Issues with video conferences and stuttering while gaming
I think I'm experiencing some poor performance with my home internet. This may not be new, but either it has gotten worse recently or I'm just more aware now that I need to do video conferences when working from home.
When using Zoom for video conferences I often experience garbled voices and frozen cameras. When this happens Zoom sometimes tells me that my connection is bad. When playing games I often experience stuttering and rubber banding. These issues are often accompanied by icons or warnings from the game indicating connection problems. I have no issues with speed tests, streaming video, or browsing online.
I'm using the white HiTron CODA modem plugged into the wall and I am using a wired connection for my internet. I have tried some of these applications on another computer on my network and I have the same problems. I have swapped my modem before to try to fix these issues, but it did not seem to help.
I've reached the limit of my troubleshooting knowledge and I've not been able to uncover any evidence of the problem. I'm hoping that someone more experienced can point me in the right direction of tests I should try and what I should be looking for.
Thanks in advance!
The spikes indicate high load on their own, but if the average is anywhere over 20ms, it is also a sign of congestion. If you test again later at night you should see the latency drop to <20ms, and also see full bandwidth return if you run a speed test. For example my average right now is 200ms and speeds are 200/1 as this is apparently a peak hour for the people in my neighborhood... I like to game so I have just been staying up late into the night and notice it is rock solid between 3am-5am (15ms average to CMTS, 550/20Mbps speeds), and basically unusable for most of the day. If you notice anything similar, it is a congested node.
@xo1 @ParkerT92 you can only use the Cable Modem TerminationSystem (CMTS) which is hop #2 on a trace, if you have a modem other than the white Hitron CODA-4582 or the black Hitron CGM3ACSMR. The same might apply to the Hitron CGNM-3552 and other Hitron CGN3xxx modems.
So, that happens? Due to an internal modem timing issue you can end up with high time returns from the CMTS which are only applicable to the CMTS.
To run an ICMP ping test with any of those modems, you need to ping a target such as the DNS address to look for high ping returns (latency) in the Rogers network. Here's the Rogers DNS addresses:
Primary IPv4 DNS: 126.96.36.199
Secondary IPv4 DNS: 188.8.131.52
Primary IPv6 DNS: 2607:f798:18:10:0:640:7125:5204
Secondary IPv6 DNS: 2607:f798:18:10:0:640:7125:5198
Here's a snippet of an ICMP ping test to my CMTS:
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0315 TTL=63 ID=a3e4 time=9.290ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0316 TTL=63 ID=a3e5 time=9.271ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0317 TTL=63 ID=a3e6 time=11.356ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0318 TTL=63 ID=a3e7 time=10.361ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0319 TTL=63 ID=a3e8 time=8.493ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031a TTL=63 ID=a3e9 time=16.962ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031b TTL=63 ID=a3ea time=11.012ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031c TTL=63 ID=a3eb time=62.666ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031d TTL=63 ID=a3ec time=83.452ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031e TTL=63 ID=a3ed time=69.233ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=031f TTL=63 ID=a3ee time=41.905ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0320 TTL=63 ID=a3ef time=27.814ms
From 174.112.xxx.xxx: bytes=60 seq=0321 TTL=63 ID=a3f0 time=12.209ms
Packets: sent=1000, rcvd=1000, error=0, lost=0 (0.0% loss) in 20.002007 sec
RTTs in ms: min/avg/max/dev: 4.367 / 13.569 / 100.181 / 13.748
Bandwidth in kbytes/sec: sent=2.999, rcvd=2.999
Note the rise in ping times up to 83 ms.
Here's the same test to the primary IPV4 DNS:
Packets: sent=1000, rcvd=1000, error=0, lost=0 (0.0% loss) in 20.009232 sec
RTTs in ms: min/avg/max/dev: 6.312 / 11.932 / 32.542 / 2.792
Bandwidth in kbytes/sec: sent=2.998, rcvd=2.998
Note that the average isn't all that different, but, the max time and deviation which are the last two figures drop considerably. Those tests were run with 20 milli-second intervals instead of 1 second intervals.
Run a the command "tracert 184.108.40.206" in windows command prompt. This will return the IP address of all the hops before getting to the google DNS servers at 220.127.116.11. Your CMTS should be the second IP, or the one after your router (the router will be either 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1). Then just ping that second IP address using the command "ping IP", and that will work. If you would like to run more than 4 pings in one sitting which I suggest, just add "-n 50" to the end of the ping command above and change it to a number of your choice if you would like more than 50.
My high response times are not due to an internal timing issue, but I understand that can be a problem due to how frequently the requests are sent out. Which is why I directed more attention to the average, which is what I have found to be most reflective of issues I am seeing with congestion. The average latency almost perfectly relates to the drops in speed and stability I am experiencing. I was unaware that modems other than the XB6 could not see the CMTS. Regardless you are correct pinging the DNS could help diagnose the issue as well.
Its not a matter of "not seeing the CMTS". All modems will return the CMTS address as the second or third hop when you run a trace to anywhere. That second or third hop will depend on your equipment configuration, ie: whether or not the modem is in Gateway mode with a direct connection or with a follow-on router with a direct connection to the router. Looks like this:
modem - direct connection (modem in Gateway mode. CMTS is the 2nd hop)
modem - router - direct connection ( modem is still in Gateway mode. CMTS is the 3rd hop)
modem - router - direct connection ( modem in Bridge mode. CMTS is the 2nd hop)
The problem with the white Hitron CODA-4582 modem and possibly other Hitron modems is a change in the firmware that for the 4582 dates back to V18.104.22.168. At that point, there was a change to improve the overall multi-protocol performance. The drawback to that firmware change was a false high latency indication from the CMTS. That is strictly for the return times from the CMTS and does not affect any target beyond the CMTS.
For that reason, when you're latency hunting, you can't use the CMTS as a test target when you have the 4582 modem and possibly other Hitron modems. I believe I've seen the same type of issue from a customers ping test with the CGN3ACSMR, but, don't quote me on that one. If you run the typical 1 second interval ICMP ping test, you will see occasional high ping times occur. If you drop the timing down to a 15 to 20 milli-second range, you can see the high time groupings when they occur.
You can use the CMTS as a test target when you're looking for packet loss. That is a perfectly valid test as it keeps the return path as short as possible and keeps any possible network issues beyond the CMTS out of the test results.
I have no idea what the situation is with the two XB6 modems, the Arris TG-3482ER and Technicolor CGM-4141COM. Those modems might have their own quirks but I haven't seen enough data posted from other customers to come to any conclusions.
@xo1 can you look at the bottom of your modem to see what version you have, the Arris TG-3482ER or the Technicolor CGM-4141COM?
Its highly likely you might see high time ping spikes from the CMTS, its just a question of what you see if you were to run a ping test with much lower ping intervals in the 15 to 20 milli-second range.
You can use hrping to run tests below 1 second intervals. That's a command line utility: