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Help identifying slow speeds and high ping

matseffect

Casual Member
Hi everyone. I am having a intermittent issue with speeds and really high ping and I am looking for some help trying to nail down the cause. I am not 100% convinced its a line fault.

I would say a couple of months ago I noticed in the evening maybe ever other week speeds dropped from my normal 18-20 right down to 1-2 and the speed test was having a hard time even getting started ping was anywhere between 400-2000.

It went away on its own and I didn't think much more of it and I had blamed my TP link deco's tbh.

Now that I am working from home since the start of this month it's happened to me several times this month to the point I was not able to keep working.

I confirmed its not the TP link mesh system as it was happening when plugged directly into my BT Hub as well. I borrowed an old hub 4 with an Openreach modem and things appeared to go back to normal. However this week again it's been happening.

I have a new smart hub 2 plugged in and the issue happens both over Wi-Fi and wired connections.

Most of the time the connection is perfect but it happens enough now to disrupt things. BT ran checks on the line and it all came back OK.

Can anyone give me any advise of what road I could go down in terms of investigations or possible causes? I know how prone Wi-Fi can be to interference but anything that could impact a wired connection as well?

Thanks all!

Matt
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Is this on an ADSL or FTTC line? Ideally it would help to know what your router is saying for connection stats (e.g. attenuation, noise margin, profile speed etc.). It could possibly be something causing temporary interference on the line, such as a faulty AC adapter in the home or other nearby homes, but equally it might be a problem more on the ISPs side with routing/peering etc.

You'll need to do speedtests via different services both before and during such events to see what happens. I might also be inclined to run some traceroutes to see if there are particular server hops causing an issue.
 

Lariliss

Casual Member
Also to identify interference it is useful to run the speed test near to router (with all other connections switched off), then connect another device far and run the test on both: one by one and simultaneously.
And there are free scanners from smartphone download you may find to identify external interference.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
My ADSL was periodically affected by rain, so worth trying to remember is the slow speeds are linked to wet periods. Openreach are not good at intermittent faults, despite me asking for an engineers visit to be during or shortly after rain it took 5 visits before they found the fault and after rain the fault would be there for 2 to 3 days. With your fault being for just in the evenings for short periods its unlikely to be weather related.
 

matseffect

Casual Member
Is this on an ADSL or FTTC line? Ideally it would help to know what your router is saying for connection stats (e.g. attenuation, noise margin, profile speed etc.). It could possibly be something causing temporary interference on the line, such as a faulty AC adapter in the home or other nearby homes, but equally it might be a problem more on the ISPs side with routing/peering etc.

You'll need to do speedtests via different services both before and during such events to see what happens. I might also be inclined to run some traceroutes to see if there are particular server hops causing an issue.
Hey Mark. Its FTTC.

Data rate:1.972 Mbps / 22.17 Mbps
u686.png


Maximum data rate:1.972 Mbps / 22.779 Mbps
u686.png


Noise margin:5.9 / 3.3
u686.png


Line attenuation:14.2 / 29.4
u686.png


Signal attenuation:14.2 / 29.0
u686.png
 

matseffect

Casual Member
Also to identify interference it is useful to run the speed test near to router (with all other connections switched off), then connect another device far and run the test on both: one by one and simultaneously.
And there are free scanners from smartphone download you may find to identify external interference.
Good shout about the scanners will gave a look into those. Just in case its a faulty electrical device.
 

matseffect

Casual Member
My ADSL was periodically affected by rain, so worth trying to remember is the slow speeds are linked to wet periods. Openreach are not good at intermittent faults, despite me asking for an engineers visit to be during or shortly after rain it took 5 visits before they found the fault and after rain the fault would be there for 2 to 3 days. With your fault being for just in the evenings for short periods its unlikely to be weather related.
Its been pretty dry when its happened I think. I should have added its no longer limited to the evenings. I would guess it never was I just noticed it then as was out during the day.

I am hopeful its just somthing on my end because as you say its very hard to get an ISP and Openreach to follow up intermittent faults.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
If it does end up being the line and your ISP lacks interest in chasing Openreach then AAISP are worth a look at, they will hound OR plus they have line monitoring of their own as a backup.
 

candlerb

Pro Member
Ideally you'd check the *utilisation* of your link, that is, how busy it is. High latency can be caused by lots of traffic flowing over the link, e.g. some huge download taking place, or bittorrent running on a device on your network. If you're on a line with only 2Mbps of upload capacity, then something like a device backing up to the cloud could easily fill this, and while this is going on, you can expect very long and variable latency.

