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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

Yeah I mention to this menager about our forum posts and said that you were told that this was taken as full network case, guy straight away told me that any issues are only taken locally not globally. It seems like we would have to suffer until end of our contract... which is a pain.. I am hopeless tbh too 

Just thought I'd add my two cents as I have been having the exact same issue for months now.


I have a Red Unlimited SIM in a Huawei 5G CPE router and had the same issues with packet loss, although mine seems to start at 5PM and last till 11PM, although I haven't logged it over time to confirm.


I contacted support multiple times which involved multiple forced disconnections of the line which hasn't helped.


I honestly don't know what I can do and whether there is a way I can get out of the contract. I am wondering if I setup the CPE in Bridge mode and get a second router, possibly running OpenWRT, and run all traffic through a VPN but this seems rather drastic and will increase latency. 

Not applicable

Im new to Vodafone started my 30 day contract on Wednesday and I'm having the similar problem at around 6pm to 11pm download packet loss spike around 5 to 15% i've been tweaking resetting and restarting even changing the mtu size but today i left the setting alone with 4g only on and manual network as im only set to there network and still get it until after 10 or 11pm then its fine im from dorset as well dt20 is part of the post code. 

Yeh I’m in Poole, so wonder if it’s something localised 

It is not i have same issues at WA4 Warrington area. Its global it started last year and they do nothing about it. I am trying to solve that for months.

Not applicable

to be onest im done waiting for this to be done im tempted to buy the netgear m1 router from amazon and get a sim only deal from o2 as im a bit annoyed that something is getting in the way plus its lucky im on a 30 day contract i couldnt stand for this much longer. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi everyone, thanks for explaining what's happening. We'll need to review each case on an individual basis and go through some checks. If you haven't already done so, then please contact my team through Social Media.  

Did you ever get anywhere with this? Voda packet loss from about 12pm to 11pm now is very bad and extremely predictable.

I ended up getting them to cancel my line and switched to EE.


It took over an hour on the phone with 2 call backs but got them to agree the cancellation fee. Was initially told that I used to much data for them to cancel free of charge and that the 5G network in the UK isn't stable enough for what I was using it for....

All our devices run a massive buffer on internet data. This day and age our streaming should never cut out. Ever.

I can run youtube for a good 3-5 minutes even after i chop the internet from it. It'll still run for a good 3 minutes just from the buffer internet cache.

For youtube to cut out completely in the evenings on the crap mobile data, means vodafone are using more than their buffers worth and more.

To Vodafone,
Your cheap internet may fool 50% of your customers, but it doesnt fool us tech savvy trained to the eye customers. Basically you have no answer and have ran out of possibilities.

Please please to the moderators on here. Stop sticking up for a crappy company and ditch your online media presence and play a PC game or something. Do something where you can achieve something.