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 The Ultimate Network / Router Thread

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BlackDeath

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PostSubject: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:02 pm

UPDATED 8/11/2012 Added definitions for DNS along with other DNS tweaks, tools, etc.
UPDATED - 4/18/2012 Added definitions for dropped packets and jitter
UPDATED - 4/18/2012 Added definitions UPnP, HTTP, URL, port forwarding
UPDATED - 4/12/2012 Added information regarding what makes for a solid gaming connection.

ORIGINAL POST - 4/12/2012

A few days ago a few of us in party were talking about other family members hogging up bandwidth and diminishing our game performance. Then we started talking more about routers, etc. And I've seen quite a few people here have troubles / issues with their setup - either performance wise or NAT, etc. etc.

So I've been thinking about doing a thread like this to try and help everyone. The biggest issue to overcome - the number of different routers out there. Some simply don't support some more advanced features like QOS (Quality of Service) aka Traffic Shaping.

So what I think i'll do is write up something generic in hopes of educating. Then later what I could do is - you post your router model here and I can tell you what your options are and/or help you tweak its settings.

This first write up will be targeted to the general novice and I'll do my best not to get too tech geek on you Smile

First lets go over the basics.

DNS - Domain Name System A system for converting hostnames and domain names into IP addresses on the Internet or on local networks that use the TCP/IP protocol. For example, when a Web site address is given to the DNS either by typing a URL in a browser or behind the scenes from one application to another, DNS servers return the IP address of the server associated with that name.

ISP - Internet Service Provider

DSL - Digital Subscriber Line

WAP - Wireless Access Point (aka Wireless Router)

Router / DSL Modem - Chances are you have one of these devices. It's the first thing plugged into whatever Internet service you have. It's job is to "route" traffic to/from the Internet and also between other devices on your network. Think of network traffic as letters or mail. The router sifts through all the mail and delivers it to the proper recipients.

QOS / Traffic Shaping - quality of service - what this does is prioritizes different types of data or specific device data over all other traffic on the network. Think of Fedex travels faster to a location vs. Parcel Post.

Network - a means of connectivity for devices to talk to each other

IP Address - a numerical value assigned to a device on a network (e.g. 192.168.0.1) think of this like an address plate on your home or mail box. Each house (or device) needs an address so it can send / receive mail (data / traffic)

Firewall - for any of you DIY builders out there you may have heard of this term. Think of it as a virtual wall that blocks and filters traffic to/from devices and / or the Internet.

DMZ - Demilitarized Zone - think of this as a virtual badlands where anything goes, no rules, no restrictions, DMZ's are typically used in the rare instance a device needs to access / talk directly to the Internet without any restrictions or rules from a firewall.

NAT - Network Address Translation / Translator - is the translation of an Internet Protocol address (IP address) used within one network to a different IP address known within another network. One network is designated the inside network (aka private / your home) and the other is the outside (public / Internet). Typically, a router will map its local inside network addresses to one or more global outside IP addresses and unmaps the global IP addresses on incoming traffic back into local IP addresses. This helps ensure security since each outgoing or incoming request must go through a translation process that also offers the opportunity to qualify or authenticate the request or match it to a previous request. Why do this? There are a finite number of IP addresses (roughly 16 million and change) so there is no way every single device in the world could have a public / Internet IP address. NAT conserves on the number of global IP addresses that a company / user needs and it lets them use a single IP address in its communication with the world.

PING - the elapsed time it takes for one device to send / receive data to another, often displayed in milliseconds (ms)

URL - Uniform Resource Locator - its the unique address for a file that is accessible on the Internet. A common way to get to a Web site is to enter the URL of its home page file in your Web browser's address line.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol - the set of rules or protocol for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web. As soon as a Web user opens their Web browser, the user is indirectly making use of HTTP. HTTP is an application protocol that runs on top of the TCP/IP suite of protocols (the foundation protocols for the Internet).

