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Ping issues with my WRT54GS V.2.

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by chrislo, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. chrislo

    chrislo LI Guru Member

    Hello, I have been have problems with my router for nearly the past 6 months and I haven't been able to get a straight answer out of anyone. I went to Linksys Forums, only one guy answered and it was someone with the same problem and no answers. I went to a general computer forum and everyone ignored my thread, so no answer again. So now I am here hoping someone can answer my questions since you guys seem to specialize in Linksys Routers.

    Let me tell you right now my Linksys WRT54GS V.2 is working fine, but I am worried this won't always be the case and here is why. Since June I have been re-occurring issues with high ping caused by my router. The technicians tried everything to blame it on something else, first excuse was local interference with my wireless 5.8 GHz and 2.4 GHz phones. Mind you my router and phones are in different parts of my home. The only flaw in that theory is when I wired my laptop directly into the router I also got high lag.

    The next excuse was to blame my ISP (I use Cable BTW). My ISP isn't perfect but I wasn't getting any 190ms-350ms ping from them. When I wired my laptop directly into the modem I was getting pings of 20-120ms. The average being between 63-78ms the ping I usually get when the router is working fine. So another excuse.

    Let me give you a detailed history of my problems with my Linksys WRT54GS V.2. I owned it since July 2005 and in my old home I just used it to get internet service to my laptop. The rest of my machines were wired. When I moved here last year I made all my machines (2 PC's, 1 Laptop, and 1 Xbox 360) wireless. I wanted to get rid of the hideous Ethernet cables plus my machines are far apart here. For the first 6 months everything worked without problems. I bought these USB wireless cards that look like thumb drives (From Linksys also) to network my 2 PC's.

    Then towards the end of June I was playing Battlefield 2142 and my ping shot up really high and I got kicked from the room. I did some diagnosis and traced the problem back to my router. I called Linksys they told me the Firmware was either corrupt or outdated. I updated the Firmware and the problem went away. For the next 3 weeks everything worked fine. Then in mid July the problems happened again. They made me update the Firmware again telling me it was probably corrupt and it solved the problem for the time.

    Then again in another 3-4 weeks the high ping came back. This time they made me adjust the MTU settings, the channel the router broadcast on, and another setting which I don't remember. This again worked and for the next month and a half I had no problems. Then in September the high ping came back again, this time I didn't call Linksys I lowered the MTU setting (Which at this point the MTU is on Manual) and the ping went back to normal.

    I have been doing this from June until November 9th. In between August and November I have done the following to lower my ping: Lower the MTU settings, Adjust the broadcast channel, Re-downloaded/installed the firmware twice with help from Linksys, and shut down power to both my modem and router for 1-2 minutes.

    Now comes November 9th, the ping came back. I did everything I just mentioned in the last paragraph (Minus updating the Firmware) but nothing worked. I was starting to get worried since this was making my webpages load slower, making it impossible to play multiplayer video games, and probably other things. I called Linksys again and the technician told me to reset the router back to factory settings. I did it and it worked, but only for a short time. After an hour since I talked to the tech the problems happened again. I did again what I always did lowered the MTU settings. Again it worked until the next day.

    Next day I was a bit paranoid so I went to test my ping and it was up again, usually if I lower the MTU settings the problem won't come back for 3-6 weeks. I knew this wasn't normal so again I called Linksys.

    So we went through my settings, one thing we noticed something called the Mac Clone Address was disabled. According to him it needs to be enabled for your router to properly work with your Cable connection. I am not sure on this since I was so upset but I think the last tech made me disable it. Or maybe it got disabled once the router was re-set. After that he made me pull the power on the modem, then the router. After a minute I plugged in the modem, once connected to the internet I re-connected the router. I tested the ping several times using the command prompt, broadband reports, and my video games. All was good, even at times I was getting pings as low as 20-25ms the best I ever remember seeing.

    According to this technician the devices were not getting constant voltage and said something along the lines that it threw each device out of sync causing the ping. He called what I did power cycling and told me I should hook up a UPS to each device to prevent this from happening. I don't know what it was but it solved the problem for now, and for the past 2 days everything has been fine.

    My concern is that the problem could come back at any time. My question is what is causing this? Could the modem and router not getting constant voltage really cause my router to give me high ping? Or is it something else causing this? I am really hoping the problem is solved or the router is defective because at this point I would prefer buying a new router than go through worrying/suffering that at any time this thing will be giving me ridiculous ping.

    Thanks again,
  2. Maggard

    Maggard LI Guru Member

    Can voltage problems mess up electronics? Absolutively.

    But it’s rare.

