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Speed and "ping times"

Idirian

Member
Hi, folks.

I've been an IDnet subscriber in the past, but have changed to other providers because of various circumstances. I'm contemplating a return but I'd like to know the experience of others with regard to the subject line of this posting.

Presently I'm a Plusnet customer and I've had absolutely no problems with service from them whatsoever both in terms of speed and ping times. However, I don't really want to be giving money to a company which is essentially part of a big multinational who make enough money as it is.

Now despite my age (life has officially begun!), I'm a keen gamer and enjoy various online games, some of which are advantaged by having a decent ping time. So...

What it's your experience of ping times as an IDnet customer, and specifically for Overwatch if possible? I'm fortunate that my FTTC rates are 60/20, so I have no worries on that score.

Thank you in advance.
 
Last edited:

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Pings are very dependant on how far away the server is, I play a game on a US based server, and the absolute BEST ping I have managed is 93ms; and the theoretical best is about 90, so not far off.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Pings (latency) can be affected by many different factors and so realistically it's very difficult to rate or rank this aspect by ISP. However, in terms of the physical line connection, you'll tend to find that the biggest factors (i.e. those under your influence) are what broadband technology is being used by the provider and how your home network is setup.

So provided the ISP isn't heavily congested or overly Traffic Managed then any FTTC (VDSL2) based "fibre" package should deliver roughly the same latency to a server in the UK, although this may vary a bit more if you connect to a server outside of the UK as different ISPs have different routing arrangements that might put more server hops in the way of your destination (higher latency).

Virgin Media's latest cable platform also delivers low latency times (good) and of course FTTP lines are usually the best. However older style ADSL is still reasonable, but slower than the above. Just remember that the speed of your FTTC/FTTP/Cable etc. service isn't really all that relevant to latency in multiplayer games (e.g. having a 30-40Mbps FTTC line vs 70-80Mbps doesn't make any real difference).

At home you ideally need to cut out the WiFi and hook-up your computer via a wired link for the best latency times. WiFi can add anything from c.5-25ms to the total latency time, depending on how old the setup is (modern standards like 802.11ac [must be supported by your adapters too] deliver much better latency).

So if you factor that in then the choice of ISP probably won't make all that much difference. The xfactor is usually how congested the local network is and whether a provider applies Traffic Management, particularly management on P2P since a lot of multiplayer games use P2P and this can sometimes create problems if the ISP doesn't profile the traffic correctly.
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
At home you ideally need to cut out the WiFi and hook-up your computer via a wired link for the best latency times. WiFi can add anything from c.5-25ms to the total latency time, depending on how old the setup is (modern standards like 802.11ac [must be supported by your adapters too] deliver much better latency).
Hi Mark, I am not sure this is always true, I wired up my PC over Christmas, hoping to improve my gaming pings - and it didnt make a single ms difference. Nor did my tested fibre line speeds - perhaps the VR200 is very good at Wifi??

Things that DID make a difference were a reg hack I found on WOW* which improved pings by about 10%, and a "Gaming" setting on my MSI motherboard which improved ping by a further 1-3ms.

I went from an average 104 with a Min 100 Max 115, to an average 93, with Min=90 Max =104.

*Leatrix Latency Fix 3.03
 

drsox

ULTIMATE Member
Wi-Fi makes no difference to my pings here "normally" but it does vastly improve reliability. My ping goes to pants if someone microwaves food, if I download at the same time or if someone else on the Wi-Fi loads a web page or streams video.
These problems all don't occur on ethernet.
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Wi-Fi makes no difference to my pings here "normally" but it does vastly improve reliability. My ping goes to pants if someone microwaves food, if I download at the same time or if someone else on the Wi-Fi loads a web page or streams video.
These problems all don't occur on ethernet.
I had that on my old "Draft N" wifi gear, but not on the newer "N", "A", and "AC" gear; I can be gaming, the wife streaming Chinese soap operas and my daughter watching crap on Youtube all at the same time, and all over the same wifi network.

The microwave did make a difference, but my PC IS sat almost directly above it, moving the wifi antenna to the other side, so the case shielded it, and the ping difference was hidden in the normal fluctuations.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I'm very surprised that using wifi "didn't make a single ms difference". Perhaps something you've tweaked is having an impact over a normal setup (do you have a link to that REG hack and what MSI settings you changed?).

The way WiFi works means that it will always add some extra latency or instability (jitter / packet loss) vs a wired Ethernet link, but as I said above the latest AC kit is much improved and so it doesn't add very much.

