Question

Network traffic, ping, and gaming

So I play games on PC. I get about 400 down and 20-30 up. When I run a ping/speed test to a local server, I get great results.

No matter what PC game I play, I always lag. I always have the highest ping in any given lobby, and it sucks.

I have theories why.

When I run a tracert to google (8.8.8.Cool for instance, I get kicked from a florida node to somewhere in the midwest around hop 6 and my ping goes from about 20 ms to 100 and stays nice and high the rest of the way.

This may explain why games set my default servers as west coast when I am in florida.

Can anyone give me more insight into this issue? I can provide more details if needed. My ISP has been less than helpful on the several occasions I've contacted about this.

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Answer
OK, some basics.

1. Get wired. No WiFi and turn off WiFi on the router.
2. Do not share that router. It's yours, you are gaming.
3. You didn't mention the OS but I do encounter gamers with antivirus suites that induce lag as they inspect packets. Get stock.
4. Drivers. Do not rely on Windows. Do this the old fashioned way. Do not use a driver finder.

5. Share a web speccy report so others can see if there's something else going on.
Read how to share at https://www.piriform.com/docs/speccy/using-speccy/publishing-a-speccy-profile-to-the-web
6. Consider a gaming VPN. https://www.google.com/search?q=nord+for+gaming+vpn for example.

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Answer
Internet Infrastucture and its inequality

The second we lost net nutrality, cox and at&t rerouted thier dns traffick so it bounces through more dns servers to serve the connection, which causes it to have a high ping.
What those providers do, is offer a "gaming" package which all it does is assign your modem to a dns outside of the slowdown loop.

Beyond that, I cant help you, but before we lost net neutrality the average consumer connection ping was 5ms or lower in most parts of the US.

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Good ideas there. How about?

I see I mentioned a VPN but a simple change I do over and over is to move away from the ISP's DNS.

DNS from your ISP has "issues."
1. It leaks information as it's not a secure connection.
2. ISPs tend to deploy less than stellar (read as in not fast) DNS (servers.)
3. ISPs collect and log DNS lookups.

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A vpn wouldn't increase speed

A vpn doesn't increase the speed because it just hides what requests you are making (like going to www.google.com). It would still have to go through the same infrastructure.
A vpn doesn't really give you much security outside of others hacking you on your internal network. A vpn and others will still report to the authorities if they feel they need to, so if you are into illegal downloads or child porn, I hope you get busted, and your isp usually doesn't get you busted, its the others that report to the fbi will. This could be even the illegal site, and there are ways that your real ip can be located regardless of using a vpn connection. Trust me, we will send the guys wearing suits if you use vpns for illegal activities....

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You would think.

But it has helped a few folk I know. We are left to guess why it works but hard to argue that it always won't help.

As to legal issues, on travel to Taiwan we used the TAILS OS because it was business and we didn't want to leak data easily. So the VPN we used was NOT something everyday users would have. The VPN server was our own!

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