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This is what my average latency looks like.

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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=470ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=35ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=32ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=37ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=2220ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=1145ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=264ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=33ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=917ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=3333ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=1014ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=301ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=82ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=32ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=201ms TTL=53
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Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=3704ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=57ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=32ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=53
Reply from 74.125.224.198: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=53

Sometimes, I'll go for a few minutes, hours, or days without a problem. The spikes in latency occur mostly when I'm watching a video or playing a game (TF2 or DotA2). Sometimes they happen when I'm just browsing the internet, which causes pages not to load for 5-10 seconds.

I have done just about everything to fix this. I did the MMCSS registry fix, tried rolling back my wireless card drivers, reinstalled Windows, disabled antivirus, reset the router, switched to ethernet, etc. This is an ongoing problem that has occurred over multiple connections. I know it is a problem with my machine because I've pinged from the router during these spikes and its response time is normal--while mine is 2000ms+.

I'm running an Intel Imac 2008 with Windows 7 installed.

Will installing Windows 8 fix my problem? Will anything at all fix my problem?

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2 Answers 2

The problem MAY not be your computer.

You are running via wireless so there needs to be some trouble shooting done that may be impractical for you.

First and foremost, try connecting your computer to your router direct with an ethernet cable during the slow times. It may be a wireless issue such as some cordless phones, microwave, bodies of water like a fish tank, large person between you and router (don't laugh the water content can affect your signals), interference from another network using similar channels and more.

If this works, try moving your antenna or move the router away from the window or phone base.

You can try and remove the router and hardwire direct to your modem. If the situation recurs then it MAY be computer related.

The issue with the router could be related to the buffer causing issues. Your network traffic can suffer even though the routers internal diagnostics may show no issues as they may not pass through the buffer. This does not mean you have a bad router, but check if a firmware update is available for the router.

John

share|improve this answer
    
Hi, thanks for helping me. –  aiee Jan 31 '13 at 8:19
    
I highly doubt it is a wireless problem, just because it's happened through multiple setups. I've checked my router website (AT&T U-Verse) for a firmware upgrade, but I don't think there is one available. Besides, this problem has occurred on an entirely different router + modem. –  aiee Jan 31 '13 at 8:41
1  
Also, whenever I play TF2, I start dropping packets like crazy. There is definitely a correlation. –  aiee Jan 31 '13 at 9:08

While the problem could be anywhere, WIFI is very often the primary cause. While it could be your PC, I'd be a bit surprised if this is the case, as you say its happening while you are watching video.

It could also be that your ISP is throttling you, controlling your packet or oversubscribing your link.

You can see where the packet loss is occurring by running a program like WinMTR which combines a ping and Traceroute, and this will show you where the packet loss is coming in. If its between yourself and your router, you know its your problem. If not, its either your router or far more likely your ISP or one of their upstreams. WinMTR is free and you can get it from http://winmtr.net/. Anyway, Running MTR is a logical next step to isolating the problem.

share|improve this answer
    
Hello, thank you for helping me. I ran WinMTR (during 3-4 periods of heavy lag). Here's a dropbox link to the results: dl.dropbox.com/u/10322990/testresults.htm Hoping this can help. –  aiee Feb 3 '13 at 7:13
    
This definitely shows the problem is between your computer and your router as you are seeing 6% packet loss on the first hop I know you don't believe the problem is the WIFI, but the results are very typical of a bad WIFI link.(and it could be because of environmental "noise" rather then bad hardware - even a cordless phone could be the problem !!) I'd suggest the next things to try would be (1) Try and run an ethernet cable between your router and PC and see if the problems persist, (2) Get a friend to bring their computer/laptop round and see if they experience loss on the network. –  davidgo Feb 3 '13 at 7:43

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