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High ping; need a new ISP

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by b3mor, 23 Apr 2010.

  1. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    Hi,

    I'm trying to play BF:BC2 but my internet connection is being a pig. I keep getting 'you've lost your connection' messages and rubber banding constantly in game. My ping often goes out to 999 which is obviously useless! This despite being close (I'd say about 200 metres) from the exchange. I'm guessing they are screwing over the connection (I've only started playing online for the first time a few weeks back), and am probably playing about 10-15 hours a week, usually at the weekend and evenings. Had no problems for the first week or so but now every time I play, errr, I can't!

    Having read the sticky I've established I can't get any LLU services so am stuck with BTw. Is there much difference between providers or are they all as rubbish as each other?

    Answering the sticky questions:

    Usage is mainly web surfing, some (but not a lot) of downloading and online gaming.

    Not bothered about length of contract if the new provider is half decent, and don't need any free carp or broadband 'accelerators' :rolleyes:

    Oh, and if it is of any relevance, currently with Orange, who are sh1te!

    Suggestions would be great! :)
     
  2. Infamous786

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Dec 2008

    Posts: 502

    Location: Peterborough

    I would use this site, http://www.thinkbroadband.com/, compare diffrent providors, you should get a solid line if your 200 meters from the exchange as long as your line has decent stats. I cant really comment on ADSL as i have been using cable for the Past 5 yrs. Usally the better providors are little bit more expensive, but you get a better service. From a quick comparision IDnet look quite good!
     
  3. Azuse05

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Apr 2009

    Posts: 1,950

    Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

    Something like zen will cost a fair bit and have a lowish cap, but will give you constant low pings. Basically you'll have to pick a capped service.
     
  4. Alexrose1uk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Apr 2004

    Posts: 8,684

    Location: Milton Keynes

    I'd recommend an Enta based reseller. For all the niggles, they provide a consistantly good service in terms of packet loss and ping, and for this reason I keep going back to them, and to be fair a lot of people who had issues reported they're doing better recently :)
    They're certainly my ISP of choice until LLU is enabled.

    They don't offer the same service as Zen in that depending on your exchange you may find periods where your line doesnt max out on download speeds, BUT they are cheaper and offer higher bandwidth caps in return.
    I'm currently on the Office 45 package.
    I'm on vivaciti, but you've also got the likes of Aquiss, UKFSN and a few others.

    BTW with BFBC2 see if disabling UPNP on your router helps :)
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2010
  5. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    Hmmm well I've got some line stats for you from the router:

    ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
    Connection Speed 4960 kbps 448 kbps
    Line Attenuation 7.0 db 2.5 db
    Noise Margin 18.9 db 12.0 db

    From what I can gather a low attenuation is best, and margin doesn't mean a lot?! Need the actual SNR not the SNR margin. Not sure if that is of any use...

    Thanks for the tip about the uPnP, have switched it off so will see tonight whether it makes any difference! To be honest I think it is just Orange pulling the plug. :(

    The thing is I don't know how much our internet usage is! There isn't much downloading but quite a lot of surfing, so it is basically just the gaming, I guess that uses quite a bit?

    Any thoughts on Plusnet, their Extra package looks tempting. 60GB usage included for £18 per month.

    Aquiss looks good, but I was hoping to pay nearer to £20 per month if possible.
     
  6. sid-180

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Nov 2009

    Posts: 553

    We use Titan adsl a former entanet reseller, have been on their c&w LLU service since May last year i get pings of 12ms which is amazing.
     
  7. Alexrose1uk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Apr 2004

    Posts: 8,684

    Location: Milton Keynes

    The OP cannot get LLU.

    B3mor your line stats look decent, in fact it looks like your line is being artificially limited with a high snr profile! From those readings I'd say that's a netgear router, have a look into DGTeam firmware/SNR tweaking :) If you tweaked that noise margin from 18.9 down to about 12 you'd probably boost your connection rate a decent amount, and likely remain stable.

    Gaming, aside from patching and general browsing (not extensive movie viewing) doesn't actually use that much. You might be fine with one of the lower packages from Enta, especially if most of your usage is evenings :)
     
  8. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    It is a PITA not being on an LLU enabled exchange!

    Thanks for looking at the line stats, as I said I thought they should be half way decent as I can nearly see the exchange from the house! I'll read the thread you mention and see if I can make any improvements.

