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Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

pijo81
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Hi

 

Looking for advice about what I can do (if anything) about inconsistent ping times.  I seem to have no packet loss, but instead the packets are being delayed or buffered, causing inconsistency that makes network performance when playing games very poor.

 

In the example attached, the game sends a network packet every 12 or 13ms, and receives a response back immediately from the server.  This should mean received packets are also received every 12 or 13ms (or thereabouts)... I don't expect this to match exactly but you can see it's deteriorated badly since June, with packets no longer arriving at regular intervals.

 

I've tried: 2 different Windows machines & 1 linux, 2 different routers, 2 different cables.  All tests done over ethernet.  The server was in Denmark but I seem to get this regardless of server location, using one in London also exhibits the problem.  Sending each packet multiple times (outgoing and/or incoming) doesn't solve the problem.

 

My ping has also increased slightly since the summer but I can cope with higher ping as long as it's consistent.

 

Have attached quick excel graph - router 1 & 2 make little difference, you can see Vodaphone, BT & my connection in June are all much more consistent.

 

Am not sure if there's anything I can do to fix this... is it a problem with line/exchange/Plusnet?

 

Thanks,

11 REPLIES 11
pijo81
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Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Spoke to plusnet technical support this morning, they are sending out a new router (I'm sceptical this will help, but okay).

 

Just checked and my example from June 2020 (when things were fine) was before my contract was renewed.  Could this have anything to do with it?  It wasn't a product change (I stayed on Unlimited Fibre Extra).

 

pijo81
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

New router arrived today, all up and running fine but no difference to the buffering/jitter unfortunately.

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 19,313
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Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

I've been looking into this and I'm struggling to identify any issues with your service. There's been no changes made to your broadband connection when you renewed your contract, the only changes were billing related. 

Which games are you experiencing the performance issues with? Is it more than one game?

Also can you try running a traceroute to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com and post up the results?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
pijo81
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Posts: 9
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Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Thanks Gandalf.  The download speeds etc are fine, and there's no packet loss, just inconsistent replies.  I can try different port combinations if that would possibly have any effect?  Since June my ping times to london servers have increased by about 4 or 5ms also.

 

The game is QuakeWorld - all over UDP and no network buffers on client or server so not very tolerant of network jitter.  I don't really play any other games I'm afraid (that are UDP) so it's hard to say.

 

Traceroute as requested:

Tracing route to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dsldevice.lan [192.168.1.254]
  2    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  253.core.plus.net [195.166.130.253]
  3    27 ms    27 ms    28 ms  84.93.253.111
  4    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  195.99.125.142
  5    28 ms    27 ms    27 ms  peer7-et-0-0-5.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [109.159.252.184]
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  po11-13.bdr-rt3.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.22]
  8    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  po4-31.core-rs4.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.85]
  9    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]

 

Ran it again

 

Tracing route to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dsldevice.lan [192.168.1.254]
  2    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  253.core.plus.net [195.166.130.253]
  3    28 ms    27 ms    27 ms  84.93.253.111
  4    28 ms    27 ms    28 ms  195.99.125.142
  5    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  peer7-et-0-0-5.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [109.159.252.184]
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  po11-13.bdr-rt3.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.22]
  8    27 ms    38 ms    30 ms  po4-31.core-rs4.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.85]
  9    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]

 

And again...

 

Tracing route to pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dsldevice.lan [192.168.1.254]
  2    54 ms    73 ms    27 ms  253.core.plus.net [195.166.130.253]
  3    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  84.93.253.111
  4    27 ms    27 ms    28 ms  195.99.125.142
  5    28 ms    27 ms    27 ms  peer7-et-0-0-5.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [109.159.252.184]
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  7    27 ms    27 ms    28 ms  po11-13.bdr-rt3.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.22]
  8    30 ms    37 ms    30 ms  po4-31.core-rs4.thdo.ncuk.net [80.249.97.85]
  9    27 ms    27 ms    27 ms  pingbox1.thinkbroadband.com [80.249.99.164]

 

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 19,313
Thanks: 6,519
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Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

The traceroutes you've done look perfectly fine including the response times which wouldn't cause an issue. It's normal for some hops to time out as they'll be prioritising the routing of traffic rather than responding back.

Generally there'd be an issue if you see spikes of excessively high latency at one hop that continues on to the end.

Have you tried contacting QuakeWorld to see if there's any issues their end they may be aware of? 

Also it may be worth setting up a ThinkBroadband Broadband Quality Monitor (BQM) from Here although you won't be able to use this with the new router we've sent as the Hub One blocks ICMP requests by design.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
Dan_the_Van
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Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Hi @pijo81 

Further to @Gandalf post it is possible to run BMQ on a Hub One.

For routers that do not support responding to ping packets on the WAN port you can configure a DMZ host this will respond to pings directed at your public IP address, there are risks and I would NOT put any PC with sensitive data in the DMZ.

When I've run a BMQ I configured a Virtual System in the DMZ others have put a dumb device such as Apple TV or Now TV box in the DMZ.

Hope this helps.

Dan.

pijo81
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Thanks to both of you for your help.

 

I didn't really have a non-computer to put in the DMZ so went back to my TP Link router, enabled remote ICMP replies and set up a monitor.  Only been running 2 hours but I've attached what it's showing so far.

 

Going by my old tests, it seems much improved from last night onwards - my base ping is still slightly higher than it used to be but not so bad, and the packets arriving late are now happening in much more regular bursts, rather than just all the time.  I'll leave the monitor running and see what it says.

 

Thanks again

pijo81
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Updated graph - very quiet overnight.

 

Thanks,

 

 

pijo81
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Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Further update.

 

Also another sample point of the inconsistency of the packets from in-game, and it has been steadily improving over the past week.

 

pijo81
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Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

pijo81
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎29-01-2021

Re: Inconsistent pings (buffered UDP packets?)

Have gone back to the PlusNet router today, so have disabled the monitor.  Can clearly see it's showing higher pings associated with activity (which I believe is to be expected), but I've highlighted the area where I was playing QuakeWorld last night, and the bandwidth requirements are so low that the monitor showed very little fluctuation.

 

While I was playing I disabled wifi on the router and my gaming PC was the only PC plugged in.  Still, the packets were being buffered and after improving all through the week, were definitely worse again.  Is it possible there is something else going on with the line/exchange?

 

I'll keep doing measurements this week but appreciate from other posts on this forum, this isn't going to be at top of the priority list.  At this point I'm just waiting for FFTP.

 

Thanks again,