Unfortunately, unless your router has traffic graphing built in, it's not easy to get this information. Ideally you'd get interface counters using SNMP, which can be turned into traffic graphs. But many low-end/consumer routers don't support this.
 

candlerb

Pro Member
I used DSLstats and routerstats
...
They log into your router and download the data from the router GUI, so depends on which router you have.
Do those tools also generate traffic graphs?

The sample graphs on the site you linked to show line quality metrics like downstream/upstream bitrate and SNR. It's interesting to see how those values vary over time. But they won't show you whether your link is busy carrying traffic or is idle.
 

kommando828

ULTIMATE Member
If no one is at home then traffic graphs are irrelevant anyway, if there is a line fault then the signal and sync speed figures should show changes. I could see in the graphs a distinct change when making a call when the line was noisy.
 

dws1900

Casual Member
Hey Mark. Its FTTC.

Data rate:1.972 Mbps / 22.17 Mbps
u686.png


Maximum data rate:1.972 Mbps / 22.779 Mbps
u686.png


Noise margin:5.9 / 3.3
u686.png


Line attenuation:14.2 / 29.4
u686.png


Signal attenuation:14.2 / 29.0
u686.png
Apart from the up line attenuation, your figures are similar to mine, and I am 1500m from the cabinet.

I continuously monitor the line/speed tests (yes I am a geek) and there are times where while the fttc stats are reasonable, the speed tests vary considerably,
You need to see if there is a time issue here, ie after 15:30 (kids home), after 18:00 - 00:00, people streaming tv etc.
Also have OR added bits on to the cabinet, adding more lines and increasing crosstalk, which will result in packet resend and reduce the throughput.
 

matseffect

Casual Member
Thanks all. It appears somewhat random as to when it happens, can be at any point in the day. Thankfully its been pretty OK, the last few days. Had a bit of a drop this evening but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been just a bit slower and ping of around 60 rather than the normal 30.

I am 1600 meters from my cabinet (yes a measured) and honestly until recently its been rock solid.

Fibrus have been doing a lot of work in the area recently with there FTTP due to go live in the coming weeks for my address and I know Openreach are not far behind. Both would have been pulling cables along the current ducts so I wonder if something got knocked or something like that maybe.

I did a quiet line test (17070 option 2) this evening when I noticed the dip and it sounded OK to me.

Someone did suggest to me that even though I have a 5C SSFP master socket it might still be both plugging a filter into the master socket and see if that impacts things in anyway. So might set that up tomorrow and try it for a few days.

@dws what would you expect the line attenuation to be? Just having a google myself now lol.
 

dws1900

Casual Member
Thanks all. It appears somewhat random as to when it happens, can be at any point in the day. Thankfully its been pretty OK, the last few days. Had a bit of a drop this evening but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been just a bit slower and ping of around 60 rather than the normal 30.

I am 1600 meters from my cabinet (yes a measured) and honestly until recently its been rock solid.

Fibrus have been doing a lot of work in the area recently with there FTTP due to go live in the coming weeks for my address and I know Openreach are not far behind. Both would have been pulling cables along the current ducts so I wonder if something got knocked or something like that maybe.

I did a quiet line test (17070 option 2) this evening when I noticed the dip and it sounded OK to me.

Someone did suggest to me that even though I have a 5C SSFP master socket it might still be both plugging a filter into the master socket and see if that impacts things in anyway. So might set that up tomorrow and try it for a few days.

@dws what would you expect the line attenuation to be? Just having a google myself now lol.
The downstream attenuation (to me) is typically 32db, the upstream attenuation is 37db. These are the measurements from my Vigor, but they were similar using the isp router. Output power is 13db. For some reason the vigor does not output snmp values for the upstream attenuation so its not on the graph. The speedtest result of 38Mbs, due to speed test error I believe.
 

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candlerb

Pro Member
If no one is at home then traffic graphs are irrelevant anyway
I disagree with that, because stuff goes on in the background. I've seen people who have a Bittorrent client running in the background that didn't realise it. There are devices that backup their filesystems to the cloud periodically. There are devices that download updates in the background.

On a link constrained to 2Mbps, an upload of just 100MB of data would saturate the link for about 7 minutes. During that time, any test pings would see very high latency, as they sit behind other packets in the queue.

Without traffic graphs, the only way to eliminate this would be to disable wifi on the router, unplug all bar one ethernet device, and use that ethernet-connected device to do the ping tests. Oh, and run wireshark or similar on that device at the same time, to ensure that it's not generating background traffic of its own.
 

matseffect

Casual Member
Thanks all. Trying to identify if there are any devices doing stuff like backups etc when they are idle. I don't think there are but it could well be the cause.
 
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