Every day, millions of gamers around the world lose a significant amount of data transmission because of a concept called packet loss. Packet loss occurs because of a third party attempting to intercept packets from a message. This may happen because of poor signal strength, interference, or a small message that does not provide as much detail as the sender would like.
Many different factors have to be considered for this issue to happen, but luckily there are steps to reduce its chance of happening and steps to deal with it if it does.
In this article, MedCPU will explore What is packet loss in gaming? What causes packet loss? And how to fix it? Let’s get started!
What is Packet Loss?
Let’s first understand what packets are before we dive into packet loss. Packets or Network packets are tiny units of data carried over a network. They are also known as packets.
All of the internet activities, including downloading gifs and sending emails, are made-up packets. To maintain network efficiency, packets are sent along the most efficient route. This allows the network to distribute its load more evenly across multiple pieces of equipment, which improves performance.
What is packet loss? Sometimes packets fail to make it through the network and reach their destination. Latency is a term that describes Internet packet loss. It occurs when packets become lost during transit. Wi-Fi packet losses are more likely to happen in private wireless networks.
It is easy for things to lose or get dropped when they travel through the air. Because packets are long-distance and have more room for error, this is even more common.
Unsuccessful packets can slow down network speeds, create bottlenecks and reduce your network bandwidth and throughput. It can also lead to high costs. You will need to invest a lot in additional IT infrastructure and bandwidth to reduce packet loss.
Check out How Much Data Does Online Gaming Use? Click here.
Causes of packet loss
Congestion is the main cause of network packet loss. Space limitations cause network congestion.
Consider the traffic jams at specific times of the day. These are the early mornings or the end of the workday. Traffic jamming onto one road can cause congestion and make it difficult for traffic to merge. The result is slower travel times.
Peak times are when network traffic exceeds its maximum limit. During peak times, packets must be discarded and resent. The software can either retrieve or resend the discarded packets automatically or slow down the transfer speed.
Network hardware problems
Another problem is the speed at which hardware becomes obsolete or redundant. Network switches, routers, firewalls, and routers consume significant power and significantly weaken the network signals. Organizations sometimes forget to upgrade hardware when expanding or merging. This can lead to connectivity problems or packet loss.
Buggy software running on the network device is closely related to faulty hardware. Sometimes, bugs or glitches can cause network performance to be disrupted and prevent packet delivery. Sometimes, bugs can be fixed by hardware reboots or patches.
A network operating at higher than its intended capacity will eventually fail to process packets and drop them. Many devices include buffers that allow you to allocate packets to holding patterns to be ready for sending.
Wifi packet loss vs wireless packet loss
Wireless networks are more susceptible to packet loss than wired networks. Wireless networks drop packets due to radio frequency interference, weaker signals, and distance.
Faulty cables can cause a signal loss in wired networks.
A security breach could cause unusually high packet drop rates. Hackers can hack into your router to force it to drop packets. Hackers can also cause packet loss by executing a denial of service attack (DoS) on your router. This prevents legitimate users from accessing files or email accounts by flooding the network with too much traffic to handle. It can be hard to repair packet loss during full-blown security.
This is why it’s essential to have a complete network monitoring solution. Out-of-packet tools are not designed for the job and offer limited functionality.
A seamless network monitoring and troubleshooting platform is the best way to deal with packet loss issues. A comprehensive network monitoring solution is the best way to fix packet loss.
How to fix network packet loss?
Your ISP (internet service provider) is often to blame for packet loss. It could be due to a slow connection or other factors such as throttling. Depending on your circumstances, here are some options to prevent packet loss. These are far better than throwing your controller at a wall.
Get faster internet
Upgrading the Mbps available to your console is one of the best ways you can fix packet loss. This allows your console’s server to communicate faster with your console, reducing the chance of you experiencing packet loss. An upgrade might be worthwhile if you have a connection speed of fewer than 100 Mbps.
Use an Ethernet Cable
Although Wi-fi can be convenient, it is still not as fast as a hardline connection. You can get fast internet, but still, experience lagging when playing games. An ethernet connection is the best option. A cable connection can resolve odd gate issues between your router and the game.