    One thing I thought I ought to mention in case it makes a difference is that I'm using an Edimax wireless adapter. And you are right (scarily!) it is a Netgear router, DG834PN if memory serves.

    Spoke with beloved Orange, they are sending a MAC. Even had the pleasure of speaking with their technical department, who appeared to have even less knowledge of the workings of the internet than me, which I thought was quite remarkable for a technical department. He just suggested I did speed checks despite me saying the download speed isn't the problem (it is carp as well, but the ping is the issue I think where gaming is concerned).

    Unfortunately uPnP didn't make a difference. I tried playing again last night and had no chance, constant 999 ping, but played again this morning and it was borderline useable, ping about 150-200 for 75% of the time and then occasionally reverting to 999. But at least I got some kills in! This suggests to me that their network is simply overloaded.

    I need to see if I can work out how much we are utilising the connection, I checked the other night after about 3 hours of gaming and it said 400,000,000 bytes which I think I worked out is about 400mb? The other computers (3 of them) decide to report packets rather than bytes, not sure how big or small they are...

    Thanks for your help btw. :)
     
  9. Azuse05

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Apr 2009

    Posts: 1,950

    Location: Aberdeen, Scotland

    SNR of 18.9, omg. The real question is why is it that high? Is it just orange being crappy as usual (quite probably given your pings) or because the line passes a power plant :p

    You'd be close to/at 24meg with a more normal snr, hope it's the isps fault :)
     
  10. ncjok

    Gangster

    Joined: 17 Jan 2004

    Posts: 482

    b3mor,

    I see you are switching providers and hopefully that will cure the issues you are experiencing through Orange. Have you chosen who you are going to move to?

    With regard to your current connection, the attenuation suggests you should easily (with emphasis) max out the ADSL1 sync rate on O2 Access. There are a few things you could look at in the mean time.

    Something is awry with the high downstream noise margin. As previously mentioned this could be due to the modem sync'ing while there is RF interference affecting the line or an overly-conservative target SNR profile (18 db?) set on the DSLAM. I don't know if you could get this information out of Orange but you could try asking them what the target SNR is and whether they can get it lowered to something more sensible like 6 or 9 db. This would take care of the sync rate.

    Also throughput related, you could check your IP profile using BT's Speed Tester to look for any discrepancy between your sync rate and throughput.

    With respect to the gaming issues, experience would suggest this is associated with something like router (mis-)configuration or poor routing/congestion somewhere on the link to the server.
    • Try connecting to the modem/router via wired ethernet.
    • Look for any change when your PC is the only device connected to the modem/router.
    • Check for improvement in the gaming experience at on- and off-peak hours.
    • Look for routing issues to the game server with 'ping' and 'traceroute/tracert'.
    • Could try disabling the router's SPI firewall.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2010
  11. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,740

    Location: Hampshire

    I'd also recommend an entanet reseller. Enta have taken a lot of stick for the traffic shaping they implemented towards the end of last year, but for gamers, it's fantastic. Basically even in cases where my download speed has dropped off a bit I always get low latency (~11-13ms) and no packetloss.

    I used to be with orange and I would jump ship if I were you. They are a mass-market isp and as such are more concerned about cramming people onto their service than worrying about seemingly trivial (to them) gripes about gaming performance.

    If you want to pay close to £20 a month maybe consider the Business 15 product from enta. ~£23/month with unlimited offpeak (8pm-8am and weekend) usage and 15GB during peak hours.
     
  12. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    Is that actually possible on anything via BTw or is that restricted to LLU enabled services?

    No I haven’t selected a new provider yet. I am of course assuming the problem is Orange, and not something this end, but the fact that I was able to play for a week or two and since then everything has ground to a halt in the evenings indicates it isn’t anything here that is causing the problem, especially as I could half play this morning, when I’m guessing network utilisation is lower. Although even then the ping would go out to 999 occasionally.

    With regard the SNR Margin, I assume this is not something the user can change, it has to be done by the provider? Do you know whether this would be changed by a new provider? Anyway, I rebooted the router last night and the statistics now show the following, not sure if it means anything to you?

    ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
    Connection Speed 8096 kbps 448 kbps
    Line Attenuation 7.0 db 2.5 db
    Noise Margin 8.1 db 24.0 db

    The connection speed is obviously higher and the SNR margins appear to have swapped around?!

