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Author Topic: Internet Connection Problems (Torrent Related) UPDATED and still lost....  (Read 6979 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: October 16, 2011, 07:50:49 PM »

Whenever I start using a torrent program (either UTorrent or Tixati) after about 20-30 minutes, my wireless internet connection stops working and I'm forced to hard reboot the wireless connection switch on my laptop. Windows 7 shows that I'm still connected to the Internet, but no data is transmitted in either direction until I do a reboot.

This issue does not happen during normal Internet browsing, or downloading from Steam. It only occurs with Torrent programs. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Some basic information from Tixati:

Incoming TCP Port= 16,580
UDP Port for DHT Messages=16,580

Max upload speed=25
Max download=750
maximum connections=75

Max Concurrent UDP outgoing connection attempts=80
Man Concurrent TCP outgoing connection attempts=8
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:03:41 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 11:37:49 PM »

Tried rebooting your router? Sometimes it doesn't properly release used ports for torrents, and basically 'runs out'. At least it's something I've heard back in the day anyhow.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 04:18:40 AM »

Smells like a hash table filling up.

What's your router?

Atomic

PS: What's your connection speed to the internet both ways?
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 05:13:33 AM »

I have a D Link DGL 4300 GamerLounge router.

I have Comcast Broadband Economy- downloads up to 1.5 Mbps and uploads up to 384 Kbps.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 07:05:17 AM »

It's not your hash table filling up then.

*ponders some more*

Oh, suggestion on settings for your torrents... I use a 20k/sec upload cap, 192 max connected peers, up to 128 in a single torrent. Up to 6 upload slots per torrent, up to 3 active torrents, and of those, 2 active downloads. It's a slightly different scheme than you'll get from the handy calculator here... http://infinite-source.de/az/az-calc.html ... but it works really well for me. 192 total global connections (64x3 natch), with 2/3rds of that total available to any one torrent. 6 upload slots per torrent for three torrents, is 18 upload slots max, at a little over 1k per second each if all of them are active. (it will shuffle bandwidth, of course). The basic idea is not to overload it, but allow it enough flexibility to shuffle connections and bandwidth back and forth as needed, so if one torrent is extremely available, more resources will tend to be allocated towards that, and once it finishes up, they're freed up for whatever is next. Etc. Allow utorrent to use additional upload slots if below 90%, etc etc etc.

The big one is not to overload your upload, as often your download will be ratio limited... use 100% upload, and no download will be available (restrictions set by many service providers, nothing to do with torrent at all).

Have you checked the error rate on your wireless link? the radio in the dlink isn't the strongest. It may be that the wireless in the laptop is 'giving up' after a while, and not recovering. Thus the needed reset.

Btw, how hot is your wall-wart? Mine always ran hot to the touch, and it finally burned out the other day. Radio Shack has the 5V 2.5A (!!!) generic replacement available. They use modular tips, so take yours in with you for comparison if you decide you want a backup or need a replacement. Fortunately, the wart was the ONLY thing that burned out when it went. I got lucky.

Sorry, this is a bit of a mess, but I'm not sure how to re-organize it for better reading :/

Atomic
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 12:50:05 PM »

THEY KNOW
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2011, 08:54:55 PM »

Thank you for the advice. It looks like the problem isn't with the Torrent applications, as they work perfectly with identical settings on my desktop, and my girlfriend's laptop. I hooked her laptop to my network, and was able to download a 5GB file without incident via torrents. I then tried to download a 500 megabyte file on my computer, and needed to reset the wireless switch on my laptop 9 times in order to restart the download.

Some setting in Windows 7 or on my laptop wireless card is causing the issue. I've turned off all firewalls and anti-virus programs, thinking that may have been an issue. Nope, same problem.

Any help would be appreciated.

Here are my hardware settings:

Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN:







« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 09:02:23 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
gellar
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 04:02:07 PM »

I'd say this is unlikely, but it's possible that your app isn't gracefully shutting down the connection and filling up your TCP tables.  There's almost certainly some hard coded amount within your router FW and anything above that amount will cause it to fall over.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that on your particular router, but in the Linux world you're looking for the TCP Conntrack tool if that somehow helps your googling.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 10:11:44 PM »

Quote from: gellar on October 24, 2011, 04:02:07 PM

I'd say this is unlikely, but it's possible that your app isn't gracefully shutting down the connection and filling up your TCP tables.  There's almost certainly some hard coded amount within your router FW and anything above that amount will cause it to fall over.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that on your particular router, but in the Linux world you're looking for the TCP Conntrack tool if that somehow helps your googling.

I use Utorrent with that particular router/firewall every day, with no issues. I'm thinking it's the wifi card itself. I did mention previously to check the error rates between the router and the wifi card, but he hasn't mentioned it yet.

In particular it can't be a router issue, otherwise you'd have problems with your desktop, and her laptop when it was hooked to your network.