Outfox’s optimized gaming network is designed to enhance your gaming experience. Outfox offers a faster, more stable connection than your current connection. We will also tell you which connection is the fastest. Outfox will help you determine the quickest route to the game server. This reduces pesky issues such as packet loss, ping, and lag.
How to Reduce Packet Loss?
Are you looking for ways to reduce packet loss? Before we go into the options for a solution to packet loss, it is worth noting that there is no way to stop it completely? Zero percent packet loss is impossible because of the many factors that cause it. These include network issues, excessive users, and overloaded systems. The solutions suggested here and elsewhere can be used to fix the problem, not stop it from happening again.
There are tried-and-true ways to fix high packet losses on your own.
Make sure you check your connections. Check that your ports and cables are correctly plugged.
- Start your system again: If your routers or hardware have not been turned off in a while, now is the best time. This could give your network the boost it needs to fix small bugs or glitches.
- Use cable connections to replace Wi-Fi. Because everything is connected via Wi-Fi now, packets are more susceptible to getting lost. An Ethernet connection can be a better option than Wi-Fi. Even better is a fiber-optic connection.
- Anything that can cause static should be removed.
- This includes devices with Bluetooth, wireless speakers, and headphones, as well as cameras. Your firewall can also be temporarily disabled to save bandwidth. You shouldn’t run more than one firewall program at once.
- You should update your software. A current operating system has fewer bugs which inevitably leads to fewer packet loss opportunities.
- You can replace obsolete hardware. The same principle applies to your network infrastructure. Make sure you take the time to check that your hardware is in top condition.
- QoS(Quality of service) settings are used to manage packet loss and triage your network resources in the right way. This is particularly important for streamed content, video calls, online games, and VoIP. QoS settings will allocate more network traffic to those areas that require it.
Best Tools to Reduce Packet Loss
The software cannot fix high packet loss. Network visibility is key to reducing or preventing packet loss. You can solve a problem that you can see. These tools, which are specialized in packet loss, can help you get a better view of your network.
It is essential to identify the source of packet loss and do your best to keep it from happening again. These tasks can be accomplished using networking monitoring best practices.
Network Performance Monitor
SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor is one of the most comprehensive, all-inclusive network monitoring tools available. Because of its unparalleled approach to network visibility, it’s high up on many of my lists. Many network visualization tools are available, including Orion(r), geographic maps, and SolarWinds Network Atlas. These tools provide helpful, detailed ways to view what’s happening in your network.
Administrators who need to monitor large systems environments are well-suited for NPM. The hop-by-hop path maps make it easy to quickly identify the source of the problem and provide the information you need to address the issue. This software is ideal for troubleshooting specific problems such as how to eliminate packet loss.
The NetPath, a proprietary network path analysis feature, will show you where an app or network is responsible for the packet loss. This function shows you the problem links in red to make troubleshooting simple. NetPath also displays every router and switch on the network route as an individual node. It pulls up the latency and packet loss statistics when you hover over the node.
The LUCID (logically usable, customizable, and interactive, drill-down user interface) in NPM provides a comprehensive summary of all network activity, device status, and alerts. You can also see how your system is performing without switching between screens.
NPM can be customized to your liking. It’s great to have all information at your fingertips, but it can also be overwhelming. NPM makes it easy to modify the configurations to see only what you need when you need it.
Network Performance Monitor’s auto-discovery feature also deserves special mention. It recurs automatically after you have set it up the first time. Any changes to the network will be visible in the tool. It creates a network map and compiles a list of all network devices.
NPM also offers SNMP monitoring and can pick up SNMP warning signals so that you can see which routers or network switches are at their limit. You can now prevent packet loss from ever happening.
VoIP & Network Quality Manager
SolarWinds VoIP & Network QM (VNQM) is a specially designed tool that focuses on the network conditions required for VoIP delivery. You can identify the source of latency, noise, and jitter by pulling call data from Cisco Unified Communications Manager or Avaya Aura Communication Manager.
