SRCDS Steam group

SRCDS completely kills my internet connection
I have attempted to run SRCDS on a Windows XP machine with TF2 on several (3) separate occasions. The game goes pretty well for a very short time, with the expected lag for my 6Mbps AT&T U-Verse connection and the XP SP3 Pentium 4HT 3 GHz 512 MB RAM that I use as my dedicated server.

During the game, other computers on my network have a severely crippled connection to the internet -- as in almost completely unable to load websites. After a while (maybe 10-20 minutes), people in the game start to lag REALLY bad, and even those of us in the local network wind up getting kicked. Then every computer in my house is unable to access the internet, and even after rebooting my router and running diagnostics, I am still unable to reconnect to the internet. An hour goes by, with me unplugging and rebooting everything in sight, and running diagnostics, and my internet connection finally returns.

The third time this happened, I could not get my connection to revive, even after two hours of trying to restore it. I called AT&T and had them run diagnostics. Only after this, and rebooting my router (for the nth time) while on the phone with them, did my connection come back.

So. What the heck is going on? Why does SRCDS take down my entire network when just playing with a few friends and some bots, whereas playing on a server hosted from within TF2 doesn't eat up nearly as much of my bandwidth?

When playing with a custom server from within TF2, Other computers on my network can still load webpages, and everything in general works fine. When playing with a srcds dedicated TF2 server, my connection becomes crippled for an extended period of time (oh, and also, my router gets physically warm to the touch, whereas it doesn't have that issue with a LAN server).

Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

And yes, I know I need more RAM on my server, but there is no way limited RAM on my server could cause my network to collapse.
Well your limitation is probably just your home connection, you say "6Mbps" is that down or up? Also I mean 500MB on your server should be enough for the SRCDS server itself but do you have anything left for the OS and all that as well? I'd say that your problem is just your upload speed.
Game Servers -- -- Use promocode "frag" for 15% off every month!
I doubt it's a problem with the up/down on my connection. That would just create lag during play. I don't have Comcast or anything like that, so I'm not throttled to a certain speed; I have AT&T U-Verse, which is fiber-optic always-on DSL, meaning that how far I am away from the hub determines my speed. I am at the far end of the line from the hub, so I only get just slightly above 6Mbps (they don't offer U-Verse much farther out than my house -- I had to talk to twelve people on the phone just to get this connection as U-Verse rather than normal DSL). Because my speed is not limited based on throttling, but on physical proximity, I cannot blame my internet connection for this problem. The fiber-optic connection is set up in such a way that I don't get the busy-time slowdowns on my internet connection that DSL and cable often suffer from, because every U-Verse customer is directly connected to the hub, rather than through a daisy-chain connection.

I feel like the srcds is sending/receiving an abnormally high amount of web traffic, since when I use the server built into TF2 and enable people to connect through my firewall directly to my laptop, which is hosting the TF2 game (not my dedicated server, in this case), I do not have any of these problems. The only thing stopping me from just doing this on a regular basis is because I'm also playing the game on the same computer that's hosting the server when I do it that way, I am much more limited in the number of bots I can use, and how many people can connect (I can never have more than 12 players total including bots, or the game is completely unplayable due to lag caused by lack of RAM -- and even then, 10 is really the maximum if I want something like a lag-free game).

I discussed this with the AT&T tech on the phone, and he agrees that this should not be happening, and claims it shouldn't be due to any restrictions or throttling they have in place -- since they don't have any.

I can be streaming Netflix while downloading a torrent and playing other online games besides TF2 (games where little bits of lag won't kill me as badly), and my connection holds up quite nicely, so I'm pretty certain this isn't my internet connection's fault.

