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High Packet Loss in the Evening Only

3: Seeker
3: Seeker

I've been having periodic packet loss for the last month or so at very specific times in the evening, and am at a bit of a loss on what to do.


To start off I'll explain that I live in a remote area, so I use a mobile SIM in a TP-Link router for household internet. The phone mast is quite literally at the bottom of the garden, so I've always had a very strong signal and quite fast speeds - enough for gaming and streaming simultaneously. I also have a number of smart devices around my home, including several Google Home devices and smart switches. Never had any issues in nearly 2 years with this setup.


Beginning at the start of December 2022, I noticed that I was getting very high packet loss (up to 30%, with higher spikes) while playing online. At these times my wife also noticed that YouTube, Netflix and iPlayer were buffering regularly or playing at low quality. We assumed at first that it would just be a temporary glitch, and left it at that.


After a few more nights I started investigating further. To start off I tried disconnecting our wifi boosters - no change. Resetting the router - no change. Comparing wired (PC) and wireless connections no  difference. After resetting everything and even trying the hotspot on my phone, I gave up. Give it a couple of weeks, I thought. It's the Christmas holidays, maybe the lines are just busier than usual.


Come January and with no further change, I used pingplotter to test our connection over a few days and the results have been quite interesting:Screenshot_20230118_084948.png

This is an example taken over a 48 hour period. My latency (black line) is very stable. The red bars show packet loss. What's interesting here is that every day, at 15:00 on the dot, the packet loss starts to rise. It peaks and drops again at 19:00, then rises sharply throughout the evening before tailing back to zero at 23:00.

This cycle repeats every day, without fail, near enough to the minute. And it's exactly the same whether I'm on a wired or wireless connection, and is also the same using the hotspot on my phone (and we've tried this with 2 different Vodafone SIMs).


Surely this must be some technical glitch on Vodafone's end? As I mentioned it only started beginning of December 2022, but the connection is unusable for gaming in the evening and streaming is also slow.


Is there anything more that can be done?

Thanks for any help :Smiling:

120 REPLIES 120

I've been having this issue for the last couple of months now too. I've been tearing my hair out trying to find where the packet loss was occurring but it seems to be at Vodafone's end. This is really disappointing as I rely on the connection for work and the losses are making calls unbearable at times. I have an EE phone and when I tether through that there is 0% loss. Might be time to switch the mobile broadband to EE also.

I've been tempted by EE too but I really don't want to be tied to a fresh 2-year contract. Vodafone has been really good for us over the years but I'm struggling to give them the benefit of the doubt here when they haven't been able to come up with any answers. 2 months of this now!

Yes, I have the same issue here. I have Vodafone 4G (Voxi sim) in Bristol.

I thought it was people in my local area streaming at night all of a sudden, but not if you all are seeing the same issue!


I recently replaced my old 4G router with a top-end industrial 4G/5G router. I'm waiting for a new 5G omni antenna to arrive, until then I've force the new router to run 4G only. 


As you can see, replacing the new 4G router hasn't helped.




Community Manager
Community Manager

I'm sorry to see you're been affected by this @trisk3ll@dncan29, and @timdoyle91. Can you all please reach out to us through Social Media and include a link to this post and your user names? We can then investigate this further for you.

As per everyone else, I'm getting severe packet loss (but still high download speeds) between 4 and 11pm. I've tried the SIM on 2 different routers and my phone.


@trisk3ll What software are you using for graphing packet loss? I want to give that a try too

High download speeds really depends on what speed test you use. and don't seem to care about packet loss but you can see it as the loaded ping will jump up and down during the test. Google's speed test seems to show average speed better.

I've also just today received a new SIM are the retentions team said that I need to try that as well. Come 7.30 tonight I was experiencing the same packet loss and buffering on streams. 


Will make the call tomorrow to cancel. Although I am in contract I have been told that seeing as it's been 3 months since the first complaint I can cancel. 

Not applicable

i sent my gigacube back to have a look but ive got a nighthawk m1 with a vodafone sim inside and no packet loss so far it maybe hubs that are faulty not sure


Unfortunately that is not the case. I tried 2 different routers and 3 different phones. I also move them around my house. It is something at Vodafone end for sure. As i have virgin mobile sim and it have no such problem on all devices and 3 network which is my partner is fine too. All 3 sim cards were tested during the same time period. Now if i want to play games i put my phone as mobile hotspot and use virgin mobile as on Vodafone its impossible to play anything online after 5 pm.

Hi, I've had exactly the same problem, starting when yours did, exactly the same pattern & times then clears at the same time too.

It's 100% something on Vodafones end but with nothing being done, it's not equipment or sim but going through a merry go round & thinking nothings going to be fixed.


It was perfect for over a year, now it's unusable in the evenings!