UPnP aka Universal Plug N Play - Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a standard that uses Internet and Web protocols to enable devices such as PCs, peripherals, intelligent appliances, and wireless devices to be plugged into a network and automatically know about each other. With UPnP, when a user plugs a device into the network, the device will configure itself, acquire a TCP/IP address, and use a discovery protocol based on the Internet's Hypertext Transfer Protocol ( HTTP ) to announce its presence on the network to other devices. For instance, if you had a camera and a printer connected to the network and needed to print out a photograph, you could press a button on the camera and have the camera send a "discover" request asking if there were any printers on the network. The printer would identify itself and send its location in the form of a universal resource locator ( URL ).

The camera and printer would use Extensible Markup Language ( XML ) to establish a common language, or "protocol negotiation", to talk to each other and determine capabilities. Once a common language was established, the camera would control the printer and print the photograph you selected. Microsoft, one of 29 companies sponsoring UPnP, hopes that UPnP will make it as easy to plug a device or appliance into a home or small business data network as it is to plug a lamp into an electrical outlet.

Universal Plug and Play is an open industry standard that Microsoft, a leading promoter of the standard, describes as "seamless proximity networking" that provides "standardization on the wire rather than in the devices," using existing Internet standards.

Port Forwarding - A port number is a way to identify a specific process to which an Internet or other network message is to be forwarded when it arrives at its designated host. In home networking, port forwarding, also called port mapping enables you to create a permanent translation entry that maps a protocol port on your gateway machine (cable modem / router) to an IP address and protocol port on your private network. It's a transparent process, meaning network clients cannot see that port forwarding is being done. This process enables you to run a public Internet service on a machine that is otherwise hidden from the Internet by your gateway.

WAN - Wide area network. Typically the link between other networks (not devices). The link between the Internet and your router is commonly called a "WAN link".

Packet Loss / Dropped packet - each piece of data being sent / received is called a packet (there are smaller portions inside that make up a packet but we'll keep it simple for now and just talk about the packet as a whole). Packet loss means exactly that - somewhere in the line of communication a packet is "dropped" or lost. Packet loss is bad. It means a device is having to resend or start over its transmission because the intended host didn't receive it. How can it be stopped? Well yet again most times this happens outside of your network so you're at the mercy of your ISP and their infrastructure. Most routers keep track of this sort of thing - mine will tell me how many I've dropped wirelessly (on my network) and it'll also tell me how many were dropped on the WAN (Internet) side.

Jitter - this is a term used define how stable or consistent your connection is. It's the variation or deviation of pings. You can have a low ping but if it varies all over the place constantly (jitter) you may experience issues with streaming video or online gaming. Acceptable values - of course zero is perfect 20ms is average 50ms+ we're starting to get into dark waters. 100ms+ jitter and we have some serious issues. Again I hate to sound like a broken record but if you're experiencing high jitter you could be at the mercy of your ISP and their infrastructure. What causes jitter? Overloaded networks / network devices. Improperly configured network devices on the ISP side. Cheap / bad equipment on the ISP side.

Below are some great visual aids on how networks / routers work. In my next post I'll go more in depth of configuring and tweaking.

Here is a basic layout of a typical home network



This is a great video that was shown to me many years ago when I was studying for my Microsoft Certification.


WHAT MAKES A UBER CONNECTION?
Many times people often think if they upgrade their maximum bandwidth that their games will perform better. That is not necessarily true. The absolute defining factor for online gaming is your latency or lack thereof (aka PING). The lower your ping / latency the more seamless the game will play (pure network basics we're not talking about any type of lag compensation here).

Typically when someone upgrades their ISP entirely (like SrSlampiece) often you'll see an improvement. That is not because of more bandwidth its because that service / circuit has lower latency. A typical DSL subscriber will see 50 to 100ms of ping. Your typical cable internet provider will net you 20 to 50ms (varies). FIOS or similar I've seen 3ms. My cellular Internet provider is 100 to 200ms. Your average hand eye reaction time is around 180 to 250ms. So you can quickly see how you can get out gunned real quick. If player A has a 5ms ping and I'm at 200ms - if we both pulled the trigger at the exact same time (assuming aim was the same as well) I'd lose every time because of the latency it takes for the game to register my actions.

