Lag and geolocation

My ISP is commercial grade (we’re close to the exchange and have a high quality). I use an M3 MacBook Pro. In Zwift, I suffer 5 to 6 seconds lag. Ping to LA, CA is around 135 ms. Both these are expected of connections to California (due to unavoidable technical issues like the speed of light). This can make aspects of racing difficult. My ISP shows my location as moving every day to various UK cities. I am actually SE of London, UK. Local ping 50+ miles to London is around 11 ms.

As other racers in the UK and Europe do not seem to suffer these lagging symptoms, my guess is that if Zwift gives them UK or European server access, or takes account of inescapable lags due to geographical issues, perhaps my ISP showing changing geo locations has made Zwift default to their base (Californian) servers for me.

Has anyone found a way to make Zwift connections with minimal lag. Preferably to a local server.

IndieVelo’s servers are in the next county to me, so close by. With IndieVelo, I get instant response and no lap. Racing without lag is a completely different and far superior experience.

It is hard to determine just where and how this 5 to 6 second lap works. Standing still, then sudden start pedalling shows this lag. But also during racing, other riders in the UK do not seem to suffer this lag.

I have had this problem for several years with Zwift, using several different computers and different turbos. All exhibit the same calamitous lag. This lag is irrelevant in free riding and workouts, but in bike racing it is a huge style-cramper and disadvantage.

Even in a TTT, other riders hit a slight gradient (a small bump), maintaining their cadences as we do, they put out more power. I don’t experience the bump yet. The rest of the team move ahead, I drop back. Seeing the gap open up, I put down power to catch up. The team are on the small descent, the other side of the bump, so back off power. This just as I, drifting back out of the draft, put down larger power, so catch up and fly through and out the front of the group. Repeat from beginning to end of the race. That drains energy, no end. At the finish my only chance is to second guess when it is 6 seconds before time to sprint, but usually the sprint group has dropped me before I can get the power down (not that I have the power these days to do a good job). That or I land up giving the group a lead-out.

All in, super frustrating and awkward. My conundrum is that unless everyone else is either indifferent to the issue (very likely if only on group riders and workouts), or other racers generally have local Zwift servers. Otherwise why hasn’t there been a massive outcry for years. That or it is a problem unique to my ISP as it unusually skips my geolocation around which messes up Zwift.

I work in IT so have some idea of the issue involved. But assuming I will get no useful help from Zwift themselves, any people with useful insights to volunteer would be of great help.

Is the lag just in how long it takes for your trainer to respond to the changes in gradient or something else? I’m not quite following how you are defining the 5-6 second lag.

Hi @Hal_Wye it’s nice for us to see you back in the Forums! I’m Norman from Zwift.

Your router firewall would ideally allow all incoming/outgoing TCP traffic on remote ports 443, 3023, and 3025 and all incoming/outgoing UDP traffic on remote ports 3022 and 3024. Avoid using VPNs, servers are located in LA only.

I know it’d be great if I could offer you local servers, but you’re right! If this was an issue for all of Europe there would be massive repercussions, Australian people wouldn’t even have a chance to ride.

So, as it looks like you know your way around how to set your connection properly, I thought about the possibility of your trainer being the one generating the lag instead. I checked your game logs using your account and noticed that some devices regularly lose connection while riding.

This is an indicator that the lag might be related to a Bluetooth Interference issue, and for that, we’ve prepared a very nice article that includes all kinds of tips and troubleshooting, I encourage you to give it a shot!

Zwift’s servers are all on AWS in Oregon. All Zwifters in the world use those same servers, and you certainly shouldn’t be getting several seconds of lag.

It’s your local Zwift app which detects the gradient and tells your trainer about it, not the Zwift servers. So likely something is going wrong locally. Are you using ANT+? If so, try switching to Bluetooth.