Ping (latency) jumps when connecting to a server
server pings are all fine when I look at them in the serverbrowser, but
my ping (latency) jumps when I connect to any server. What's wrong?
Any time you see symptoms like this you need to check your computer and local network for problems.
If you are running anything like cybersitter, netlimiter or x-fire or
any windows theme programs like windowblinds uninstall them, these are
If you have XP SP2, uninstall any other firewall program until you solve this problem (uninstall, don't "delete"). ZoneAlarm especially is causing a lot a problems for players.
Some anti-virus (and firewall) programs are having problems with SP2,
Grisoft AVG 6 and earlier versions especially. Uninstall "old" A/V
programs or upgrade to the latest version.
Update your firewall permission. You must remove all reference to steam.exe, hl.exe, hlds.exe, and hl2.exe from your firewall permissions and let them be re-learned every steam update. Don't just assume because they are listed there that they are ok.
Be sure to give permission for all ports and for TCP and UDP. If it
doesn't ask after you remove existing permissions, then you have
something set wrong (security too high) or you have another firewall
Home Network Details
If you ask for assistance, always provide your internet modem / router
manufacturer and model and firmware numbers when reporting problems
Problem Modems and Routers
There are at least four known modems / routers that can cause problems
like these, Actiontec, Linksys, Dlink, and BroadXent (Creative Labs).
There are probably more than that, but those are the only ones that have been consistantly reported to cause problems.
There is no solution for Actiontec except to get a new modem. Linksys
can be fixed by running a specific "older" firmware version, the latest
versions (and very old versions) have problems. More information here.
Dlink shows up from time to time, bypassing the router will usually fix the problem if it's the cause.
Broadxent is a good example of a DSL modem + router that can cause this exact problem.
They have a firmware design or bug that will cause the modem to crash
and go offline for a minute if you refresh more than 8,000 servers
(varies with the model numbers). Other "low-end" modems and routers can
show this exact same problem.
Always, if your internet connection goes offline when you try
to get a list of servers or connect, then you have a modem/router
Slow Down Steam to Test
Slowing down the Steam internet connection rate to "modem" speeds may
help your problem. Setting your rate too high may overload your modem
or router or internet connection and cause this problem.
This can be especially true if you have a number of computers online behind one modem (like a home LAN event or CyberCafe).
Always restart Steam after changing the internet connection rate.
Bypass External Routers
If you have a problem like this and you run a modem and a router,
always remove the router and plug straight into the modem and see if
your problem goes away.
The linksys "network everywhere router" has recently been reported to cause this exact problem.
Test on A