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I am literally a foot away from this useless TL-WR340G/TL-WR340GD router and check out this ping time:

64 bytes from icmp_seq=291 ttl=64 time=9477.516 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=292 ttl=64 time=8954.423 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=293 ttl=64 time=8262.836 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=294 ttl=64 time=7937.853 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=295 ttl=64 time=7517.768 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=296 ttl=64 time=7106.063 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=297 ttl=64 time=6492.109 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=298 ttl=64 time=5835.305 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=299 ttl=64 time=5314.897 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=300 ttl=64 time=4902.705 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=301 ttl=64 time=4716.959 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=302 ttl=64 time=5224.450 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=303 ttl=64 time=5024.079 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=304 ttl=64 time=5044.100 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=305 ttl=64 time=4477.990 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=306 ttl=64 time=3582.432 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=307 ttl=64 time=2911.896 ms

At this time mine is the only computer using the router. This happens from time to time. I'd restart the router, and then it'll have a 1-2 ms ping for a while, and then back to terrible ping. Is it just a poor quality router? Suggestions?

I am using a 2009 Macbook Pro with OSX 10.7 (Lion).

Thank you

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Based on the symptoms you're describing it sounds like a possibly buggy firmware. Frank already listed the possible causes but what you need to do is to systematically eliminate each possibility until you find the root cause.

Now according to this ddwrt compatible page, your TL-WR340G has 2mb of flash + 8mb of ram. A buggy firmware mishandling the router's hardware resources could result in the poor ping times you're seeing. For example, maybe the NAT table's getting filled up -- the lower memory specs of the device would surface this problem sooner than say a router with twice the amount of memory. Or there's a runaway process/task that's pegging the router CPU at 100%. For Linux-based firmware, like ddwrt, this is easy to tell by just telnet/ssh into the router and running 'top'.

Here are some things to try out the next time you get poor ping times:

  • Change to a different connection medium and see if the bad pings still persist. eg. if you're on wifi, disable it and connect via ethernet.
  • Check if the bad pings happen on other computers, preferably with a different setup.

Once you've isolated that the problem is really the router:

  • Frank already mentioned it, see if a hard factory reset corrects the problem. Sometimes the router might not like certain setting combinations, causing certain bugs to show up.
  • Update to the latest firmware available. Bugs are fixed and stability is usually improved by upgrading. Check here for your router model.
  • Take a look at your router's syslog and statistics page and see if there's anything suspicious when the bad pings occur. See if you can discern any patterns from intuition.
  • And if all else fails try to get a replacement with the warranty.
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Thanks for your reply. I have tried at least one method you suggested, and that is turning off WiFi and connect via Ethernet, and that connection is just fine. I will try the other things you listed. Thanks very much! – rabbid Nov 12 '11 at 6:53
@rabbid if you found any of our answers helpful consider upvoting them. – greatwolf Nov 12 '11 at 7:49
I eventually replaced the router with a used one, but it has more RAM. So far it's working fine. – rabbid Nov 16 '11 at 9:50

it can be due to bad cable

bad NIC (network interface card)

corrupt firmware of router (try to reset the router to factory defaults)

may be your system is generating high bandwidth data to router, which slows down the router.

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Thanks for your reply. I think my router probably has a small amount of RAM, which would correspond to your last hypothesis. It was very cheap after all... – rabbid Nov 12 '11 at 0:55

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