banded.

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/Ongoing-Fibre-issues-is-it-my-router/m-p/1776982

Regards

Richard

UnmannedCam
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎21-11-2020

Re: Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

Hi Richard! Thanks for that - it's a Remote Access VPN, maybe not the first thing that pops to mind when I think of a VPN, but it's a VPN nonetheless. She uses it to work remotely, so the issue isnt necessarily the VPN part but the Remote Access part - anything that requires live, two way data transfer (so rdp remote access, games, anything that relies on constant input and feedback) is unusable on this line as a spike stops the communication long enough for the server in any given scenario to boot the client (us). This means that for "every day" internet tasks like browsing websites, watching videos, etc, the behaviour is pretty unnoticable as it's just eaten up by the page load time or buffer. That's one of my concerns as that makes it harder for me to open a fault case with PN as it's a very specific behaviour, but exactly the sort of behaviour that makes the line useless for us.

As for the Asus, I'm aware of the mediatek modem issue(s), but my god whatever is in that Hub One (or mine at least) is 1000% worse, and the spike issue was present on the TP-Link VR400 also. The DSL-AC55U hasn't eliminated the spikes, but actually seems to be the best at "negating" them. Whether that's a subjectively positive manifestation of an otherwise objectively bad behaviour I couldn't say - but it's what works best for now with the 4 routers I have available.

I think I'll need to open a case with PN, I'm just dreading it - wish me luck!
RichardB
Aspiring Champion
Posts: 865
Thanks: 282
Fixes: 29
Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: Constant latency/ping spikes, unreliable line, I'm at a loss

Hi

I searched for "remote access VPN" but could not identify a specific product.

Is the VPN client running on a PC and is it connected by ethernet to the router?

Is see the ping plots were to EA which may be in Ireland (IP address 159.153.72.252).

Could you show the latency to a UK site maybe the BBC?

I would still recommend not using the Asus router for the reasons stated.

It would also be informative if the difference between the Plusnet Router and the Asus be captured in a ping plot etc.

Richard