I will call AT&T and ask them to monitor my connection while I have the server running to help me identify any possible problems on their end. Maybe there's either something they're not telling me, or something is happening which neither I nor AT&T predicted.
What's your upload speed? If you have 6 down, you probably have a very small up pipe. If your upload is maxes, you can't accesses the Internet as your other systems can't sent traffic out.
~ Mooga ...w00t? - on Twitter
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Please do not PM me for server related help
fqdn Wrote:if you've seen the any of the matrix movies, a game server is not all that different. it runs a version of the game that handles the entire world for each client connected. that's the 2 sentence explanation.
My speeds are (according to

Down: 5.17 Mbps
Up: 0.65 Mbps

I used these figures to calculate the maxrate and related server variables:

sv_maxrate 5800 (was previously set to 20000 in the default server.cfg I downloaded)
sv_maxupdaterate 19 (was previously set to 100)

According to the information I found (I forgot where I found it), my server should be capable of handling up to either 9 or 14 players. It specified 14, but made a special exception for srcds, stating that srcds could only support 9 with my connection)

I have not tested with these new settings, because I haven't had time to risk killing my network for an indeterminate amount of time -- though I do plan to test it with these new settings and a friend or two tonight (Wednesday).

@Mooga - I am aware that while the server is running, if it is making too many requests and taking up too much bandwidth, then other computers in the same network will have a diminished capacity to access the internet.

My problem is that my other computers can still access the internet while the server is running and supporting several players and bots (no more than 3 players plus 9 bots at peak before it crashed the final time and I stopped using it), but once I've closed the server application, shut down the computer it was running on, and rebooted my router a bunch of times, no computer on my network is able to access the internet at all. They all get handed their correct reserved IPs by the router, and they can all see one another (ping, VNC, LAN games, what-have-you), but they cannot get through the gateway to my ISP. It's acting like AT&T is cutting me off when I run a server, but there is no reason they should be, and they won't admit to doing it, so I'm thinking perhaps there's something wrong on my end, either with a setting in the server.cfg, or with the computer running the server application, or with (heavens forbid) my router itself.

So first I'm going to try with these new settings, while running a Wireshark trace and watching the connection statistics on my router administration page. If I capture anything funny, I'll share it here. If not, and everything works fine, I will assume that my server.cfg was the main source of the issue, and drop it...even though it should never have collapsed my network that severely, despite the incorrect settings.

Here's the weird bit, I guess:

The final time it collapsed, and would not return to working condition, I gave in and called AT&T. It continued to not function until the tech remotely logged into my router to check my connection, at which point, before he even actually did anything (or admitted to having done anything), it magically began working again.

Stuff like this would happen all the time with Comcast; since I moved to AT&T, I haven't had any similar problems until this one -- and haven't had any problems with any other games or torrenting or media streaming since. Just TF2 srcds.
Just call AT&T and have them upgrade your line, pay another 20$ a month and just get it upgraded and you'll have no problem running a server, your upload speeds just are not there like I said days ago.
Game Servers -- -- Use promocode "frag" for 15% off every month!
That would be nice, yes, but there are a few problems standing in my way:[/align]

1. I cannot afford more than $40/month for internet.
2. I am at the top tier of service they offer in my area.
3. I could go back to Comcast, but I had them for two years and I got sick of theor crap.
4. Where I live, the other options (WOW, RCN, Speakeasy) don't offer servive, so I'm stuck with AT&T or Comcast, or perhaps Clear or Sprint 4G, but that's even slower than what I have now.

I read a thread about somebody with half my connection speed. Nobody told him he needed to upgrade, and I believe his server worked in the end.
I'm having problems with my internet being intermittent. I posted a thread about it here:

It seems similar to my problem.
Try updating your router software. If you can try looking up some open source software for your router they can provide additional things that stock routers can't. You can try doing quality of service rules so that your SRCDS server has priority on your network. Short of that off the top of my head you'll just have to upgrade your Internet connection.
Game Servers -- -- Use promocode "frag" for 15% off every month!
The upload-speed is way too low anyway and although the problem seems to show up on local clients sometimes as well, it might still be related to it.
I updated my router firmware, and I had to skip me planned test last night, because I was otherwise occupied. They don't really make a decent open source firmware alternative for my router, which is a Netgear WGR614v9, because the v9 has less power (RAM/processor) than the v8 or v7 before it. I might have to buy a Linksys WRT so I can install OpenWRT on it.