How can you reduce latency?

Well some of it is introduced on your own home network and some of it falls on the mercy of your ISP. I'll go into this further next post.



Last edited by BlackDeath on Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:02 pm; edited 11 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Useful bandwidth / network testing sites.

www.testmy.net - you can register and it'll track / log your results. You can even setup reoccurring tests throughout the day for weeks at a time.

www.pingtest.net - this site will attempt to find the best source to test your latency, it tests for dropped packets and jitter as well

MISC info regarding MW3 - taken from a post on Hubit by oTrademark

Hit detection: the term for when a hitscan bullet makes contact with a player model.

Hit box: the current location of your character that is vulnerable to be hit according to the host. COD uses a per pixel hit detection.

Character Lag: Because of latency as described above, where you are currently at on your screen is a little bit ahead of where the host currently has you positioned. Because your position is delayed as it travels to the host. The same thing goes for other players. You will receive the position of an enemy player a little delayed than where that enemy player is.

Anti-Lag: in order to combat character lag, anti-lag is implemented in order to estimate where an enemy is currently at or is going to be in order to match up the enemies hit box with the enemies character model. If there was no anti-lag in COD you would be forced to shoot several units ahead of where the enemy is currently traveling. This is why sometimes you will run for cover and be behind a wall on your screen and still die...but when you watch the killcam or if you saw what the other player saw on their screen you would see that they fired before you got to cover.

Lag-Compensation: an artificial latency APPLIED TO THE HOST ONLY that artificially delays what the host sees on his screen in order to "even" the playing field with the other players. If this did not exist then a host would always see players and information on his screen before everyone else, causing them to have more time to react.

Again from the same post on Hubit

Unofficially each bar in game represents 100ms of latency

0-100ms is 4 bars
100-200ms is 3 bars
200-300ms is 2 bars
300ms+ is 1 bar

Capp00's video explaining lag comp



His recent updated video addressing a potential game update that may speed up matchmaking and resolve lag comp.



Last edited by BlackDeath on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:03 pm

UPDATED 1/7/2013
* added tips at bottom

Let's talk about ways to reduce latency. DNS (see first post for definition) is a good place to start.

In plain English - when a device needs to talk to another device on a network (local or internet) a lot of times we use what's called a hostname. DNS acts like a phonebook it'll look up the name you're looking for (e.g. www.microsoft.com) and the DNS servers will find the IP address associated with that name and forward the data accordingly.

Now 99% of the time your ISP automatically assigns DNS servers to you / your router. Now if your ISP's servers are slow or taxed the result is delay or no lookup at all and can increase latency (ping).

I found a great utility that will benchmark and test 1000's of public DNS servers and find the best ones specific to you. Some of the largest companies in the world provide free DNS services (Google and Level 3 Communication are some of the biggest).

The application is simply called DNS BENCHMARK and can be found below

http://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm

Run the app

Click the “Nameservers” tab to select the main benchmark display and data pages.
Click the “Run Benchmark” button (it may take a moment to become enabled).
Click and read the “Conclusions” tab after the benchmark completes.

The initial test can take several minutes let it run. When its all done you'll see a screen similar to this



The results should be default be sorted fastest to slowest. The tabular data tab will give you actual results to sift thru.

Afterward you may be prompted to conduct a more thorough test (taking in upwards of 30 minutes). This will hone and greatly define which DNS servers work best for you. If you decide to perform this test do your best NOT to use your Internet for anything (streaming video, games, etc.) so the results are as accurate as possible.

So what to do with the results? Well you can test out the new DNS servers one of two ways.

1) enter them in your router

or

2) enter them in your console

If you aren't that savvy messing around in your router then I'd recommend option 2.