Atomic

edit: also try this. the next time it stops working, instead of resetting the wi-fi card... reset the router, and see what happens. I'm betting nothing.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 10:15:18 PM by TheAtomicKid » Logged
Dante Rising
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 11:32:27 AM »

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on October 24, 2011, 10:11:44 PM

Quote from: gellar on October 24, 2011, 04:02:07 PM

I'd say this is unlikely, but it's possible that your app isn't gracefully shutting down the connection and filling up your TCP tables.  There's almost certainly some hard coded amount within your router FW and anything above that amount will cause it to fall over.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that on your particular router, but in the Linux world you're looking for the TCP Conntrack tool if that somehow helps your googling.

I use Utorrent with that particular router/firewall every day, with no issues. I'm thinking it's the wifi card itself. I did mention previously to check the error rates between the router and the wifi card, but he hasn't mentioned it yet.

In particular it can't be a router issue, otherwise you'd have problems with your desktop, and her laptop when it was hooked to your network.

Atomic

edit: also try this. the next time it stops working, instead of resetting the wi-fi card... reset the router, and see what happens. I'm betting nothing.


How would I go about checking the error rate between the wi-fi card and the router?  Also, I reset the router when the issue happened again, and, as you guessed, it did nothing to alleviate the issue.

Also, do Wi-Fi cards handle torrent information differently than standard downloads? I still can't understand why I can download a 5GB file from Steam, or stream an HD movie from Netflix,and everything is OK. But the moment I download a torrent the connection flatlines repeatedly.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 11:42:46 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
gellar
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 04:41:38 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on October 25, 2011, 11:32:27 AM

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on October 24, 2011, 10:11:44 PM

Quote from: gellar on October 24, 2011, 04:02:07 PM

I'd say this is unlikely, but it's possible that your app isn't gracefully shutting down the connection and filling up your TCP tables.  There's almost certainly some hard coded amount within your router FW and anything above that amount will cause it to fall over.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that on your particular router, but in the Linux world you're looking for the TCP Conntrack tool if that somehow helps your googling.

I use Utorrent with that particular router/firewall every day, with no issues. I'm thinking it's the wifi card itself. I did mention previously to check the error rates between the router and the wifi card, but he hasn't mentioned it yet.

In particular it can't be a router issue, otherwise you'd have problems with your desktop, and her laptop when it was hooked to your network.

Atomic

edit: also try this. the next time it stops working, instead of resetting the wi-fi card... reset the router, and see what happens. I'm betting nothing.


How would I go about checking the error rate between the wi-fi card and the router?  Also, I reset the router when the issue happened again, and, as you guessed, it did nothing to alleviate the issue.

Also, do Wi-Fi cards handle torrent information differently than standard downloads? I still can't understand why I can download a 5GB file from Steam, or stream an HD movie from Netflix,and everything is OK. But the moment I download a torrent the connection flatlines repeatedly.

It's an interesting question.  The biggest fundamental difference between Torrents and standard HTTP are that Torrents can go UDP, which could be the issue.  I'm also not sure if there are any differences in packet/frame size, etc... but UDP vs TCP is a big difference.

Maybe try forcing your torrent client to use TCP only? (this will of course affect your torrent speed)
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 08:24:12 PM »

Interesting solution, Gellar. And yes, torrents do use UDP, but the really big difference is the number of connections made. A simple file transfer only makes... one? I think? A torrent makes hundreds of connections. That's why some routers buckle under the load... but Dante's is not, because I have that router, and the dlink, it holds its own.

The wi-fi card is another story, as demonstrated by the fact that your girlfriends laptop, and your desktop, both torrent fine behind your router, yet your laptop crumbles.

Checking error rates can be done router side by logging into the router, and going to the status tab (should default), and choosing the wireless selection on the left. It should give you a readout of wireless clients, and signal strength. After that drop down to the Statistics selection on the left, and at the bottom of that page you should see a readout of the wireless stats, including error rates. This is what your router sees on the link.

For the card, you need to pull up your laptops wireless client software, which I'm not familiar with. It will probably run via the system tray, near the clock. That will tell you what your laptop sees, regarding the wireless link.

Tbh, the card works under normal circumstances, yes? I have the feeling it's not the error rate spiking, and the card not recovering. It could be, but I doubt it. It is more likely, that the card doesn't like the hundreds upon hundreds of connections that are made when the torrent software is running.

A simple test. Hook the laptop up to the network via wired connection, and run your torrent software. This will tell you for certain whether or not it's related to your wireless link, or some other, seperate, software issue on your laptop. It won't tell you what that issue is, but obviously that's proving a little difficult to track down.

If you happen to have a usb wireless lan adapter, you could temporarily hook that to your laptop, shut down the internal wi-fi, and run torrents through that, to see what happens. But whatever adapter you use, might not hold up well, either. So it's an iffy test.