As for the connection speed...I looked at Comcast (my only other option), and it would cost me $68/month for 20Mbps or $115/month for 50Mbps. I'm ignoring their "introductory deal for new customers" which is 15Mbps for $30/month, but only for the first 6 months, at which point it shoots up to probably double that. In any case, there is no internet speed/price combination available in my area from any provider that I find reasonable, other than the ones I am currently at with AT&T. My experience with Comcast's service reliability and prices make them an incredibly unattractive option to me.

@Cyba_Mephisto - what do you mean "the upload-speed is way too low?" My upload speed is fine, in theory, as long as I don't try to cram my server full of people. Regardless, no major ISP in the United States offers equal up/down connections (nor anything approaching decent upstream) except to businesses -- and at exorbitant prices. As such, I am stuck with my current up/down, like it or not.

My only option is to utilise the tools and resources I have at-hand to make it work.

@bzellinger - It's odd that we have similar problems with similar routers, though the notable departure between our situations is that mine has problems with TF2, and yours does not.

I've got all the requisite ports open and everything...I guess I just have to see if my settings changes have any effect. The only problem is coordinating a test to occur when I can afford to lose my connection for an indeterminate amount of time, and having somebody from outside my network join my server to place that external strain on it, since I doubt it would happen if it was just my wife and myself connected internally.
I once tested to host using the v4 of this router and I never had any problems with it, so this is caused either by your configuration or by the speed of your connection. And the point I've made was not about wether I like it or not, the upload speed is just way too low and you even have other computers using this connection while you're hosting. Sorry, but that's just a fact.
your comment on no provider in the us provides symmetrical or decent upload speeds in the us is wrong - verizon offers symmetrical 25/25mbps (the down is usually a few mbps higher than that) combined with HDTV for $90/month here. 35/35 is like $10 more than that. sadly you can't get FIOS Sad there really is nothing better than pure FTTH
@click4dylan - I am proven wrong. Darn, I wish Verizon offered service in my area. I'll have to express heavy interest in their service, and try to get others in my area to mention interest as well so as to make our area seem like a market worth penetrating.

@Cyba_Mephisto - It was not my intent to be rude. I was simply stating that a game with some lag is acceptable to me, and I am confident that TF2 will run just fine with my connection.

I ran some tests this evening, and my configuration changes helped a lot. My router didn't get nearly as warm as last time, and my internet connection was available during gameplay, and snappy immediately after the server crashed.

Oh, I didn't mention that? Yeah, the server crashed. Toungue Turns out 512 MB of RAM isn't nearly enough to run a game for which the requirements are 512 MB RAM. I guess I'm not too broken up about this, since if I cared that much I would buy/build a computer capable of hosting a proper server (and probably wouldn't have tried to run a server until I had such a computer prepared). I'll get around to that soon. Until then, I just have to deal with LAN-only play and/or public servers.

I was running Wireshark and srcds on the server side-by-side, and the whole computer froze up. Meh. It happens. At least the network-killing issue is solved.

In summary: RTFM, right? I should have done more research before trying to run a server, and just properly configured my server.cfg.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

@Cyba_Mephisto -- I'll try to get a better internet connection, but for the time being I'm stuck with 6Mbps down / crapMbps up. At least I'm willing to deal with the consequences (low player cap, noticeable and somewhat frequent lag)

@click4dylan -- Thank you for the Verizon tip. I'll start figuring out how to convince them I'm worth running fiber to my neighbourhood for.

@CentralFrag -- I'm already looking into getting a newer and beefier router, so hopefully I'll find something nice that can also run OpenWRT or something related. Maybe I'll just set up a tower PC with multiple NICs and a Wi-Fi adapter, since I've got a few old towers and spare parts (including a Girl Scout cookie box filled to the brim with 10/100 NICs from the early 1990s, but that's more mentioned as a joke than a serious suggestion) lying around doing nothing. Toungue
You could have mentioned that your router gets really warm/hot while you're hosting. ^^

Anyway, if you want to use OpenWrt then I can recommend you the D-Link DIR825. Has A LOT OF cpu power and ram so you can run pretty much any OpenWrt-plugin on it.

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