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VIrgin Media Customers irate about World of Warcraft traffic management

pikey
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 02-11-2010

VIrgin Media Customers irate about World of Warcraft traffic management

Firstly; link to Virgin's "statement": http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Broadband-down-your-phone-line/World-of-Warcraft-Latency-Issues/...
Secondly what has happened;
World of Warcraft, a game with 12 million subscribers worldwide (so its what you call internationally popular) is on the verge of a game overhaul expansion called 'Cataclysm' due for release 7th December. Apparently Blizzard Entertainment, the game designers, altered the way in which the game packets are formed prior to this expansion. Virgin Media have been caught out as their packet management technology has begun to downgrade the priority of the gaming TCP/IP packets to the level with all the Peer-to-peer rubbish. I can bare witness to Virgin customers screaming their heads off about this outrageous turn of affairs since i watch them being disconnected every evening. 50MB cable broadband rendered absolutely useless for playing one game, Virgin say it will take "weeks" to fix.
I believe there is a slight workaround to the issue if you need one and you found yourself here. By limiting the maximum transmission unit to 576 (you will find the MTU setting in your network cards properties and the registry but im not giving instructions here) then apparently packets that small arent managed in the same way. Apparently...not tested here, but i'm not with Virgin either.
So I would like to discuss how PlusNet manage gaming traffic, how they werent caught out (or have they been) and the validity of Virgin's statement - in particular blaming Blizzard for not communicating the issue and how a policy on traffic management kit takes "weeks" to change...seems fishy to me but i'm no network engineer. But then I have used network kit and im familiar with firewall policies and rules which take a few minutes to knock up and push out.
Perhaps the thing i most want to know is how a policy governing "unknown" traffic automatically treats it with the lowest priority? A mindset that speaks volumes for the way our internet traffic is being dealt with and a concerning trend. Who knows what game will suddenly become managed out of existence?
1 REPLY
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,345
Thanks: 600
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: VIrgin Media Customers irate about World of Warcraft traffic management

What you've just posted is one of the reasons for the Plusnet Pro product - ALL traffic is Gold or better even if it is unrecognised. So if you are a gamer who always takes the latest updates as soon as they are out (or goes for the beta versions) or plays obscure games for which Plusnet have no signatures, Pro is an option that should be considered.
For all other accounts there can be a delay in rolling new signatures, but Plusnet puts the unknown traffic above P2P and binary usenet unlike Virgin.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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