It’s difficult for IT departments to negotiate Voice over IP (VoIP). This is because it is hard to provide reliable and quality telephone service when many other applications compete for bandwidth. While QoS settings can help direct bandwidth to most urgent applications, it doesn’t solve the problem. You need to have visibility into performance metrics and a way to troubleshoot voice calls.
VNQM is a better tool than a general packet loss monitoring solution such as SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor. This is because packet loss can be more problematic in networks that use voice systems.
VNQM can communicate with many different systems, which allows for more thorough monitoring. It’s still a good idea for you to be familiar with Cisco and the Orion Platform in general. If you are already using Orion servers, VNQM can be equipped with Orion Platform High availability. This will protect your system from OS crashes, network connectivity issues, and database availability problems.
VNQM’s visual metrics are my favorite features. In the form of a dial graph, the dashboard gives you an overview of each voice call’s path. It is similar to a car speedometer. The visualization module displays the health of each path with color-coded statuses. This makes it easy to visualize VoIP monitoring across your entire network. Want more information? Learn more about VNQM’s ability to monitor packet loss.
PRTG Network Monitor
Paessler states that you need three sensors to fix high packet losses. PRTG Network Monitor provides them all and allows you to ping packet loss easily. The Ping Sniffer Sensor measures network availability and calculates the packet loss rate for each device in your network. It then breaks it down into percentages, showing you both past and current data in dials and pie charts.
The QoS(Quality of service) One-Way Sensor allows you to keep an eye on your network’s paths and is a significant step towards reducing packet loss. The Cisco IP SLA Sensor measures packet losses specifically for Cisco devices. This sensor is helpful if you are using VoIP.
PRTG is unique in that it focuses on packet loss prevention. By blocking traffic, you can prevent network overloads. The tool features a comprehensive alarm system that will alert you when unusual metrics or warnings are detected in your network. This feature, along with other features, can be used to track traffic and bottlenecking back at the source before it becomes a problem. It’s also one of two systems that can accommodate cloud-based services.
PRTG Network Monitor has an autodiscovery feature, just like SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor. PRTG Network Monitor automatically uses auto-discovery to split your network into segments and then categorize them by pinging specific IP ranges.
PRTG Network Monitor will recognize all connected devices and systems and automatically create custom sensors. My opinion is that auto-discovery is the best shortcut. This feature is faster and easier than other software options when it comes to setting up the software.
PRTG is an excellent tool because it combines visibility, scalability, and ease of use. You get everything you need to monitor your network in one piece of equipment-auto-discovery, network monitoring, NetFlow analysis, cloud monitoring, VMware monitoring, and database monitoring.
Although illegal tampering is the only reason for packet loss that PRTG does not account for, it is not a common problem, so it may not pose a problem for you.
These tools would benefit all businesses, small and large, medium and large, and they are both affordable and highly effective. ManageEngine OpManager is designed to manage large multi-vendor IT enterprise network networks.
Unification is the key to this product’s success. OpManager won the Best Dashboard award because of its unique blend of inclusion and individuality. The dashboard offers end-to-end visibility into everything in your network infrastructure, from applications to printers to the entire wireless network.
The dashboard can be customized from one user to another, ensuring continuity and sharing across all users. This makes it an excellent choice for large organizations. The standard capabilities include network monitoring, VoIP monitoring, and Cisco NBAR reporting. Network mapping, server monitoring, and other services are also available.
OpManager uses SNMP to constantly monitor your network health across all devices. The dashboard will immediately display traps, which are alerts sent by controller displays. You can configure traps to send email notifications or text alerts to the user.
You can create separate alerts for packet loss. These alerts will notify you when packet loss occurs and also identify the device responsibly. OpManager will display performance metrics and information about the device when you click on the notification. In just a few steps, you can identify, isolate, or solve packet loss problems.
Nagios XI works in the same way as other network monitoring tools on this list. It catalogs all devices connected to your network and shows relevant metrics on a customized dashboard. You can view the settings and options for your dashboard right from your web browser.
