- April 8th, 2010
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After a seven week fiasco I recently got Virgin Media to install my long awaited 50Mb connection. I was pretty stoked with the speed to say the least and they even provided a Netgear WN111 Wireless-N USB adapter which was handy as my Dell desktop had no wireless hardware.
Not long into the affair, I found a few hours to have a go at some Team Fortress 2 and Dawn of War 2. The love affair quickly became sour. My ping was rather large and hovering around the 80-90ms mark. Not too terrible but in gaming terms I might as well have had one leg chopped off. This was compounded when the ping would spike almost every 30 seconds to 1000ms+. Consequently resulting in a mass fail by me getting owned by some cheeky fifteen year old sod.
A week later when I found some time to investigate I started reading all sorts of issues regarding the power requirements of Wireless-N USB sticks, particuarly the latest Linksys and Netgear incarnations. I unplugged all the USBs I could (except the keyboard and mouse for obvious reasons) but nothing would abate the lag spikes. A simple ping test revealed it was taking 40ms to ping my router on the other side of the bloody room (less than six metres). A quick check with my Dell laptop revealed all was fine with Virgin’s supplied D-Link DIR-615 router as it was returning the proper low 1ms pings.
Biting the bullet I got myself a Linksys WMP600N internal Wireless-N PCI card . This works like a charm and lag spikes and high pings are history. My ping is now averaging around 15-18ms! The other obvious solution would be a powered USB hub but I cannot say whether or not this would have been successful.
Great package Virgin Media (when you eventually get it), but don’t bother with crappy USB wireless sticks if they are just going to poison what should be an other worldly experience.