Ask the Doctor: Reduce My Ping!


I recently started playing COD4, and at my favorite server, I get a ping of 50–60ms on a 5Mb/s connection. I wanted to get my ping down a bit more, so I upped the connection first to 10Mb/s and then to 16Mb/s, but alas, still no difference. My modem is an older Linksys BEFCMU10, but the router is a newer D-Link 4100 GamerLounge. I’m considering a purchase of a Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC M1 but hate to throw more money at the problem, only to have little or no results. Is there anything I can do to lower my ping? Please help me, Doctor!

Harquor, the first thing you should check is your router’s QoS settings. The GamerLounge is programmed to give game traffic network priority, but it wouldn’t hurt to double-check. Beyond that, we don’t think gaming NIC cards are worth the money, especially since tripling your connection speed didn’t help. Don’t forget: Server latency depends on a number of factors. Distance is one; all else being equal, you will always get better ping from a server 50 miles from your house than one that’s 1,000 miles away. Server-side CPU load and the server’s network connection can also negatively affect ping. It may be that 50-60ms is the best ping you’ll get from that particular server.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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