I'm at an absolute loss here with Orange. I moved into my apartment in Birmingham B5 1st October last year. 10th October my Orange broadband was activated (BT phone line only, no fibre, despite being a brand new building).
The connection has been fairly solid for almost all the time I've been here. Had some teething issues in the form of a sporadic connection for the first couple of weeks, but that's to be expected and since then, no problems.
The last week or so however, in the evening while playing on xbox live (COD, BF3) I started suffering lag issues. It wasn't in the form of consistent high latency, but occasional (or not so occasional) lag spikes, that red bar me in COD, or cause huge rubber banding in BF3.
To check what was going on, I installed 'PingTester' on one of my computers. Wired desktop PC, Win 7.
I started pinging 'ping.thinkbroadband.com' and noticed that once every 5 to 30 seconds (it varies quite a bit) I would get a time out. Straight away, I made sure to eliminate anything my end such as:
- Restarting the router
- Turned off the wireless antenna on the router
- Tried a different port and wire
- Tried pinging from the Mac OS network utility (Airport Wireless)
- Even tried my other router (long story, they sent one of their new BrightBoxs because I complained about the constant wifi drop outs of the NETGEAR DGN1000. Also useful FYI, I noticed that when using the BrightBox, any video streaming to a wireless client would cause huge 300/400/500 ms spikes for my wired PC, no such problems exist when using the NETGEAR router.
I called Orange, hoping they would offer me some assistance. I got through to the usual outsourced call centre and spoke to someone who didn't know what latency was. At all. Hung up, tried again. This time I got someone who was very helpful in eliminating the same causes that I had, but we still reached a point where there was nothing he could do.
I gave up and kept pinging. What was interesting was that as it got later and later, the frequency of dropped packets got lower and lower. Until, by about 2 am. The connection was consistent again. Although there was still a packet or two being lost here and there.
Today, I checked periodically while in my flat, seemed fine. Would still have occasional packet loss but maybe 3 or 4 every 1000.
Then at around 10 past 8 this evening, while playing Battlefield 3 with a friend, I got completely disconnected from EA online. I went over to my PC (still pinging) and saw that the packet dropping had started. I was sending a packet at a max rate of 1 packet every 10 ms (time-out set to 5000ms). and was losing around 3 or 4%. Here is a link to the text file containing the ping info for when it was at its worst. The ping interval is 10ms, 32 bytes, with a time out of 5000ms:
PingTester Text Export
Restarted the router, problem continues. Xbox unplayable online, PC ping tester losing packets intermittently (sometimes one every second or so for 5 seconds, sometimes only 1 loss in 10 seconds)
I called Orange again, explained that I was having the same issue and after all the standard call centre pamphlet suggestions I got fed up and hung up.
They've now 'tested' my line twice and both times have said it is clean, even when I'm losing packets right as I talk to them.
Is there any way to find out what the problem is myself?
I have my own theory which is that as my building was mostly empty when I moved in, the exchange for my line was fairly underwhelmed, but as more and more people have moved in and got their internet up and running, this is no longer the case. And the packet loss I'm experiencing rises and falls with the peak usage times because of this.
This is unbelievably frustrating for me, since I consider myself capable enough to have worked out that there is nothing I can do my end, and it is a shortcoming in the network somewhere which I am unable to fix.
Any advice or troubleshooting suggestions would be greatly appreciated at this point.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this,