Simply go into the network settings of your console and statically enter DNS entries / IP addresses of the top two (fastest) in your results.

How to configure network settings on xbox
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967572

How to configure network settings on ps3
http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/connectadvance.html

If you have any previous entries for DNS in your router or console TAKE NOTE of those IP addresses and write them down.


To undo any of this simply remove the DNS entires (set to automatically retrieve them) or revert back to the previous IP addresses you noted beforehand.

I can't say this enough - sometimes you're just at the mercy of your ISP but some other tips that may help latency on your side of things.

1) reboot your router - despite these devices being designed to be all the time they can eventually start experiencing poor performance after having been on for days, weeks, months.

2) reduce the amount of devices on your network - your phone, tablet, sometimes your cable or satellite receivers also tie into your home network, especially PCs. Every one of these devices has some interval where they check something on the Internet. It could be a simple ping to see if they still have connectivity, your phone checks mail, MANY PC applications check connectivity as well as look for periodic updates. Windows itself often downloads large updates automatically. All this stuff can add up.

3) ensure your console is hard wired to your network - wireless devices are extremely respectable to dropping packets (losing data)


Last edited by BlackDeath on Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:11 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : updated 1/7/2013)
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:34 pm

I am sure there are a few more than you and I that do this for a living ( I am assuming you are a network engineer as well) maybe make this out to be a networking discussion thread to help those in need since more heads are better than one to solve the issues.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Wow, really like where this thread is headed. My ping has been around 140 on speedtest.net. Our isp uses fiberedge wire. It is supposedly (according to them) the fastest internet available. I quite frequently draw down on another player and shoot them first with hit markers only to be killed by them. If i play split screen or on a lan connection I am very rarely bested at any shooter I have ever played. Then I get online and like i said draw and hit first only to die first. It is horribly irritating. Any help shoring up my internet service would be greatly apprecitated.

http://www.eatel.com/

This is the website for our ISP to give you a little info on what I'm working with. Will get my router info at lunch.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:26 pm

Why would ping matter if the game is supposed to lag comp all the connections? I like that you have a very informative thread. I do however feel that any efforts to improve a connection are futile because the game dumbs it down to the worst connection in the lobby anyway. Now if you could tell me how to fake a crap connection and then fix it while the match is in progress, thereby giving me a 200ms advantage, that would be something.

I'm not trying to hate on your thread but I just don't see any advantage to a good connection.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:50 pm

Hey, awesome thread.

As a fellow IT guy, I look forward to your arguments for putting the console in the DMZ over port forwarding as you have in the diagram. Just easier to setup? Slight performance boost? worth the risk of having everyone in the world able to "touch" your console - even though I've never heard of anyone hacking a remote console.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:20 am

audiopile wrote:
Why would ping matter if the game is supposed to lag comp all the connections? I like that you have a very informative thread. I do however feel that any efforts to improve a connection are futile because the game dumbs it down to the worst connection in the lobby anyway. Now if you could tell me how to fake a crap connection and then fix it while the match is in progress, thereby giving me a 200ms advantage, that would be something.

I'm not trying to hate on your thread but I just don't see any advantage to a good connection.

disable upnp in your router. you will never pull host regardless of your connection.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:00 am

Alright guys. It's a linksis e4200 wireless router. Let me know what u think.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:28 am

Piriah
I'm not a network engineer per say - my official title is Solutions Architect (whoopideedoo finger swirl) lol I've done my time as a sys / network admin now I design IT solutions for big enterprises. By all means another set of eyes is always helpful.

mwhop78

Trying these two test sites and let me know your results.

1) www.testmy.net If you test often I'd recommend registering - which is free - and this site will record all of your results. You can even setup continuous tests throughout the day. I personally used this site to populate data in order to file a complaint against Sprint (my ISP).

2) www.pingtest.net This site tests against dropped packets, ping, and jitter (I'll talk about these in my follow up posts). Keep in mind it takes two to tango err PING it may not always be your end that's experiencing latency. If the target host is slow to reply you're at their mercy.

