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yakko
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Packet loss troubleshooting Reply with quote Back to top

Hi everyone! I'm a brand new Vonage customer; just got my Linksys RT31P2 yesterday and made my first calls.

I could hear the people on the other end just fine, but they complained that my end sounded very choppy.

Based on what I read here, I decided to try TestYourVOIP.com and see what I got. To eliminate as many possible problems as I could, I plugged the cable modem (Motorola SB5100, provided by Earthlink) directly into my computer. I ran the test several times, both to Boston and other cities. Every time showed an MOS of around 3.5 FROM the city, but only 1.1 or less TO the city.

One of my (upload-side) readings looks like this:
MOS 1.1
Degradation Sources:
Codec 0.58 14.8%
Latency 0.88 22.6%
Packet Discards 0.32 8.2%
Packet Loss 2.11 54.3%

I repeatedly got around 10% Packet Loss, accounting for around 50% of the degradation in my outgoing signal.

Now, I'm a computer geek, but not much of a network guy. Still, it seems apparent to me that this means my problem is on the cable company's side of things (unless it's the Motorola cable modem itself). But I'm not sure what to do about it.

I called Vonage technical support, and the guy was very nice and spent a lot of time with me, asking me to run speed tests on broadbandreports.com, disable QoS settings in the Linksys adapter, etc., but nothing helped. (I called him from my Vonage phone, so he could tell right away that the sound quality was bad.) I told him about my TestYourVOIP results, but he wasn't familiar with the site and didn't think they were significant. He's convinced it's a problem with the Linksys adapter and is sending me a new one. I'm not so convinced, and plan to try the adapter out on a friend's internet connection when he gets home to see if I can get it to work there.

I did try a Line Status test on broadbandreports.com, but everything seemed good there:
http://www.broadbandreports.com/quality/nil/1643819

Since I don't know a lot about networking, I'm clueless as to how to proceed. Do you agree that the TestYourVOIP results show the problem to be somewhere in the line? If so, should my next step be calling the cable company? I want to make sure I know what to tell them if I do call, so I can get things solved as quickly as possible. Otherwise, I'm afraid they'll just pass the buck, tell me to call Vonage back, etc.

Thanks so much in advance!

--Justin
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reebok
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

wow, that's pretty bad alright. it looks like an isp problem...and since earthlink resells Vonage, hopefully they won't send you back and forth. but that's unlikely, so your best bet is to get something like www.pingplotter.com and run it for a period of time so you can say, hey earthlink, look at my massive packet loss to yahoo.com (or whatever you choose to ping), what's the deal? that should carry more weight I would imagine.

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yakko
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Well now I'm stumped. Reply with quote Back to top

Hmmm... okay, now I'm stumped.

I downloaded PingPlotter and am running it with my computer hooked directly to the cable modem. It's showing 0% packet loss.

So I thought, well, maybe it's something that comes and goes. But when I stopped PingPlotter for a moment and ran TestYourVOIP.com to Boston, I again get massive outgoing packet loss (0% incoming packet loss) and a low MoS number on the outgoing side of the call.

Then I immediately start PingPlotter back up again and still see 0% packet loss.

I called Earthlink and the technician was very nice and ran some kind of test from her end, only to inform me that everything looked normal to her and there was nothing she could do.

I'm absolutely stumped. First off, since I'm not a network guru, I don't really understand how one can have outgoing packet loss without matching incoming packet loss. And secondly, if that is what's going on, then why isn't it showing up in PingPlotter? Is PingPlotter measuring both outgoing and incoming? Is it a matter of packet size? Is it something to do with Voip packets being different from regular data packets? (I read something to that effect on TestYourVOIP.com.)

If anyone can offer some helpful words of advice, I'd be tremendously appreciative! Smile

--Justin
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reebok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

give this a try too
http://www.dslreports.com/linequality

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yakko
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Did that one the other day Smile
http://www.broadbandreports.com/quality/nil/1643819

By the way, reebok, have I mentioned how helpful you are? You do a lot to answer people's questions on here in a very nice way, and I for one really appreciate it.
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reebok
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

my bad, you said that in your first post.
well obviously those results look good. testyourvoip has been having problems lately, but since you're having an issue with people saying you sound choppy, the results aren't necessarily wrong I suppose.
pingplotter is showing the pings/packets from your end to the other server's end. in dslreports test you can see incoming to you which also looks good.
did you ever try it at the friends house? also, you said you had computer hooked to the cable modem when you ran pingplotter, but did you ever put the RT31P2 in the mix? if not, it's worth a shot. it would be odd for a router to be dropping packets left and right like that, but who knows.

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yakko
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well, I doubt it's a TestYourVOIP issue, since I've gotten the same results (good MOS in, bad MOS out) for the same reasons (packet loss) every time I've run it over a period of about a week. To make sure, I ran the TestYourVOIP test several times on the same laptop from my friend's connection and got normal (good MOS in and out) results. So it's definitely something peculiar about my connection.

The TestYourVOIP results show a poor outgoing MOS whenever hooked to my cable modem at my house, whether or not the RT31P2 is hooked up in between. I've tried on two different computers with the same results.

Three things I haven't yet tried:
1. Running PingPlotter with the RT31P2 in the mix (it didn't seem likely to be the cause since it didn't affect the TestYourVOIP results, but I'll try it next anyway)
2. Trying a different cable modem on my connection (I haven't gotten access to one at this point)
3. Trying the RT31P2 and Vonage service at my friend's house.

I'll let you know as I try the above three things; in the meantime, if anyone has more words of wisdom, I'm all ears!

--Justin
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