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Improving Ping, Lag & Network Performance

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1 Improving Ping, Lag & Network Performance on Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:05 pm

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I am going to do a series a technical posts on how to improve your QL gaming & general network performance, this is nothing that can't be found already on the internet. Instead of repeating work done, I will provide links to sites that show how various things are done...

Pre Note: never use a wireless network!

First thing: MTU - Maximum Transmission Unit - this is not so important on fast ethernet networks, but can be on 'relatively' slow Internet connections. The common value of 1500 is for an ethernet network standard packet size and although this is usually too large for use on ADSL, it is the common value used in routers - and this can slow things down.

Here is a good explanation of MTU:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_transmission_unit

Here is how to find your best MTU for your connection (note use www.google.com in the ping tests, much better):-

http://help.expedient.com/broadband/mtu_ping_test.shtml

Note: BE CAREFUL when changing settings, always note down the original settings and be VERY careful if changing the Windows registry - if you are not confident, then don't do it!

Once found, you need to put this into your routers MTU setting (usually on the ADSL connection setup page) - if the value is different. If you don't use a router, but a USB modem, then you need to change the local Windows setting, here's how:-

http://help.expedient.com/broadband/mtu.shtml

Once done, you need to reboot the router or PC.

Please post here if you want to ask anything and I'll try to answer.

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2 Your Hardware Connection on Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:30 am

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This should really be the first step, and may seem obvious...

Always check the following (for ADSL):-

  • Your connectors are clean, free from dust.
  • You always have microfilters in EVERY extension on the line.
  • That you don't have too many phones, message recorders etc. on the line.
  • That the cable and extension lines are not to long, shortest connection is the best.


If you are getting noise problems on the line (this will distrupt your connection), disconnect each piece of equipment one at a time, and test - this should isolate the phone, recorder, socket etc, that could be causing the noise.

Here is some info on ADSL line connection (only read the general stuff):-

http://www.hmmm.ip3.co.uk/adslmax/

This info will be on the status page of your router.

Here is another page that gives info on MTU (from the previous post) also on RWIN and ADSL tweaks. NOTE: Quake Live uses UDP protocol from gaming traffic, this is the protocol we are intent on improving reliability/connection on.

http://www.the-scream.co.uk/html/resources/adsl_tweaks.html

The Tools section of DSL Report site has some useful looking testing stuff, I have not used it my self and I think you need to register on the site to use some of the tools...

http://www.dslreports.com/tools

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3 Latency and Bandwidth on Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:27 am

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Due to having problems with my internet connection and also dealing with incompetent ISP help persons who can't tell the difference between latency and Bandwidth, I though I would do an update for this post... Shocked

You use any of the tools included in this article at your own risk!


Latency & bandwidth, what are they?, whats the difference? and why to they effect my Quake Live gaming?

Latency: This is the time taken for your data to reach destination, the speed it which your data travels.

This is normally tested/measured using a GUI PING tool or from command line, you can ping almost any server, but I tend to use www.google.com

Here is a simple GUI ping tool, download and unZIP it, and you can just run by double clicking the PingMon application. You don't need all three servers, just change the first to www.google.com and delete the rest.

Ping Monitor: http://lit999.narod.ru/soft/ping/index.html



Also try this: http://www.pingtest.net/

How does it effect your gaming? well, the faster your data reaches the server and back, the faster you see what is actually happening - i.e. your target is nearer to where he is in real time, remember the server is master and controls everything, thus this is why low ping players do have some advantage over high ping players, as they see the action first, so to speak Very Happy

Note this is different from certain types of lag called warping etc, this is where a player stutters or jumps from place to place and not by smooth movement - this is due to data packets being lost, thus no real pinpoint accuracy for the server to locate the player - this is an advantage to the player! Infact a lot of people call this cheating...

Bandwidth: This is how much data per second your connection can transmit, NOT how fast it goes! Most modern connection can transmit data big enough for any online game, even dongles. But dongle are no good for gaming, because of high latency and packet lose. As long as no other appliactions are hogging the bandwidth, i.e. youTube, you should be fine Very Happy

Here is some information of latency & bandwidth:-

http://www.epinions.com/content_7536807556

http://rescomp.stanford.edu/~cheshire/rants/Latency.html


How can I improve latency of my connection?

Well, follow the guides above, but here are a few extra pointers:-

Here is a very good tool for optimising your connection:-

SG TCP Optimizer: http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php




To use it:-

  • Check your ping to www.google.com
  • Check your Bandwidth, you can use http://www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk/
  • Do the above two several times to get an average
  • Start Optimizer
  • First make a BACKUP! File menu, backup current settings.
  • Click Optimal button and apply.
  • Go to MTU latency and run test
  • Click Customise button and enter MTU value given into General Settings page.
  • Go Advanced Settings and enable all the gaming tweaks and click Apply
  • Reboot PC.
  • Re-check your ping to www.google.com
  • Re-check your Bandwidth, you can use http://www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk/


Here are another two interesting articles on latency and gaming:-

http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info13581-LeatrixLatencyFix.html

http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Reduce-PING-or-Latency-in-Multiplayer-Online-Games

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