Atomic

PS: To be honest, all of these tests are at least marginally iffy. For instance, the hardwire network adapter built into your laptop, might not like torrent software either. That will cause it to fail the relevant test I mentioned, making it look like you might actually have a software issue on the laptop.

A workaround to your problem would to download torrents on your desktop, and just share the volume the files are on, via the network, and pull what you need to the laptop.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 12:21:52 PM »

As Gellar had mentioned, (and I received a couple e-mails from people on the Tixati forums giving the same advice), it looks like forcing TCP connections only did the trick. I've managed to get through two 1GB files without any interruptions. The good news is my download speed doesn't seem to have been impacted, as I'm getting about 950kb per second.

I'd like to thank all of you for the advice. Gellar seems to have nailed it. I just downloaded 3 concurrent files, and they pushed my total download speed to the 1.5 Mbp/s allowed by my Comcast plan without a hitch.

Also, Hats off to TheAtomicKid who seems to try and help in just about every hardware/software hell topic.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 12:37:39 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 08:19:55 PM »

Interesting. UDP connections were causing the wifi card to have issues... *googles for a bit*

You're quite welcome, btw. And no, I skip quite a few, actually. I just pitch in where I feel like I can contribute.

Gellar, any idea WHY udp transfers would crater it?

Atomic

edit: *ponders* I wonder if the card is trying to do UDP offloading and getting overwhelmed...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 08:22:14 PM by TheAtomicKid » Logged
gellar
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2011, 06:43:47 PM »

Yeah no idea as to specifically why.  Maybe bad network drivers causing UDP to do weird things.  Maybe the router handles UDP poorly.  Maybe the torrent client is doing bad stuff to UDP.  It's a fairly unused protocol in the consumer world these days, so none of those would surprise me.

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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2011, 07:10:48 AM »

Quote from: gellar on October 27, 2011, 06:43:47 PM

Yeah no idea as to specifically why.  Maybe bad network drivers causing UDP to do weird things.  Maybe the router handles UDP poorly.  Maybe the torrent client is doing bad stuff to UDP.  It's a fairly unused protocol in the consumer world these days, so none of those would surprise me.

Is it? I was under the impression that UDP is still the primary protocol used for network gaming. Has this changed in recent years for some reason?
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2011, 08:11:50 PM »

UDP is still heavily utilized - data streaming, such as VoIP, for instance.

In the case of torrents, sessionless means that if they get it, they get it - if not, that packet will be re-requested.

I'd think throttling the number of connections the router was trying to handle would be the bigger issue. I've seen Win7 with Torrents bung up cheap routers due to number of connections - torrent software isn't always careful and something like viewing connections on the router itself will lend a big clue as to what's really going on. I've seen Win7 with microtorrent hit 700+ connections (with max clients set to 10) and killing the utorrent.exe drops the connections down to only several dozen.

Is DD-WRT an option for your router (BTW, this thread is TLDR; I'm responding to the hypothesis of why).

If you connect a cable instead of wireless, does that solve the problem? Your WiFi router can only handle so many simultaneous connections at once.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 08:16:00 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 08:22:24 PM »

I should also note that while the number of connections may climb on one PC, it didn't (in my experience) affect the rest of the wired or wireless clients.

Also, I checked it out - looks like that's a no:

D-Link   DGL-4300   1.7   not possible   no

If you have a spare router or a friend/relative with DD-WRT on a router, perhaps that would help you. I'm not aware of an app that you can use to view open connections on your router from a given IP, but my guess is that's where the problem lies.

I replaced my router to fix the issue. I used the www.dd-wrt.com router database to select my next purchase.
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2011, 08:26:24 PM »

If it's that one app and TCP is OK for you, then go for it. You could also try installing your OS on another partition, only install the torrent software and then see if it still hangs it up.

Perhaps updating your wireless NIC drivers will help, but I doubt it. The problem lies with your Router accepting any more connections with your PC while in that state. Rebooting either should temporarily restore the connection.

UDP is a pretty common protocol - it's more lightweight than TCP (as it's sessionless) and so you'll find things that stream prefer it. A missed piece of frame is no big deal to a stream, so your video doesn't hang waiting for a packet resend that you likely wouldn't have noticed anyways.

Conversely, you could stop using torrent software. biggrin
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gellar
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2011, 10:39:46 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on October 28, 2011, 07:10:48 AM

Quote from: gellar on October 27, 2011, 06:43:47 PM

Yeah no idea as to specifically why.  Maybe bad network drivers causing UDP to do weird things.  Maybe the router handles UDP poorly.  Maybe the torrent client is doing bad stuff to UDP.  It's a fairly unused protocol in the consumer world these days, so none of those would surprise me.

Is it? I was under the impression that UDP is still the primary protocol used for network gaming. Has this changed in recent years for some reason?

Yeah I mean as a percentage of user traffic, UDP makes up less than probably 5% at this point as just about everything is now rocking on HTTP.  Most users don't play games on the internet smile.
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