Online Gaming Lag? Upstream Packet Loss - twelve99.net is looking like *my* culprit.
It's been about 10 days now that I am getting vicious lag spikes that make my online gaming unplayable.
I pay for the top tier Cox Internet and it's just lil ole me using it. (So it's not a case of multiple devices using bandwidth at the same time) and I have a wired connection to my cable modem router.
I had just replaced my Modem/Router in December and a Tech had come out because the line from house to pole had water in it. So it was extremely unlikely to be a local issue.
Over the holiday weekend - the lag continued to make my online games unplayable - So I contacted Cox late on MLK day, they scheduled a tech visit for the an am appointment on 1/17 - I was fairly happy with this response time.
In the meantime, I did some research on my own.
(I am not endorsing these products, they just happened to help me identify what the problem was.)
First day I ran several tests was on 1/16/24:
This was a one off, I haven't seen it go back quite as high as this, it's almost certainly because the timeframe was too short and timing was particular lucky/unlucky.
I ran another one late at night (in case it was a case of business hours latency)
Ran multiple tests over 90 seconds each while the tech was here and they came back between 0.5 and 2.5% upstream PL - always upstream.
The tech arranged for "monitoring" of my internet, but explained that could take up to 2 weeks (7-10 business days - the official term for "soon-ish")
I continued to monitor - this particularly egregious one was on 01/20 in the morning.
As you can see, back up to "Are you kidding me?" levels.
Today I was recommended, by a Network/System Admin friend of mine, to try out an application called pingplotter - which provides monitoring of your network and diagnostics of your connection. There's a free version, again - not an endorsement.
This was the first test between me and cox.com: (I removed the IP info between me and cox.net hop #5)
the issue looks like tracert hop #7 and #8 to twelve99.net aka Arelion - massive packet loss on those two hops.
I ran another test 30 minutes later - similar results:
And just now:
I am not a customer of Arelion/twelve99.net, Cox Communications is.
So can you call them and ask THEM to turn it off and on again. Because the only other solution: "Stop trying to play online games" is not an acceptable one.
Hoping this post will be of use to anyone else who is having a hard time gaming online.
And to be clear: This would only be an online gaming issue - as my sys admin buddy put it:
The gaming is the hard part because it's two way communication. That's why you notice the lag so immediately and so badly
Normal browsing or streaming is mostly one-way, or the two-way portion is so small that you don't really see it. The servers in question firehose the requested content at you.
But with gaming, those return packets are *important*. When they're slow, they slow the server response even more, which slows your response, and so on and so on. It snowballs *because* the server needs your input to be able to track things in real time
And this is absolutely correct: I am not having any noticeable issues with internet browsing or streaming content.
So it is likely that most non-online gamers (A large portion of the paying customer base) wouldn't notice this.
However, as you probably can tell, it's unacceptable to those of us that are and do.