I'm assuming this service is Cable internet? Or is it actually supposed to be fiber? You use a cable modem correct?

With cable internet connections (just like the old days of analog cable tv) the more connections / splits there are in the line the worse the signal will be. Keep in mind there is only so much you can do / prevent. Sometimes you're just at the mercy of your ISP and their poor infrastructure.

First things first - if you feel your experiencing excessive latency reboot your cable modem and/or router. Although these devices may claim to be trouble free a good power cycle sometimes does wonders. Use a device hard wired to your cable modem / router to rule out any wireless transmission quirks.

Next - Make sure that your cable modem / router is the first thing attached to the incoming service. You'd be surprised how many hack installers just cobble stuff up. If the signal is split or passes thru some goofy filter it could affect your connection. Also a single run of cable will perform better than multiple shorter pieces put together. I've seen indoor type signal splitters installed OUTSIDE the home - just because the installer was too lazy to run a new (single) line and needed to couple two lines together. If you complain enough you may be able to get your ISP to run a new line from the pole to your home. Many times I've seen this clear up issues.

The other cause for excessive latency could be your internal network. If you have a lot of devices talking at the same time (especially true for high bandwidth applications like downloading torrents or streaming video). Imagine data like water flowing into a funnel - there is only so much flow that can take place - any excess swirls around until it can finally make its way thru.

I'll look up your router later today and edit this post if there is anything else I can add.

edit: I need to know if there is a version number listed next to the model number? If no number is listed its v1 otherwise it should say v2.

Audiopile
I have a shit connection - my only means of Internet in my rural area is by cellular modem. My pings at their best are 100ms. During peak call volume (when nights and weekends typically kick in) they are in upwards of 250ms+ Trust me when I say I have no advantage even with lag compensation. Lag comp helps my totally shit ass connection be playable but it does not give me some upper hand.

I can see why people who have excellent low latency connections - who were probably tearing it up in Black Ops (which was heavily host advantageous) are pissed about lag comp in MW3. What you're experiencing now is what I had to deal with in BLOPS. Constantly losing gun fights even though I had a bead on the guy LONG before he did me however the story plays out differently on the kill cam. This guide isn't necessarily MW3 dependent - it can apply to any online game.

EDIT: I'm going to strike this out for now. There is some debate whether or not lag comp adds latency. I guess that's the improper way to describe it. A more accurate depiction would be - anyone who's faster than the host has some algorithm or formula (for lack of a better term) applied to that essentially guesses where the player will be at. Whereas in blops you'd just see the laggy player skip around and wherever he was - he was. MW3 tries to smooth the game play out visually. So essentially at times the actual players location is NOT the same as what you're viewing. Check my top two posts - I've tried to address this further and added some vids.

My understanding here is how lag compensation is "supposed" to work in theory. Lets say the lobby / game has 8 people in it. MW3 pings all players

player 1 - 5ms
player 2 - 100ms
player 3 - 75ms
player 4 - 23ms
player 5 - 280ms
player 6 - 18ms
player 7 - 58ms
player 8 - 89ms

Ok lets say you're player 1 and have the best connection with 5ms latency - you'll be host. Ok the AVERAGE among all those connections is 81ms. So anyone who tested UNDER that average basically gets the difference in latency ADDED. It can't subtract latency. If I'm player 5 - my 280ms can't get any better but it helps me since you now have 81ms added to your connection. BUT there is still a difference of over 100ms between us. In theory if we both fired dead on at each other - at the same exact time - you'd still win.

The above scenario is based on player by player. I believe if you're in a party its calculated per party average not per player.



pokerchipped
I chose DMZ because its simpler for most folks to configure vs. port forwarding. Also I've never heard of anyone having a game console "hacked" just because its in a DMZ. Hacking a 360 would be like trying to hack a current satellite receiver. You'd have to know how to decrypt or impersonate the encryption key in order to run any code on it. Now if its a PS3 with your non random - random number generator who's encryption key has been spewwed all over the Internet that's a different story LOL. The risk far outweighs the likelihood in my opinion. I don't want to get too off subject here but there are utilities out there that can obtain IP addresses of a fellow party members but really thats kiddy stuff - what are they going to do try and DOS you?


