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Thu, Nov 5, 2015 8:03 PM

High Latency & Ping - What You Need to Know

Ping & Traceroute

First thing first, check out what is acceptable latency is below. If you are not familiar with ping or traceroutes, check out The Basics section. 

What is acceptable latency 

  • 0 - 150ms means the connection is great
  • 150 - 300ms is acceptable 
  • Over 300ms may indicate an issue

For high latency, ruling out devices on your network is key to determining if the issue is user-generated or not. For example, if you have multiple devices on at one time, this can cause high latency. Using a VPN may cause high latency. Uploading may cause high latency. The best way to determine an issue is by disconnecting all devices and routers and testing with only one device connected directly to the modem


Heads Up: If you run a traceroute on a site that is out of country, high latency is normal. Keep in mind, some sites do not allow you to run traceroutes. 

The Basics

Traceroute is a computer network diagnostic tool for displaying the route and measuring the time intervals at each router that a packet takes across the network.


Ping is another diagnostic tool that tests the reachability of a host on a network and measures the round-trip time.


Both use Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) requests to obtain this data.

Both of these network Utilities can be found within the U-verse Gateways.




  1. Type to access the gateway
  2. Select Settings > Diagnostics > IP Utilities




  1. Type to access the gateway
  2. Select Diagnostics


Understanding Ping


When running a Ping test, the important things to pay attention to are the packet loss % and the round-trip times. Ideally, you want a 0% packet loss and a low round-trip time.


With packet loss, depending on the hose you are accessing, it may be blocking or putting a lower priority on ICMP requests, so a high packet loss does not necessarily mean an issue.


What makes a good round-trip time can vary based off your connection medium (wired/wireless) and the site you are accessing. Accessing a site local to you versus one overseas will produce a great difference in times. If you do notice any discrepancies, you will want to run a traceroute.


Understanding Traceroute


(IPs in this example are not real) 


When running a traceroute, the most important thing is to see if the trace completes before exhausting all the hops. If it does start timing out, try running a ping test to see if the site is accessible. If not, then it could just be the host blocking ICMP requests, or there is an issue with the route, and the traceroute report will let you know the last route it was able to reach. In the example above, after hop 8, it starts timing out. You can run a whois search to see who manages that IP and reach out to them to investigate the issue further.


You will also see timeouts on hops 2 and 5. Since the packets are making it to the next path with no problems, we can assume that the routers at 2 and 5 are completely blocking ICMP requests.


You will also notice a higher latency on hop 6. Usually, high latency is a concern, but in this case, one can assume it is due to ICMP rate-limiting, since the timing on the other routes after it are back to normal. If they were high as well, then we can assume that a problem is starting at hop 6. When measuring latency, the best measurement will be the final hop or conducting a ping test.



*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

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Community Support


6.7K Messages

5 years ago

Ping and Traceroute are useful tools to determine latency and browsing issues. If you do notice issues:


  1. Try testing on multiple devices. Preferably with a hard wired connection.
  2. Test with all 3rd party hardware removed.
  3. Disable IPv6.
  4. Change your DNS.


If the previous steps have been exhausted and there still appears to be a problem, please send a private message with your account number and contact details to ATTU-verseCare for further assistance. If you are not a member of the U-verse community forums, we welcome you to register and reach out to us.


*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

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