    Most often you’ll just find things breaking down faster.

    The most common electrical problem is brownouts. These are caused when other high-load devices on the circuit come on & you ‘brown out’ everything.

    Thus it is never a good idea to put ‘delicate’ electronics on the same circuit as these. Things to watch out for are refrigerators (incl. mini ones), microwaves, laser printers, photocopiers, and whatever else might make the lights dim when they go on.

    Another issue is ‘noise’. Devices that can put out lots of noise onto house wiring are any transmitters like phones or other wireless plugged-in devices, microwaves, and some types of motors.

    Then there’s RF noise. Microwave ovens (again with the microwave ovens!), non-DECT 2.4 & 5.8 GHz wireless telephones, Bluetooth devices, many baby monitors, wireless security devices, etc. operate in the same frequencies as your WiFi network.

    ‘Other side of the house’ may allow wireless devices to interfere less, but they can still mess up things 2x or even 3x as far as they can effectively work. So if your wireless phone works fine for 100’ then it can possibly strongly interfere with WiFi devices 200’ or 300’ away.

    The same is true for neighbors. Just because you don’t have 2.4 & 5.8 GHz wireless telephones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, wireless security devices, etc. doesn’t mean they don’t. Not to mention they’re turning them off & on, changing channels, etc. so they might cause problems one day and then nothing for the next week.

    Can you improve things? Sure.

    Turn off wireless devices you’re not using. This includes Bluetooth devices (incl. your cellphone(s) if they don’t need Bluetooth operating.) Review what else is on the circuits you’re using and if need be plug things in differently.

    Survey the WiFi environment regularly; particularly when you notice problems. In North America WiFi channels 1, 6, & 11 are the least interfering. Try and determine which is least used in your area, over a period of time, and use it yourself.

    Place your WiFi router away from heavy masonry walls, large metallic objects, shelves dense with books, aquariums, & metal ductwork. Raising it up a bit, off of a desk to a shelf or cabinet top will often result in clearer transmission paths. An inexpensive antennae upgrade can yield significantly better WiFi performance.

    A surge arrestor can help for electrical surges, but be realistic: Those cheapie extension-cord surge-suppressors are good for at most a year, after that the materials they use to stop surges is pretty much junk and they’re ONLY good as extension cords. Automatic Voltage Regulation means a UPS will try and counter surges with it’s own battery-stored power, but units with this can be pricey.

    Frankly, I’d look into fresh hardware.

    A consumer router costs ~US$50. Matching client devices cost US$5-25. They’re commodity items, they’ve matured as products, and frankly if you get more then 2 years service out of older models you’re doing well. So for under a hundred dollars you can have all new hardware, and hopefully be free of any gremlins.

    I don’t know what your time & energy is worth, but for mine it’d be a sound investment.
  3. chrislo

    chrislo LI Guru Member

    The only problem with interference is why I am getting high ping from a wired connection to my router? If it was just interference shouldn't I only be getting high ping from a wireless connection? As for neighbors I don't live in a highly populated area, I got one next door and two across the street. Out of those three homes only 2 are occupied. I lived in NY with this router and I never had issues with it and we had many more people living around us.

    I haven't had any continuous power outages here, a few times the lights went off for a second and that was it. What I do have is a central air unit with a heat pump and what I noticed when it turns on the lights dim just slightly (Its barely noticeable).

    I have no problem upgrading the hardware but I want to make sure what the problem is first. I don't mind buying a UPS either even if they are pricey. I just want to know what the problem is so I can act properly.
  4. Reply

    I don't know if you have gotten your direct answer or not but if you are using a router you always want to be sure to set the security so noone else can connect to your router. When others connect to your computer your are pretty much losing bandwidth and traffic to the other computers that go off your router. I have ran into this problem myself and when I set up the security everything has been going smooth for me. Hope this helps & if you wanna contact me by via mail my email is p.godfather.c@gmail.com. Hope I was some help
  5. chrislo

    chrislo LI Guru Member

    I never considered that. What I had noticed when I turned off my router my computer would connect to another router. I got no idea who's it can be since only 2 people live within a few hundred feet of me. So I might consider that. The good news for some weird reason since November or December I haven't had any lag issues. I did like the tech told me. I killed power to my router and modem, left them off for 1 minute, then reconnected my modem, let it connect, then plug in the router. When I do speed test though my ping runs higher than it used to, usually around 78 ms compared to 60 ms before all this happened. Still though everything is working fine now. If you wouldn't mind can you tell me how to setup my security since I don't know how. I have an Xbox 360 with Xbox Live, that won't effect it will it?

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