Last edited by BlackDeath on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:36 am

Black here is my info bro any help would br great......considering some days I do ok..and others I can do anything at all..


On the testmy it was Download :: 1.3 Mbps 172 kB/s Upload :: 405 Kbps 51 kB/s

I have the lowest internet with my provider but I know there are some things I can do to tweak it, also if you can get me the dumbed down versions of how to put the consoles into DMZ and Port Forwarding that would be great to. Thanks for your time bro my router is a Vision Net ADSL2+
Model M505N
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:42 am

Thank you BlackDeath for explaining it it too me. I would like to have a 500 ping during the lobby and then go back the to normal 75-100 I normally have with the COD servers. How do I do that? This also explains why when I play with a party from distant regions I get lag comped so badly I can't play. Between my true ping and the added comp from being in the party I can't do a thing, but when i hop into the game and play against them, its pistol whipping time.


I'm glad the gameplay has improved for you because of this.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:43 am

@Black Death, its supposed to be fiber run directly to each house. No cable sharinging. My line is not spliced inside either. It is run directly to my router. What I do worry about is that I have 2 iPhones, an iPad, a Mac Computer, my PS3, BluRay Player, and TV all connected to my wireless router. Now only 2-3 of those would actively be used at one time but they are still connected. That router is supposed to have multiple channels to handle high device loads but I'm not sure if that's enough. Will run the speed test at lunch and get back to you. I definitely am not DMZed or port forwarded as of yet. My NAT is always listed as open in MW3 also. Thanks for ur help.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:49 am

Quote :
pokerchipped
I chose DMZ because its simpler for most folks to configure vs. port forwarding. Also I've never heard of anyone having a game console "hacked" just because its in a DMZ. Hacking a 360 would be like trying to hack a current satellite receiver. You'd have to know how to decrypt or impersonate the encryption key in order to run any code on it. Now if its a PS3 with your non random - random number generator who's encryption key has been spewwed all over the Internet that's a different story LOL. The risk far outweighs the likelihood in my opinion. I don't want to get too off subject here but there are utilities out there that can obtain IP addresses of a fellow party members but really thats kiddy stuff - what are they going to do try and DOS you?


You got it. Having it in the DMZ means that all the random and malicious garbage on the internet is bothering your console's NIC card instead of your routers NIC. It all gets dropped/ignored for the most part, but it still consumes some resources. I was hoping that you may be able to say that one (console vs router) is more efficient at handling that extra traffic than the other and you can find me an extra millisecond or two in response time from one config to the other. It's probably way too small to measure, but in games where a millisecond counts I was hopeful someone knew.

As for security, in the event that the console has a vulnerability it would be more susceptible to getting hacked in the DMZ, but if it ever were to get hacked, I'd rather have it hacked and sitting in the DMZ and not on my internal network. One can go on and on in circles on this one so if one had a performance difference it would be better.

I was just curious because I need all the help I can get...


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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:54 am

Quote :
My understanding here is how lag compensation is "supposed" to work in theory. Lets say the lobby / game has 8 people in it. MW3 pings all players

player 1 - 5ms
player 2 - 100ms
player 3 - 75ms
player 4 - 23ms
player 5 - 280ms
player 6 - 18ms
player 7 - 58ms
player 8 - 89ms


Hey this got me thinking....

Since Ping (ICMP) isn't how the game actually runs, could people on a fast connection get an advantage by purposely delaying ping replies (ie. add 100ms just to Ping ICMP) so lag comp thinks you're slow when you're actually not?

EDIT: I walked over and asked one of the network engineers here if this was possible. He thought I was crazy and couldn't see why anyone would ever do this (he's not a gamer) but couldn't rule out it's possibility and is going to look into it in his spare time.

