So I'm one of those people who've recently stumbled upon the world of streaming content. More specifically, I've been streaming video games to Twitch.tv. In the past year, I've dealt with a few connection-related issues on my Verizon FiOS connection, such as having a faulty coax cable causing incredible data loss. Recently, in an effort to curb an ongoing problem, I've switched the Actiontec MI424-WR router from using a coaxial WAN connection from the ONT in my garage to using one over Ethernet. It's helped with the problem a bit, but maybe I should state what the issue actually is.
During my streams, I generally have a Skype call going with two to seven people from America and Europe. They stay fairly stable, until I suddenly hear the bitrate on the call dropping as it fills with static, people become muffled, and the conversation begins to break down into unintelligible bits of words. Sometimes it comes right back, and the audio takes a minute or two to clear up. Other times it actually drops the call completely, as well as the stream, and my connection icon on the taskbar will actually show me as disconnected for a brief period of time. Now, I mentioned the switch from Coax to Ethernet as I found suggested by people who've had similar issues, and that has shortened the time that these dropouts last (previously what could be multiple minutes are now 10 seconds to a minute). I've also tried a few different Cat-5 cables to make sure one hasn't been damaged and such, but the drops still happen on each. As for when the connection seems to go, it's random. Some evenings I can stream for the entire night unimpeded, while others I can stream for two hours, have it go down, it'll come up for two minutes, go back down, be up for another thirty, go down, back up for fifteen, down again, and then stable for another two hours. So far there doesn't seem to be a discernable pattern or time of day for it, as I've done streams on weekend mornings too.
Anyway, I'll spill what info I can here... I stream and call from an Asus G73J (Motherboard noted as J73JH) laptop over a built-in wireless-N connection. The FiOS connection speed is 150 Megs Down, 65 Up. I've run both an Avast! virus scan recently as well as an MBAM scan, and both have come up negative on any pollutants that might be hijacking my connection. I have two other roommates on Wireless-N as well, however, the pattern still holds. I can stream fine at times when they're both home, and there's days where they're both there and it goes to hell. Same with times when they're gone.
I have also verified that when I get connection drops, other devices and computers seem to get it too (I believe this includes hardwired, though it was last year when I last tried anything hardwired on stream), as if the entire network is being affected. I haven't seen anything overly suspicious in the router logs, though all three of our computers are giving Event ID Error 1014 related to DNS stuff. That seems to be completely unrelated to the disconnections though (but I won't rule it out).
So, ask me to run things or post various logs if you need more information, but I'd love advice, similar experiences, perhaps some network monitoring software that might shed some light on what's going through the tubes when the drops actually happen or something. I dunno. I've been battling it for over a year, and just remembered this place existed.