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Checking your network connection


Many players have experienced lag while others in local were fine. Some of them even experience crashes to desktop (ctd's) with no apparent reason. This article describes how to find the cause of the problem and what to do next.

Note: the server IP for EVE is 87.237.38.200

What's going on, really?

Some lag is caused by the server or the amount of people weighing it down. Some. That kind of lag cannot be prevented by any other means than leaving the system you were in and heading for a more quiet piece of EVE.

Most (that's most) cases of lag are in fact caused by the EVE client temporarily losing it's connection to the server. If this connection drop takes too long, you may find yourself in warp by the time the connection re-establishes itself. And if it takes even longer, the client will close without further notice. This is what causes most cases of ctd.

Some cases of ctd are actually caused by other problems than connection loss, scroll down for a list of those. or skip all the way to the end for some straightforward and simple advice.

How do I check my connection?

If you think the network connection may be your problem, here's a way to check:

  1. open a command prompt window
    1. open the 'Start' menu
    2. select 'Run...'
    3. enter 'cmd' and hit 'OK'
  2. enter ping 87.237.38.200 -t and press Enter
  3. hit Ctrl+C if you want to stop this program

This will start a series of so-called 'ping's to the servercluster that runs EVE. The lines should look like this:
Reply from 87.237.38.200: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=246
If all the pings look like that, reaching the EVE servers without interuptions, your connection is fine. However, if some or all of the lines read "Request timed out.", "Destination host unreachable" or some other error, you know the connection is the problem.

The "Request timed out" response means your computer managed to send something out, but it never came back, so at least your network card is working and the cable is connected decently. Otherwise, check if you can browse the web and check (even if you can browse the web) if your cables are properly connected.

Once you know there's a network problem, it could still be on your side. If so, the most likely cause is a firewall. Try turning off any software firewalls, like the one built into Windows XP, the Norton one, the Zone-Alarm one, etc. Just turn them off for a second and see if that fixes it (by pinging some more). If it does, you need to go into their configuration, figure out what's wrong with them and fix it. Many routers or "modems" for cable and adsl contain (simple) firewall too. Try turning those off if you can and see if that fixes it.

Other causes for network problems on your side could be spyware, which you can check with applications like Spybot Search & Destroy. Or other applications that somehow use the network excessively. Try turning off as many other networked applications you may have running like Messenger, eMule, Winamp, etc. After all that, try pinging again. No improvement? Read on.

If you've tried everything you can on your side and are sure that's not the problem, try running tracert 87.237.38.200 from the command box. The program will take a while and will print out a list of all the 'hops' the network connection to the EVE server makes. If one of the hops takes a lot more time than the others, that's a likely location for the problem.

All the way at the top will be your router or modem, if you have one. Next will be your ISP's server. Next could be some internal hops with the ISP, the exit from the ISP onto a larger network, etc. If you notice the hop to the ISP or the one immediately away from it is the problem, contact your ISP and send them a copy or screenshot of the trace you just did. The problem appears to be with them afterall.

If the problem is towards the end of the trace, the problem might be with CCP's ISP or with CCP itself. In this case, you can start blaming CCP for getting a bad ISP or having crappy servers. No sooner. Really. Trust me when I tell you that in most cases it's either you, your PC, your software or your ISP that deserves the blame. If not, you'll have cold and hard -proof- to show CCP they're at fault.

Other causes than connection loss

If your connection is fine, but you still get ctd's, don't petition just yet. You can collect a little info first and see what's going on. For starters, open the Task Manager. You get this option if you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del or if you rightclick your taskbar.

In the Task Manager, you can see a list of processes. For each of these processes, the Task manager shows the amount of memory it is using. While you are playing EVE (you'll have to play in windowed mode to be able to switch easily), keep an eye on the Task Manager from time to time. If the amount of memory EVE uses steadily climbs to very high values (taking up most of your memory), that's a likely cause of the problem. Contact CCP with that information.

Another problem can also be found using the Task Manager. You can sort the processes by the amount of CPU power they are using. If some of the programs that are running on your computer take massive amounts of CPU power (90+%) from time to time, for seconds at a time, this might cause your client to disconnect and crash. Try to find out which programs these are and try doing without them if you can. They might be infested with some sort of spyware or they might simply be faulty or unable to play nice with EVE running.

A final likely cause could simply be drivers. Check the drivers for your motherboard, videocard, soundcard and possibly networkcard. Are they up to date? Are newer ones available? Is your Windows up to date if you check Windows Update? You'd be surprised at the effect a simple update has in some cases.

Hope this all helps, good luck solving any problems you have.


Current EVE version: 2.09.3900 (Bloodlines)
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