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:12 am

pokerchipped wrote:

Hey this got me thinking....

Since Ping (ICMP) isn't how the game actually runs, could people on a fast connection get an advantage by purposely delaying ping replies (ie. add 100ms just to Ping ICMP) so lag comp thinks you're slow when you're actually not?

EDIT: I walked over and asked one of the network engineers here if this was possible. He thought I was crazy and couldn't see why anyone would ever do this (he's not a gamer) but couldn't rule out it's possibility and is going to look into it in his spare time.
This is what I'm getting at. I did a quick search on the internet and everyone wants to lower ping, not increase it.

audiopile wrote:
Thank you I would like to have a 500 ping during the lobby and then go back the to normal 75-100 I normally have with the COD servers. How do I do that?
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:49 pm

Wow this thread got busy real quick.

Ok I'll start with Audiopile.

I wondered the exact same thing. My primary question is - does lag comp happen once at game start or is it continuous? I assume it adjusts all players but it could also just adjust host. IW is quite tight lipped on how lag comp works because they don't want anyone to try and counter it. [EDIT] after further research it appears lag comp may only apply to HOST

It's easy enough to test that's for sure.

What you want to do is purposely introduce latency while in the lobby - then remove it once the game has loaded. Easy enough. There is a multitude of ways to do this. You can start streaming HD video off the Internet (or on multiple machines), fire up a bandwidth intense torrent (it doesn't even have to be anything illegal - you can download ISO distributions of Linux). After a quick search I already see there were utilities introduced for MW2 that do this very thing. If IW was smart they would make the lag comp dynamic and adjust throughout gameplay to prevent this sort of thing but I can't say for certain. You could also set bandwidth limits for your console via your router - albeit not the fastest way to turn it on/off.

Side note - I unofficially heard each bar in game represents 100ms of latency

0-100ms is 4 bars
100-200ms is 3 bars
200-300ms is 2 bars
300ms+ is 1 bar

I test my latency every time before I play to get a feel what I'm in store for. The above results would make sense to me. On good nights I'm 100 to 250ms and I bounce from 2 to 3 bars.


@pokerchipped

dmz vs router
well I'll be honest there are differences albeit splitting hairs in my opinion. There is network overhead with port forwarding / NAT'ing. Not much and it would differ based on the quality of the equipment. Regarding sitting in a DMZ - keep in mind your ISP is switched (not like a hub) so the console is only seeing traffic designated for it - not all the traffic on the node / circuit.

@mwhop78

If your ISP is claiming thats fiber to your home - then I've never seen fiber test that poorly in terms of latency. The e4200 is a nice piece of equipment. Linksys was bought out by Cisco a few years ago. I went to look up the product manual but I need you to verify which hardware version you have (1 or 2). On the bottom where the model number was if there is no version number listed afterward - its v1 - otherwise it should say v2.

I did notice there are recent firmware upgrades for this device (dated Feb of this year). This may also show some improvement for you.

@reaver

Bro that connection is rock solid. Very low ping and jitter. The only shortcoming I see is the limited UPLOAD. Your DSL connection is equivalent to my 3G Sprint connection. You really don't have a lot of wiggle room here. I'd guess it plays fairly well as long as no one else is on your network. But the moment you start tying up uplink bandwidth it goes in the toilet. We may be able to introduce some sort of traffic shaping / bandwidth monitoring so your console has highest priority.

If your nat type is OPEN already I don't see a need to move your console to a DMZ. This would go with the - if it aint broke don't fix it portion of my guide LOL. For reference below you'll find the link to your router's user manual.

http://www.nctc.net/docs/M505N_Manual.pdf


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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:30 pm

if i remember right, lac comp works as you the host runs your line through the average. you send your packets across to their xbox or ps3 and back to yours to make the latency. that is why you get beat most of the time

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:34 pm

That would make sense (it only effecting host) since I feel the people complaining the most about lag comp have stellar connections.

