How do I determine why my connection goes down intermittently for 2-3 seconds?

Posted on


I have periodic network connectivity glitches. I’m not sure what’s causing them. Every minute or so the internet is inaccessible for 2-3 seconds. I’m not sure if this is actually a complete outage or just temporary extreme packet loss.

Here’s an image of the Source net_graph (lower right hand corner) during the glitch while playing Counter-Strike:

enter image description here

The dense parts of the graph are normal. The parts where there are many frames of 0 bandwidth punctuated by huge packets are the glitch. You can see that the “choke” (update packets per second that recently haven’t reached the client – this should be 0) is huge.


If a packet is lost it takes 3 seconds or so for the system to acknowledge, its very likely that packets collide in groups so if there is a sudden burst of traffic it can knock you out for a few seconds depending on the software.

does this happen with all games and all servers or just this one?

A few things you can try to help narrow down the problem:

  • If you have another internet-connected device (second PC, smartphone, etc.) does that device still have connectivity while your main PC doesn’t? This will help determine if the problem is in the PC or if it’s your ISP or modem.
  • Does it only happen with this game, or does it happen with other applications? Try downloading a large file from a reliable site and watch the network usage graph in Windows Task Manager.
  • In Task Manager, watch CPU utilization of processes during the network gap. Perhaps a virus scanner (or virus!) or some other background process is periodically locking out other processes while it does something.

Try running pathping.exe to a remote host. Go to a command prompt and type:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *