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Online games connectivity drops periodically

Discussion in 'Networking' started by sillygiraffe, Mar 22, 2012.

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  1. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    Alright guys, I'm pretty illiterate when it comes to computers and the Internet. I can install things, run CCleaner, and do other basic tasks. I've been stumped about this issue for months and after repeated, and failed, attempts to resolve it via the ISP, I've come to the internet for help. I've done searches via Google, this website, and all the other places I can think of, so hopefully I didn't miss a solution to my problem.

    I mentioned my illiteracy also because I'm not exactly sure what info you'll need to help me, so I'll describe the issue as best as I can.

    When playing games online, my internet connection will occasionally drop for 5-8 seconds, every 5-10 minutes. Sometimes, the game will allow me to reconnect after a short lag spike. Other times, I must meet a breakpoint for getting booted, and I'll have to leave the game.

    It happens with all games I play online. Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Minecraft, Guild Wars, Starcraft II, the Diablo 3 Beta (MAY 15(y)), and even Ventrilo does it. Where ping is given, I'll either get any of the various "Disconnected" messages, or if I manage to recover fast enough for that not to happen, it will read as a 1000+ ping spike that soon returns to normal.

    It also happens to all computers on the network. Three desktops all experience it, and the various laptops we may have connected experience it. However, even if only one computer is active, the issue will occur, so I know I'm not simply choking my bandwidth.

    However, I have not noticed this issue while browsing the internet. It may even happen, I just don't notice it when loading videos on Youtube or any such activity.

    That's all I can think to say. Now on to technical details:

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Service Pack 1, 64 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 930 @ 2.80GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 26 Stepping 5
    Processor Count: 8
    RAM: 6142 Mb
    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460, 1024 Mb (2x, SLI enabled)
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 305142 MB, Free - 58081 MB;
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., X58A-UD3R
    Antivirus: Norton Internet Security, Updated and Enabled

    Adding my own here:
    Modem: Scientific Atlanta, model DPX2203 SERIES
    Router: Linksys, model no. WRT610N V1

    I've posted this in Networking because my network is the issue, I think. If this is inappropriate feel free to let me know.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Same problem with a computer connected directly to the modem?
     
  3. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    All of the computers are wired through the router. That's how my ISP set it up last time they visited.
     
  4. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    But what TerryNet asked is if you bypass your Linksys router, do you get the same issue?
     
  5. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    I've tested this since I saw that reply. It's been about an hour thus far, and apparently the issue does not occur. I'm using the computer the specs above belong to, plugged into the modem.

    Edit: About two minutes after I posted this, my connectivity dropped playing Starcraft II.

    The modem lights are no indication of what is occurring. The light for PC was blinking rapidly as always, and the send/receive lights were lit. Then, about 2 seconds before my connection was re-established, the send/receive lights went out, and came back on when the connection re-established.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    That, I think, is a clue that the modem's connection with the ISP was interrupted and had to be reestablished. What kind of internet service (cable, DSL, satellite, ...) do you have? You may want to check your interior wiring and connections.
     
  7. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    I have Roadrunner cable broadband. I've had someone from the ISP come out and rewire the cable twice thus far, so I'm hopeful that that isn't the issue.

    However, if there's a way to test that theory, I'll do so. There aren't any glaring, obvious issues like a dead squirrel in the wall with a chewed wire, so I just don't know how to find out.
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Since the connection reestablishes by itself I mostly suspect an ISP or modem problem.

    When I have trouble (that's not because the ISP is down) with my cable service it typically does not come back by itself. I have to disconnect/reconnect where cables connect to each other or to the primary splitter until I find the one that had apparently become corroded. The one outside where the company's cable meets mine and it is grounded I used to get a lot of rust causing outages until I fixed it more or less permanently.

    Again, I mostly suspect ISP or modem problems, but can't think of much else to prove/disprove that. See if you can access the modem via browser at 192.168.100.1. If so, check the logs for any hints.
     
  9. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    Name
    WebSTAR DPX2203
    Modem Serial Number
    102688692
    Cable Modem MAC Address
    00:0A:73:FB:2C:B2
    Hardware Version
    v1.1
    Software Version
    v2.0.2r1151-100113
    Receive Power Level
    -11.3 dBmV
    Transmit Power Level
    38.7 dBmV
    Cable Modem Status
    Operational

    Not sure what any of this means. The access happened instantly when I put that in my browser. I've checked along the cable lines as far as I am able and I don't see any corrosion or glaring physical defects.

    I'm stumped.
     
  10. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    The Receive Power Level is not too good. I've read that it should be between -12 and +12 dBmV, but one of the Trusted Advisors has said it should be between -10 and 0 dBmV, with closer to zero being better.

    You won't see corrosion (unless it's actual rust, as I had on my outside ground connection); just have to disconnect and reconnect (several times if you suspect corrosion).

    Somewhere after the cable enters your residence you should have one high quality two-way splitter with one side going to your modem and the other side going to anything else (TVs, etc.). Is that what you have?

    Some words from JohnWill on the subject:

     
  11. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Between -10 and -15 is pushing it, over -15 will need to be looked at. But if that is the only signal that is not in range then it's most likely the modem, as I have seen people on -20 and still work. We still do a service call anyways because it will cause issues later.

    The SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) is probably the best gauge... Yours is good for now so when it goes offline check that again.

    Also ask your ISP if you have an erratic SNR (they may not tell you though).

    Otherwise a ping test for packet loss may give some insight.

    In command prompt type ping yahoo.com -n 100 > ping.txt & ping.txt. When it comes up, copy just the results at the end.
     
  12. sillygiraffe

    sillygiraffe Thread Starter

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    Sorry for the brief disappearance. I really appreciate the effort going into this.

    TerryNet, I have no idea about the splitter. I traced the wires up to my attic that's been undisturbed since the last visit from the ISP, and all the exposed wiring runs into walls, with no visible splits. Is there another way to tell that I'm missing?

    Couriant, here you go:

    Ping statistics for 98.139.183.24:
    Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 99, Lost = 1 (1% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 52ms, Maximum = 172ms, Average = 95ms
     
  13. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Well, there's only one cable coming into your house. So, somewhere there is at least one splitter. If you can't trace the cables/connections from the company's outside cable to your modem I don't know what else you can do to trouble shoot this.
     
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