Iíve been using o2 happily for a couple of years as my ISP. Over the last week or so I have seen a rather noticeable decline in the quality of my broadband. I decided to just ignore it for a while assuming it was something related to this core migration they're in the middle of and/or perhaps something to do with the move to Sky. As I was very busy for the last week doing other things, I found having less distraction from the internet was actually a good thing. However things are still not showing any signs of improving and I really miss my connection being normal, so I thought Iíd reach out to the community and see if anybody has any suggestions or recommendations for me to improve the situation.
Iíll start off with a little background on how I use the connection and why I used to be so very pleased with the quality of service I received. Firstly Iíll mention that I have never had more than an average amount of bandwidth due to the area I live in, but on my 8mbit package from o2 I have always synced at 7 to 7.5 down and 1.2 to 1.5 up which has been more than sufficient for my needs.
My primary use of the connection is actually for online gaming. This means that for me personally, I am more concerned with my latency to any local services I use and not experience packet loss. This is actually the reason I have always been very happy with my connection, because it has been very reliable in the past regarding decent routing and packet loss. I was always the envy of my friends on vermin media with my rock stable ping even at peak times. Recently though things have been quite different indeedÖ
About a week ago on a Friday I found myself with a much higher latency across all services I use for gaming. For example I rent a voice and game server in the south, and found my average ping was around 45 with a jitter of 70 or so. This obviously caused some concern as I was used to having 20-22 give or take a few milliseconds. What made matters even worse was that I seemed to be suffering rather horrible packet loss at times for no apparent reason. Now for me even 1% would be a huge problem due to the nature of the games I like to play, but this was even more severe Ė quite often above the 10% range! This obviously meant that VoIP and gaming were out of the question so I checked my own network to make sure no devices were saturating my connection and causing issues. As it turned out nothing was using the connection on my network so I decided to put it down to some maintenance and just go and enjoy my weekend. Things would be better on Monday surely, right? See the following screenshot for an example of how my VoIP connection often looks these days:
Monday evening came and my connection was still acting very poorly so I decide to check my bandwidth and run some more latency tests. I did notice that my bandwidth has dropped to around 6mbit and 1mbit up, which whilst not as high as Iím used to is still perfectly sufficient for my needs. Latency though did seemed to vary a lot. Earlier in the evening it seemed ok, although still double what it should be it was at least stable and without packet loss. However after a few hours it seemed to suffer spikes of packet loss again making my friends sounds like robots over VoIP and my gaming experience rather depressing.
Seeing as though my issues were not consistent, and I could sometimes have a couple of hours where things would work normally, I decided to run a latency monitor (provided by thinkbroadband) on my connection to plot my packet loss and latency over time to see if I could spot any correlation as to when things are happening. It seems to me that the problems occur randomly throughout the day, but certainly more frequently during the evening and on weekends. Below is a snapshot of such a graph showing the previous 24 hours to now. Yes, as it happens the connection is behaving normally as I type this with a minimum ping of 20, and a maximum of not much higher. As you can see from the graph though, it has been so horrible all afternoon even hitting 40% packet loss! Please note: the connection was completely unused until around 8pm when I arrived home. Up until then the only device powered up was the router itself responding to the ping messages.
Further to posting this, Iím toying with replacing the router for a few days with a spare I just happened to have lying around. It doesnít feel like a hardware issue though, and as I write this my ping is absolutely solid and everything is hunky dory. I really would appreciate some ideas or suggestions on what I could try next.
Thanks in advance,