If you need help troubleshooting packets, Nagios XI might be a good choice. It records and stores performance data that you can use to test different traffic scenarios during downtime. This gives you a new perspective on troubleshooting and prevention of packet loss.
It is one thing to know what device is causing packet latency and packet loss, but it is much more important to use this information to plan for the future. This will drastically reduce your chances of experiencing high packet loss.
Proactive planning is easy with automatically generated capacity graphs. You can create custom reports to provide specific information about network events. The alert system in this tool sends out outage details to all users, including the IT staff. This keeps everyone updated and helps them work towards solving their problems.
Nagios Core deserves praise for creating a tool that does not sacrifice power for flexibility and openness. The Nagios Core 4 monitoring engine is used to power this product rather than SNMP. This is intended for increased efficiency. It performs active and passive host checks and monitors network performance. You can also get more out of this software by downloading plug-ins from the plug-in library.
NagiosXI is my most versatile tool in terms of its scope. Depending on your system, price point, and needs, this may or may not be a good idea. This software can monitor traditional WAN, cloud-based networks, remote sites, wireless systems, and virtual systems.
Nagios XI, on the other hand, is limited in its operating system compatibility. It only runs on centos and rhel linux. This can be overcome if you own Hyper-V or VMware machines.
Nagios Core is a free and open-source family that includes Nagios XI. Unfortunately, Nagios XI isn’t free. You will need to purchase either the enterprise or standard editions of Nagios XL to get a user interface and GUI capabilities. Nagios Core provides a free 60-day trial.
When Does Packet Loss Happen?
Packet loss can happen when there is congestion or signal interference. Packet loss can also occur when there is high latency, which occurs when the timing is off in the communication.
How does packet loss affect gaming?
Packet loss is when your internet connection fails to send or receive information packets. This can cause lag spikes, which are delays in gameplay. When you’re playing a game that requires reaction time, like first-person shooters, packet loss will always be worse for you than for somebody with a faster connection.
The amount of lag spike is directly correlated to the amount of packet loss. Lag spikes are unavoidable unless you have a super-high-speed internet connection. Higher ping times will result in more lag spikes. On the other hand, if your connection is fast enough, packet loss won’t affect your gaming experience.
What causes packet loss in a network?
Overloaded network devices are the most common reason for packet loss in a network. If they are unable to process data packets in time, switches and routers can drop them. Faulty equipment and poor cabling are other major causes of packet loss.
Is packet loss worse than ping?
Generally, packet loss is not worse than a high ping. But in some cases, a ping may be more tolerable for a user because the packet loss affects the content streamed or downloaded. In these cases, a user may find that a lower ping time is better, even with the packet loss. In general, packet loss is not worse than a high ping.
How can you test for packet loss in gaming?
It is often hard to tell that you are experiencing packet loss, leading to delayed responses, high ping rates, and occasional timeouts. One way to test for packet loss is to use this website: http://www.pingtest.net. Type in the IP address of the game server, select the options button, and then choose MTR.
The MTR results section will show you what your ping times are. If there is packet loss, the MTR result will tell you that you are experiencing high ping rates, delayed responses, and occasional timeouts.
What is the difference between latency and packet loss?
Latency and network packet loss are two of the most common problems on internet connections. They can both be caused by various reasons, but the difference between the two is that packet loss occurs when data is either dropped or corrupted. This is often caused by congestion on the network. Latency, on the other hand, happens when there is a delay in packet delivery.
The router, server cause this, or network failure. Since latency and packet loss are two different problems that happen simultaneously; they can be handled separately.
Packet loss in gaming is an issue that has plagued gamers for many years. The problem arises from the incorrect configuration of a router or server. Hopefully, now you have a much better understanding of packet loss and how to fix it!
Make sure you do this at your home or anywhere you’re connected to the internet. If you see this problem on more than one router/modem, buy a new router and also be sure to clear out the cache of the old router.
I hope this article helped you fix Packet Loss in Gaming; if you need any help or have questions, feel free to comment below. I will reply to all your comments; I will answer all of them within 24 hours.