perform a google search for: vista ping spike wireless
you will find hundreds of results:
this is a nearly universal issue:
Vista Wireless Network Lag/Spikes
That is just the first page of results from google and ALL of them are
relevant to the issue I will describe.
Apparently since Windows XP and continuing with Vista, Windows will poll (or
search) for wireless connections every 60 seconds. This searching causes a
regular and predictable ping spike of around or over 1000ms every 60 seconds.
This makes playing any online game impossible because you get constant ping
spikes and unplayable lag.
In Windows XP there were some relatively reliable and easy ways to get
around this problem, but in Vista there is no reliable solution! The easiest
method for solving this problem in XP was simply to use a third party
wireless configuration utility (the one supplied with your wireless hardware
usually,) that would not perform this incessant polling. Unfortunately, few
if any hardware manufacturers have created wireless utilities that work in
Even if they did, it is difficult to understand why Microsoft has not solved
this problem themselves. Windows afterall portrays itself as the ultimate
gaming platform (among other uses such as office productivity, Microsoft does
sell Windows as a gaming OS especially as compared to Linux or Mac.) With
wireless connectivity becoming more and more prevalent, and online gaming
becoming more and more popular, how exactly does Microsoft justify making the
two impossible on their latest and greatest OS?
Even if a third party wireless utility were available, I would prefer to use
the built-in Windows features, if only they worked! Now I understand that
Microsoft does see this polling as a useful feature. In any application
where latency does not matter much, such as surfing the web or downloading a
file, this ping spike is not at all noticeable as performance is fine 99% of
the time. And polling for better connections is certainly important to
making sure the computer is always connected to the best possible Access
Point in a world where people are constantly on the go, often using laptops,
and roaming from one Access Point to the next. But there is a whole segment
of people such as myself who are using wireless as a landline replacement, in
their own homes, on a desktop computer! My computer never moves, my access
point never moves, no better connection will ever be available!
All that is needed here is a simple option, a checkbox, that allows me to
tell Windows: THIS IS THE ONLY ACCESS POINT I EVER WANT TO CONNECT TO, DO NOT
POLL FOR NEW ACCESS POINTS. Even laptop users would benefit from this. Many
laptops are becoming capable gaming machines. If you know you are not going
to be moving and you want to get a quick game in while on the road, you could
tell Windows WLAN to lock on to the current access point. Then when its time
to get back to everyday business, return to normal polling.
Please Microsoft: wireless is the future, online gaming is the future,
please bring your OS in line with the times!
ZippyDan - unable to play games online with his quad core desktop, 4 gb
memory, 25mbit connection, and WINDOWS VISTA with Service Pack 1 - i had hope
that SP1 would fix this problem, but no... :-(