So what you want to do audiopile is prevent pulling host. Earlier Pariah mentioned disabling UPnP would prevent pulling host - Pariah can you elaborate how? Isn't host designated purely by ping prior to game start?
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:41 pm

Black, i have the same problem as reaver. Download is 30... ping is 15-20.... but my upload is .95! I dont understand most of this but reading what you have laid out here i wondering if there is anything i can do? I jave Road Runner, i am not sure what grade? They have standerd,Turbo and Turbo with power boost. Knowing that i would guess there is a filter on my line that makes mu up speed shit.

Ok so my setup is like this....cable to phone/internet modem... d-link wifi router...Xbox 360! Do you think that does anything to mess with my game play? Also before i got rid of my desktop pc and hooked up the xbox i did the port foward, and some other thing i was advised to do by another IT guy. all i can explain is that i changed a number on my router from 1500 to 1475 lol everything in my house uses the wifi now, phone, laptop, but no desktop. Any help would be great, you can wait and talk to me about it on xbox live if your tired of typeimg.... i know i am, my big ass fingers on this stupid phone makes for some tired hands lol

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:02 pm

@ Delta

lmfao - I can't believe you typed all that on your phone.

1mb up isnt terrible - keep in mind I'm dealing with HALF that! Run the tests from the sites I listed in my 2nd post in this thread and post the results here please. Also is your xbox hard wired or is it running wireless? What is COD reporting you NAT type as currently?

I should hopefully be online tonight btw.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:07 pm

Xbox is hard wired and i have typed more than that from my phone on here lol when i get home from work and its time for play im on the box so all post from me are on the old Droid!

Hey can i check my conetion from my xbox or will i have to take the laptop close to the router and do it that way?

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:22 pm

If lag comp is only applied to the host then why would my connection vary so much when the party leader I play with is consistently hosting matches? I disabled upnp ages ago and you are correct, I do not pull host yet I still have open NAT.

And from what I can tell the comp is only applied prior to the match beginning because everyone that joins mid match (after the killwhore quitters leave) has mid-match pro.

Finally, the only thing that settles my connection is to have traffic loading my connection at 500kb/s Up and 100kb/s down. I do not turn it on and off between matches, it is always on. It helps, so I will try the toggle method and report back. If it works that would be great because my HDD is getting full really fast.
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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:17 pm

Alright Blackdeath, my ping was 33 jitter was 1 and it rated me a B*. The "*" was cause it was unable to determine packets lost. On the other site my download was 21.6 and upload was 5. I swear that is nowhere near the results I got with Speed test a couple of days ago. Could that be due to the time of day I ran the test? My e4200 router is a version 1. I have not done a firmware update so if there was one in Feb then I haven't updated it. And I'm not really sure how. Had to have a tech walk me through installation of the router when we got it cause the installation disk was not compatable with the new Mac OS Lion. So he had to walk through a manual installation. Took like 30-45 mintues. And that was like six months back. I have no idea how to make adjustments to the thing like updating the firmware. Help!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: The Ultimate Network / Router Thread   Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:51 pm

audiopile wrote:
pokerchipped wrote:

Hey this got me thinking....

Since Ping (ICMP) isn't how the game actually runs, could people on a fast connection get an advantage by purposely delaying ping replies (ie. add 100ms just to Ping ICMP) so lag comp thinks you're slow when you're actually not?

EDIT: I walked over and asked one of the network engineers here if this was possible. He thought I was crazy and couldn't see why anyone would ever do this (he's not a gamer) but couldn't rule out it's possibility and is going to look into it in his spare time.
This is what I'm getting at. I did a quick search on the internet and everyone wants to lower ping, not increase it.

audiopile wrote:
Thank you I would like to have a 500 ping during the lobby and then go back the to normal 75-100 I normally have with the COD servers. How do I do that?

What you are looking into is lag switching, and considered cheating. i know that some folks have been banned from xbl for doing this, and we on xbox side do report people that are blatantly using this.

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