Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

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Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:11 am

My wife and I recently moved into our first home. In our previous apartment I was using an Ethernet cable to my gaming PC because the wireless interference from all the networks gave me horrible speeds. I purchased a D-Link DIR-655 to go with my Asus N13 wireless-n card I had lying around. At this point in time, there is no good way to run an Ethernet cable from my gaming rig to the router. In the future I might try to run Ethernet upstairs through the walls but that's going to be a challenge. I can see 18 other wireless networks from my house (much more than I thought there'd be), and about 10 of them are wireless-n (also more than I thought there'd be, hence why I went wireless-n in the first place).

I had 12Mbps service at my apartment, now I have 30Mbps service. Signal strength is ~65% (4 of 5 bars on the windows icon = "Good") but doing a bandwidth test on speedtest.net, I'm getting 8-12Mbps download, 10-26ms ping, and 3-4Mbps upload. The download speeds are obviously only half of what I can get if I throw an Ethernet cable down the stairs and hook up to the router directly, but its roughly as good as I had at the apartment.

I play Warframe with by brother who lives 6 hours away (brotherly bonding time). But I've noticed that if I play on wireless, I get awful in-game lag. As soon as I throw the Ethernet chord down the stairs and hook it up (again, only a temporary fix), lag is gone. I'm not sure why this should be the case if my download/upload/and ping are all at reasonable levels.

Anybody have any ideas on:
a) why this is happening
b) what I can do to fix this. (monitoring software, changes I should make on the router, etc)

Networking is not my strong suit, so please speak in Layman's terms.
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:41 am

I'd expect that you're still experiencing signal interference, just not as much of it.

Also previously in an apartment, I wound up switching to all 5.0GHz gear, which allowed me to use WiFi for gaming reliably, where 2.4GHz many times wouldn't even hold an internet connection. Signal strength was good the whole time :).

Also, I have that D-Link router, in a box, where it stays... Switched to a TP-Link thing, and TP-Link NIC, problem resolved- and that was for BF3 and Vent :D.
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:23 pm

Try switching the channel on the 2.4 GHz band. Some routers/firmwares can do a site scan to see what channel others are using, or they can select the channel automatically. In the U.S., channels 6 and 11 are most commonly used, but I don't remember off the top of my head which others will work. Many old routers default to ch. 6, so try to see if anything improves on ch. 11.

No matter what you try, wired ethernet will always provide a lower latency signal. If you can find a compromise for running a cable, you'll never have to worry about wifi latency.
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:39 pm

DPete27 wrote:In the future I might try to run Ethernet upstairs through the walls but that's going to be a challenge.

Powerline networking has come a long way. Even if your wiring is older and you don't get all the advertised speeds, the stability of the network should still give you a much better experience compared to a video/game getting cut out in the middle of it.

Just bridge the 2 floors and you are good to go. I used a kit where one end is a 4-port switch so the basement living room is immediately networked with the PS3 and HTPC.
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:52 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
DPete27 wrote:In the future I might try to run Ethernet upstairs through the walls but that's going to be a challenge.

Powerline networking has come a long way. Even if your wiring is older and you don't get all the advertised speeds, the stability of the network should still give you a much better experience compared to a video/game getting cut out in the middle of it.

Just bridge the 2 floors and you are good to go. I used a kit where one end is a 4-port switch so the basement living room is immediately networked with the PS3 and HTPC.


I need to look into that again. Have a laptop, TV, and Uverse box in the living room that are all running off of AT&T's Uverse wireless router in the office. It certainly works better than I ever expected it too, even with the Cisco Uverse extender on a switch hooked up to the modem/router, but it'd probably reduce the interference that the network causes with the wireless mouse and keyboard. Wonder if it'd be cheaper than an 802.11n/ac endpoint?
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:30 pm

DPete27 wrote:My wife and I recently moved into our first home. In our previous apartment I was using an Ethernet cable to my gaming PC because the wireless interference from all the networks gave me horrible speeds. I purchased a D-Link DIR-655 to go with my Asus N13 wireless-n card I had lying around. At this point in time, there is no good way to run an Ethernet cable from my gaming rig to the router. In the future I might try to run Ethernet upstairs through the walls but that's going to be a challenge. I can see 18 other wireless networks from my house (much more than I thought there'd be), and about 10 of them are wireless-n (also more than I thought there'd be, hence why I went wireless-n in the first place).

I had 12Mbps service at my apartment, now I have 30Mbps service. Signal strength is ~65% (4 of 5 bars on the windows icon = "Good") but doing a bandwidth test on speedtest.net, I'm getting 8-12Mbps download, 10-26ms ping, and 3-4Mbps upload. The download speeds are obviously only half of what I can get if I throw an Ethernet cable down the stairs and hook up to the router directly, but its roughly as good as I had at the apartment.

