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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 18623 16-Jan-2008 21:55
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Hi all,

I'm a TCL cable internet user (obviously) and I have been experience serious packet loss recently (as of late Dec). My original suspicion was that I might be an issue with my Linksys router (WRT54GS). Packet sniffing behind the cable modem revealed alot of ARP broadcast traffic; ~ 287 Kbps of the stuff all from 60 byte ARP broadcast packets at 598 packets per sec. See the following screenshot.
arp flood

I haven't been able to locate the specs for the WRT54GS to see how many packets per sec it can optimally handle. Can anyone say if this kind of ARP traffic is normal? I read in some other forums that Telstra was having some network issues.

Secondly I used a ping plotter to analyze the route to the internet and discovered consistent packet lost at a hop. See the following screenshot. The larger graph shows the latency along a traceroute to the website. The smaller graph at the bottom shows heavy packet loss at the before mentioned hop.

ping plotter graph

Now the address belongs to the block and is all within the same ASN which means the packet loss is occuring within Telstra's network. The ip locator at puts the in Auckland city and I am in Upper Hutt, Wellington. Again can anyone say if this is normal network performance for Telstra?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

foreign guy

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  # 105291 16-Jan-2008 22:16
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michaeln will be able to comment further on this, little to say that ARP traffic is normal on the cable network.

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  # 105333 17-Jan-2008 09:48
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I can say with no doubt from me either, you will always recieve a high ARP traffic on the TCL Cable network.  In fact it has dropped quite a bit now that TCL have separated their Set Top Box Cable Modems from their Internet Cable Modems into two VLANs, I saw about a 10-20% drop in ARP traffic since that change went through.  TCL are still having intermittant dropouts on their cable network which is supposed to get resolved sometime early this year... still waiting on that!  But with that dropout you would see that your default route no longer responds, rather than an upstream router dropping random packets.

Packet loss is a whole other issue, from the looks of your traceroutes the packet loss is at the edge connection from TCL to their upstream provider.  To be honest I would be extremely suprised if this was an actual packet loss, it would more likely be the ISP's filtering out ping / traceroute traffic on their routers.

I have had VPN connections up from my home network, over a WRT54GL through the cable modem to the US and Europe for days on end and never had any problems with the link dropping.  My VPN client is very sensitive to packet loss and will drop without any hesitation.  As is the case on my backup Woosh Wireless connection, which I am unable to have a reliable VPN tunnel up during peak hours due to network overloading and the latency it creates.

Log a call (or better yet send an e-mail as at least then you will get a response!) about the issue.  If you complain loudly enough you may get a months free credit or suchlike.


2 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 105471 18-Jan-2008 06:33
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Thanks BarTender,

You are probably right about the packet loss being QOS issue. I didn't notice before but the next hop goes to an ip in the domain.

As for the ARP traffic, I would have expected that to vary depending on which region or physical cable network segment you are in, and proxy ARP being used when switching packets being regions. I am not sure of how the cable architecture works but that's how it's usually done with DSL when traffic gets to the DSL Access Multiplexer. Then VLANs can be used to further splitup your ip network, but that would require sending inter-VLAN traffic back to a router when ISP users are communicating across VLANs which is not necessarily desired.
Anyhow, I have been too busy with work since my original posting to follow this up, but I will and if push comes to shove I'll take up your suggestion of calling TelstraClear.

Thanks for all the replies.

foreign guy

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