Packet Loss

Information about Packet Loss

You have been directed to this page because we have identified that your Internet Connection is having Packet Loss issues.

Description of Packet Loss

When information is traveling back and forth over the internet, it isn’t done in large chunks of information, it is done in tiny little bits of data, called Packets. Before the information travels over the internet, the “chunk” is broken up into Packets and then sent through the internet. Once these Packets reach their destination, they are put back together so that they become the “chunk” they were before getting broken up.

Packet Loss is exactly that. Not all of the packets that were sent, were received. That means that the “chunk” that was trying to be sent, can not be put back together. When this occurs, it causes a break in the connection, or a drop.

More Information: Wikipedia, WhatIs

Acceptable Packet Loss

No connection is perfect, there will always be some level of Packet Loss. In order for a connection to be stable though, the Packet Loss (measured in a percentage) must be minimal. Here are the guidelines we follow:

  1. 1% Packet Loss or less: Stable Connection
  2. 2% – 4% Packet Loss: Unstable Connection
  3. 5% Packet Loss or grater: Very unstable connection.

Symptoms of Packet Loss

Below are the common symptoms of Packet Loss:

  • Applications stop responding or “freeze”
  • Error messages referencing a disconnect or a reconnect
  • Applications “disappear” from your desktop entirely

Depending on the timing of the Packet Loss and the frequency of it, it is not uncommon for one application to be affected while others are not. That just means that the loss occurred during a time where that particular application was trying to do something over your internet connection while a different application may have been idle.


In order to resolve your issue, you will need to report it to your ISP and work closely with them. In some cases, this may require frequent follow-up and a bit of persistence in regards to you getting a positive response from your ISP. We have found that details and evidence usually help lead to a successful resolution.

When we tested your connection, we measured the packet loss your connection is experiencing. You will want to save this information and provide it to your ISP. Telling them that “I am having 5% packet loss” will usually get a more positive response from your ISP than “I am having connection issues”.

Be patient though and be persist ant, it may take several attempts for them to help identify and resolve the issue. Dozens of variables can cause Packet Loss and it may take some time to identify what is actually causing the issue.

On the more tougher issues, the issue may be beyond even your home.

Example: Cable Internet is sensitive to “noise”. Since your connection is shared through your neighborhood, it is possible for an issue at another house to create this “noise” and pass it along to their neighbors and interrupt your connection.

Remo Moroni has written 15 articles