I play Warframe with by brother who lives 6 hours away (brotherly bonding time). But I've noticed that if I play on wireless, I get awful in-game lag. As soon as I throw the Ethernet chord down the stairs and hook it up (again, only a temporary fix), lag is gone. I'm not sure why this should be the case if my download/upload/and ping are all at reasonable levels.

Anybody have any ideas on:
a) why this is happening
b) what I can do to fix this. (monitoring software, changes I should make on the router, etc)

Networking is not my strong suit, so please speak in Layman's terms.


First, go over your router's settings - disable any QoS (like "traffic shaping" setting under "QoS engine" section and "WMM" under some wireless section) and set your WiFi to 802.11n only (if possible). Also try to figure out the least congested channel in your location and try that. Maybe try to find the most recent drivers for your card, not from Asus but from chipset manufacturer. Also, if you have pretty consistent, repeating lag spikes - try this utility:
http://www.martin-majowski.de/wlanoptimizer/
Other than this - you should've purchased decent router in first place, something like Asus RT-N66u, same goes for WiFi card :wink: Try the one that supports 5GHz if you have short distance between PC and router. I personally use TL-WDN4800
http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WDN480 ... ds=tp-link
It's a great Atheros-based card which works perfectly with N66U router, over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands (5GHz will obviously give you much shorter distance but it is useful if you have a lot of users on 2.4GHz band).
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:22 am

C-A_99 wrote:Try switching the channel on the 2.4 GHz band. Some routers/firmwares can do a site scan to see what channel others are using, or they can select the channel automatically. In the U.S., channels 6 and 11 are most commonly used, but I don't remember off the top of my head which others will work. Many old routers default to ch. 6, so try to see if anything improves on ch. 11.

I had the Asus utility for my card running for a while to monitor signal strength. While I had it working (it BSOD' my computer after about 3 minutes, so I uninstalled it) I did notice that at the time, the router was on Channel 11. There were 3 or 4 other wireless networks on that channel also. I'll have to check out the router's firmware and see if/how to change that or set it to automatically select (if it isn't already).

Flying Fox wrote:Powerline networking has come a long way.

I'm aware of this tech. It's been brewing in the back of my head. Probably only works through the same circuit loop in my breaker? I assume the outlet on the main floor by my TV is on a different circuit than the upstairs bedroom. Haven't ruled it out, just need to learn a little more about it before taking the plunge.

JohnC wrote:WiFi to 802.11n only (if possible).

Not all of our devices support 802.11n, so that's not really an option.

JohnC wrote:First, go over your router's settings - disable any QoS (like "traffic shaping" setting under "QoS engine" section and "WMM" under some wireless section)

Will check into this, thank you.

JohnC wrote:you should've purchased decent router in first place

Based on price and newegg reviews, I don't think the DIR-655 is a junky router (more mid-range IMO). I know it's been around for a while, but my biggest reason for getting it was the $55 sale price. If I was going to spend $150 on a router, it would be 802.11ac.

I did take a quick peek at the firmware options when I first set the router up, but didn't know what the half the stuff meant, so I didn't change anything. For the networking gurus out there: are there any default settings that can/should typically be changed that could improve my situation? (besides traffic shaping that JohnC mentioned)
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:49 am

Just to tag along with the channel/interference, there is also an awesome android app that gives you amazing information about signal strength and channel conflicts. Its called Wi-Fi Analytics made by Amped Wireless. It can give you signal strength, channel conflicts, as well as graphing of the strength. I love it because I can walk around my house and figure out why things are the way they are. Works for 5ghz and 2.4.
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Re: Multiplayer Lag Using Wireless

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:44 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Powerline networking has come a long way.

I'm aware of this tech. It's been brewing in the back of my head. Probably only works through the same circuit loop in my breaker? I assume the outlet on the main floor by my TV is on a different circuit than the upstairs bedroom. Haven't ruled it out, just need to learn a little more about it before taking the plunge.

I don't know much about electric circuits and wiring. So I borrowed a friend's kit and try it. It worked, so I bought his kit when he upgraded. Then I upgraded myself and sold the old kit to someone on craigslist.

I would say use a place with a good return policy. You won't know until you try it. For my 45+ year old place (most likely with multiple "loops"), there was only 1 specific pair of a certain outlet on the 2nd floor and the outlet that I want in the basement that gave me the best speeds. So I found out by trial and error, then bridge accordingly.
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