In order to fully understand the impact you need to do a lot of testing (wifi vs ethernet) over lots of different servers. Once you do that you'll see that WiFi does suffer a lot more from things like jitter and packet loss (how much will depend on your setup and network environment). Dig deeper and even AC spec isn't as perfect as a cursory surface test may suggest.

Just as a quick test I ran a simple LAN ping to my router from both the Ethernet (GIGABIT) desktop PC and then the AC spec wifi laptop (my router is the AC spec Archer VR200). I am sitting two rooms away from the router that is on the same level as me upstairs.

Wired Ethernet = <1ms (consistent)
AC WiFi = 7ms (variable 3-13ms, but 7-8ms was the most common level)
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
I am basing my "No difference" on the in game reported pings to the LOTRO servers in the US.

Switching from wifi to ethernet made do difference to my minimum reported ping, or my average ping; nor did Speedtest report any speed improvement - which it always did when switching out from my old Wifi to ethernet.

I suppose the VR200 could be equally bad at both.

Leatrix is here http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info13581-3.03.html

The MSI settings are part of the Network Genie, and may replicate some of the above automated reg hack.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I suspect that's due to the TCPAckFrequency change that comes with the Leatrix mod, at least it could be for games that use TCP more than other methods.

However by disabling that you will increase the amount of TCP overhead on the network, which probably isn't going to be too much of a problem if you're the only user of the network and have plenty of broadband/network speed to go around.

The Ack delay helps TCP to stream data efficiently across your network, so the apparent ping may well improve but you could suffer a loss of performance to actual network speed and it may have other unintended consequences for different Internet applications (FTP, P2P etc.).
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
I've been running the mod for around a month, and not noticed any issues.

I have had a thought, my daughters PC is set up in the next room and still using wifi, AND she has LOTRO loaded*, so I can run both at the same time and check the pings via the in game connection checker.

The Leatrix program allows you to run the hack, then revert at any time, so if you do have issues, it is no biggie to revert to the old settings.

* Yes, I know, this is a 16 rated game and she is only 4; she just likes to ride/run/swim around and explore; I keep her in the starter areas where her character is too high level for the bears etc, to attack her.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Good idea, I know a 6 year old that recently attempted to watch Paddington Bear (the 2015 Movie) and was more frightened of the bear than the evil woman :) . Never liked Paddington myself, so I can understand the fear.
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Good idea, I know a 6 year old that recently attempted to watch Paddington Bear (the 2015 Movie) and was more frightened of the bear than the evil woman :) . Never liked Paddington myself, so I can understand the fear.
There are a few parents I know who do this; I originally did it because, after much searching, there ARE no suitable "open" worlds for children to explore.
There are plenty filled with adverts and in game purchases AIMED at young children; but none that allow you to roam more or less freely and just explore.
She enjoys Bree, and thinks Rivendale is lovely - but gets grumpy because she keeps falling off of the bridges into the rivers - and there arent many places where you can get back out.
Thorens Hall she thinks is great, and she loves running/galloping back and forth over the red-hot coals in the crafting hall, with her characters feet on fire!!

Oh, I ran both PCs side by side with the Leatrix and MSI fixes switched off, the in game connection monitor was showing the same ping down to the ms; I was showing 104.3 via ethernet, hers was showing 104 via an old "G" spec wifi card.
It is difficult to be exact, as the ping varies all the time, but there wasnt ever any real difference between the two that I spotted.

But as before, it might be a quirk of the in-game monitor; when I have time I will try running a few speedtests on both PCs and check the pings they return.
 

LeeH

ISP Rep
Easiest way to tell is doing a pathping to googles dns 8.8.8.8

It will give a avg ping time to all the hops over a couple of mins
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Worth noting that Pathping won't always work properly due to firewall rules or other tight security restrictions (probably due to how it sends multiple ICMP echo requests). I usually have to DMZ my computer via the router and disable ESET to get that going, otherwise pathping's test will only work so far as the local network.
 

Kits

Super Moderator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
I have never had problems with pathping working through Eset.
 

purplebogmonste

Regular Member
For what it is worth my ADSL 3Mbps (Sky) service provides more than adequate ping for gaming as my son tells me (sub 50 ms on most servers). He has left home now but used to play 1st person shooters on Steam all the time. Most games will not be impacted by bandwidth but will be impacted by heavily contended services. I doubt many ISPs throttle games as they typically use so little bandwidth. I doubt you will have little issue in changing ISP but have no experience of IDNet.
 
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