    I have done two tests on speedtester.bt.com today, one at 15:45 got 6175kbps and one at 19:45 got 5196kbps, so I don’t think there is a problem with the outright speed.

    Regarding the number of devices connected to the router, of the 4 computers that use the router it is unlikely any more than 2 would be in use at the same time.

    I tried the tracert command to multiplay.co.uk (not sure if this is the best example to try?). The results for the three columns were 30-40ms for the first 5 rows then row 6 showed *, 97ms, * to ae1-0.loncr4.London.opentransit.net, with the remaining steps being 40-50ms for each row to multiplay.co.uk. From the brief reading I’ve done any ‘*’ means there is a delay? Is this something to do with Orange?

    I also just went to pingtest.net and it says my ping is A grade at 41ms?! :confused:

    I know what you mean, speaking to technical support about the ping was like banging my head against a brick wall! Will have a look at Enta.

    Regarding my suggestion of Plusnet, does anyone have any experience of them as a provider?

    Thanks for the help all. :)
     
  13. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    Got my MAC code from Orange so I'm dragging this thread back from the brink! ;)

    I'm convinced the ISP is the problem as I can play with very few slow downs in the morning, yet tried playing last night and the ping was 999 from the off!

    Anyway, options I'm considering are:

    IDNet Home Lite
    Plusnet Extra
    Sky Broadband Connect

    I am leaning towards Plusnet as they have a big peak usage allowance of 60GB compared with 10GB for IDNet, plus there is stuff on their website about how they prioritise traffic for 'time sensitive' stuff like gaming and video streaming etc. Sky might be similar to Orange?

    Any feedback on the above or other ideas welcome! :)
     
  14. Alexrose1uk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 26 Apr 2004

    Posts: 8,684

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Thing is, as I remember are plusnet still 1 year contract? A lot of the smaller companies/more niche companies provide 1 month contracts, which could be a big thing for you if you realise you dont like them 3 weeks in!
     
  15. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    It is only a 1 year contract if you take the free modem/router, which I don't need, so I think you only have to give them 10 days notice that you want to leave.

    There are just too many choices!

    And it turns out Plusnet are owned by BT, hmmm. :eek:
     
  16. Xez

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,024

    Location: Lincolnshire

    I'm with plusnet, yes BT own them but it doesn't seem to affect them in anyway thankfully! My pings are always great no matter what time. I'm on the pro package at £20 a month and have been for nearly 2 years.
     
  17. bobpullen

    Associate

    Joined: 11 Feb 2010

    Posts: 83

    Location: Sheffield

    My opinion would be biased but if there's anything specific you want to know then ask away and I'll be happy to help.

    Rgds,
     
  18. Bane

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,612

    I would avoid Sky Connect.

    Unable to vouch for pings, but bandwidth at peak times was dire when I visited a house using it. Reminded me of O2 Access package.

    The Sky router was synced at 8128kbps, and downloads were sub 100KB/s all evening. So was a right pain trying to use it to get Windows updates.
     
  19. b3mor

    Gangster

    Joined: 4 Aug 2007

    Posts: 269

    Hi,

    The only thing I can think of is the difference between the Extra and Pro packages. I realise the Pro package is designed specifically with gamers in mind however per this page on your website:

    http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/speed_guide/traffic_prioritisation.shtml

    the priority level for gaming traffic is identical for the two packages? Therefore is there going to be much difference between the performance of the two packages for gaming?

    Your website also mentions that the first 4 months is free, I assume this only applies if you take out a 12 month contract?

    And lastly, I understand there is a £25 setup charge regardless of whether you opt for a 10 day rolling contract or 12 month contract, is that correct?

    Thanks.

    Is everything on BTw rubbish because of BT or the providers themselves? I don’t want to waste my time switching for no tangible benefit! If only I was on an LLU enabled exchange eh? :p

    Thanks everyone for your input! :)
     
  20. Bane

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Jun 2005

    Posts: 2,612

    In the case of Sky and O2 non-LLU packages it comes down to them not wanting to pay extra to BT. So inevitability some customers have to suffer a terrible service.

    If pings are important and your line looks good, check if the ISP will allow for Interleave to be disabled. Not sure if they can do it themselves or if it gets passed on to a BT department.

    It wouldn't be any good for you because of price for monthly download limits, but Fast.co.uk have been great for me. No bandwidth/shaping issues, and have disabled interleave on request.