My apologies for dragging you over here at this time of night, but this won’t wait. In a nutshell, in the last 12 months, I’ve been through six different internet modem/routers. They all kept crashing and kicking every device off the net. Today our 6th router arrived, a BT Smarthub. Brand new, retailing for £129.99. Tonight it crashed, after working without a hitch all day.

What is this to do with gaming? As I sit here right now, I think the problem is caused by the PS4. I don’t know what it’s doing or why it’s doing it. I didn’t even know that a networked device could crash the network. Nevertheless, as much as I’d like to blame Netgear for making shitty routers, if I’m to go that route, I’m also going to have to blame TP-Link and BT. It’s not the router that’s the problem.

The one common thing I’ve noticed, is that the router crashes at the end of an evening. We can be watching YouTube all day, but when we turn off the TV and go to bed, the router has crashed before I’ve had my pre-sleep wee. It’s not every night, but it’s most nights.

I thought it was a stupid idea until I looked on Google. The first clue was when I typed in the words “PS4 crashes” and the autocomplete added “router”. This is not an unheard of problem, nor is it new. I found posts going back two or three years, complaining about different routers, on different ISPs, on different continents, all with crashing routers in some way connected to their PS4.

unfortunately everyone was blaming something different. It happens when they load CoD, or when they’re watching NowTV. I couldn’t find anyone who was complaining about the problem when they put the PS4 in rest mode, but I’m convinced now that a networked device can crash the network, and that the PS4 is certainly capable of it.

I need to do more experimentation on this, and I’ll get back to you when I do.

I’m f**king sick of routers.

UPDATE 11/4/18 17:oo

It’s possible that this is something to do with the default MTU setting on the PS4, and my ISP. As I understand it, the MTU setting defines the maximum size of data packets the PS4 will attempt to send over the internet. The default setting is 1500. 1500 whats, I don’t know. Apparently BT Internet works with a maximum setting of 1450.

When manually setting up the internet connection on the PS4 it is possible to change the MTU setting, which I have done. So far, no crashes. I keep turning the PS4 on and off in the hope it will trigger a crash and it hasn’t happened so far.

My theory is that when I turn off the PlayStation at the end of the day, it attempts to upload a lot of data to a server. It would use packets too large for my internet connection, and that would crash everything. Of course that might all be rubbish, and I might as well be blaming elves. The countdown to the next router crash is running.

UPDATE 15/4/18 00:46

Since the restart of our router mentioned in my last update, we have had no problems whatsoever. I have discovered that all PPPoE networks, which are networks like fibre broadband, use an MTU of 1495. This got me thinking, if the PS4 is crashing my network because of an MTU value that’s higher than it should be, why is the PS4 the only device doing it? What’s the default MTU on all the other devices on my network?

The Switch has a setting of 1400, but most devices don’t have a way to change or even see what the MTU value is. iOS devices have nothing available to the user, neither do the Amazon Echo or Google Home. My best guess is that iPhones and Echoes are better at detecting what kind of network they’re on than a PS4 is.

As far as I can figure, it was the MTU setting of my PS4 that’s responsible for all this. I don’t know why your PS4 isn’t causing the same problem on your network, which is crazy when you think how many people there may be in the UK with a PS4 connected to a BT Internet connection. It’s potentially millions you’d think this would be a common enough problem for it to be an obvious one.