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Some Gaming/connection Help Please

JPS
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 30-10-2007

Some Gaming/connection Help Please

Hi all,
I've been online gaming for about 3 years and I've been with Metronet for that time.  My connection rates have never been brilliant but they've never affected me until now.   
I've been playing Guildwars, DDO, Lotro, Archlord, and World of Warcraft with no issues.  Ping rates averaged around 100-200ms to these games and whilst not ideal never really affected my game play.
I've just bought and started playing Tabula Rasa and in game pings vary dramatically between a playable 200ms to an average 5000ms and worse.  At first I though I had DNS issues so I adjusted my DNS servers - no change.  Then I changed my router to a good one I borrowed from work.  Still no change.
When I ping www.bbb.co.uk my average ping is 65ms - I get this from the router as well as the PC.  I also can't remember seeing it better than this.
I've done a series of speed tests at www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk and my results vary.  My upload speed generally remains stable at around 378KBPS but my download speed varies dramatically from 714kbps to 1900kbps. 
I don't know what my contention ratio is but I'm on the top Metronet Pay as you go option 3. 
So my question is how can I speed up my connection? I've tried different routers but the results are the same.  Would turning of Interleave improve things, and if so how do you do it?  Would moving to a different provider (not something I want to do) help.  Or is it simply the distance I am from the exchange means my broadband is slower than most and that's just how it is?
I've tried to use speedtester.bt.com to get some additional information but after accepting my phone number it asks for a log in name to confirm who I am.  I've tried both my internet and extranet usernames (as supplied by Metronet) and neither works. So,
Any thoughts or assistance would be appreciated -
Thanks
Jez.
5 REPLIES
pcoventry76
Grafter
Posts: 950
Registered: 27-08-2007

Re: Some Gaming/connection Help Please

take a look at BBYW Pro it's desigend for gaming but has no trate limits and all non gaming traffic goes in the gold queue..
You can get your line put across to fastpath for no extra charge. this also helps and my pings were very low on Team Fortress 2
10GB alllowance for £19,99
http://www.plus.net/residential/broadband/bbyw_pro.shtml?WT.svl=home_bbywpro_ban
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Some Gaming/connection Help Please

Hi Jez,
You should be able to log onto the BT Speedtester as username@dsl2.net
Regarding the fluctuating speeds, you currently have a profile set to 1750Kbps by BT.  This is done in accordance with your downstream synchronisation speeds (please see link in my sig for details).
You will also have something called interleaving applied on your line.  this increases stability, but also causes latency to increase by 20-50ms.  We can remove this for you, but you need to be aware that this could potentially lead to your connection becoming intermittent.  It takes one working day to remove and one working day to reapply.
It sounds like it's partly down to the distance you are from the exchange, but if you could try running a wireshark capture whilst playing your games, this would help us see where the problem lies.
http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/troubleshooting/wireshark_video.shtml
Prod_Man
Grafter
Posts: 286
Registered: 04-08-2007

Re: Some Gaming/connection Help Please

I have interleaving off as far as I am aware ..
Never tried it on, but,  from what I know/understand,
Interleaveing would ensure less data loss.
Which may not be all too important in a Game to be honest as it can have a negitive effect on syncroisation of data,
(data transmition and reception out of sync)
Though the quality of data recieved would be good quality but possibly "late" (hence out of sync).
Speed Tests ... where do I begin, euh ...
I have tested from here to Germany, Netherlands and West Coast America.
I have had better Speed Tests from these remote /external servers, than Internal PlusNet and that's truth (so far).
from a HTTP Speed Test.
upon trace routeing to those servers,
the latency was actually quite high/hurrendous,
we're talking 90-350ms for America,
Netherlands had anywhere between 30-125ms.
Germany 30-75ms.
where as anywhere in PlusNet it is 11-50ms usually, and depending on Gateway Activities alongthe route 11-240ms at any one time from a traceroute.
I have not always run the PlusNet Speed Test at the same times, so, it's not a very fair comparison to be truthful.
I like Jameseh's Advice Wink
A nice Packet Sniffer, nothing beats a good old Packet Sniff
and a delve into reasons for latency.
Packet Headers partially determine the route to a server.
I (usually) first,
check the route to the server(s) in question.
tracerouting to the IP.
tracert xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx > C:\trace.txt
Post your findings here,
we can then see if it's an Internal or External issue.
Meaning, is it somewhere else along the wires that PlusNet really cannot do much about.
OK, OK, minor lie there...
this doesn't test the Protocol in Question, which the Ellacoyas would otherwise allocate to the correct server pipes.
but, it at least gives a guideline if it's just a problem along the line else where.
Check out the Game Engine Settings.
Not everything is a Hardware issue,
half of the time you can tweak game settings for optimal pings.
Googeling around the game in question has no tweak ability as such which doesn't help.
Nor is it listed on the "Ports" list or "Supported Games".
you also have to account for the fact it can be what we call "Server Side Latency", High Hard Disk Activity, RAM usage / CPU usage, from another Process on the Server that can cause a game/server wide latency.
Not much specific help, but, hopefully something to go on.
Jim,
JPS
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 30-10-2007

Re: Some Gaming/connection Help Please

Wow - thanks for all that.
Metronet have informed me that they are currently testing placing the TR traffic in priority and once testing is complete they will let me know.  Hopefully that will resolve some issues.
I run a wireshark log, and beyond determining that there was up to 1 second at times between packets I wasn't sure what to do.  I'll watch the video and hopefully have a better understanding.  I'll also check out the BT system.  I'll stay with Interleave for now, thanks, until the changes have been made to the system and I can see what difference that has made.  I'll also check out how to move to the BBYM gamer option, although that doesn't appear as an option under the Metronet portal.
Once again thanks for all the suggestions,
Jez.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Some Gaming/connection Help Please

Hi JPS,
What's important from the Wireshark capture is to see what kind of traffic is being identified (gold, silver, etc).  The video tutorial shows you how to do this.
But as you have said that we're adding the traffic into the relavant traffic queue, this should be sorted relatively soon Smiley