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Thread: Wii U Menu Load Times

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    New Member BabyDaddy's Avatar
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    Wii U Menu Load Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone with 420 in his name
    I forwarded port 9103 on my router and the menus are loading faster. The browser and Miiverse load much, much faster. I also changed my wireless settings from 54mbps to 300mbps and now the gamepad works about ten feet farther from the console than it did previously. Works for me; now I can play in bed.
    After some extensive traffic monitoring, it has been noticed that UDP port 9103 has been trying to make some (lots) of failed connections when using the Wii U. It has also been reported that unblocking that port (and forwarding to the Wii U) has increased menu load times SIGNIFICANTLY. While I haven't had the pleasure to test this out myself, I am going to fiddle around with it tonight (or tomorrow, or the day after, et cetera). The only difference for me, is that I do not use a "residential grade" router, I have a Juniper SSG5 with all traffic in and out allowed. I'll have to take a look at the logs and see if this traffic is timing out.

    The original poster for this opened up 1000 to 44063 for both TCP and UDP and noticed a huge increase in speeds. After that, he narrowed it down to 9103 UDP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawg
    Holy snikes it works! Speed is much improved! Awesome work good sir.
    Take it for what you will. I am going to be doing to time tests, diving into my firewall logs, and looking at data gathered with Wireshark before I give this my "I'm a professional and you can trust me" seal of approval.

    source=WiiUforums.com

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    SNES_Master's Avatar
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    Why would changing the port on your router speed up the menu? Isn't it part of the OS which housed in the NAND?

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    New Member BabyDaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNES_Master View Post
    Why would changing the port on your router speed up the menu? Isn't it part of the OS which housed in the NAND?
    Only if the Wii U is sending data and waiting for an acknowledgment before loading a new menu/submenu. If traffic is not being received on that port, then the delay that everyone is griping about could very well be a network timeout.

    It's plausible, however, what gets me is the "why?" part. Why would the Wii U be sending all this data, especially when just navigating menus within the OS? MiiVerse? Error trapping? Google Ads? Or is Nintendo really a governmental cover that tracks all of our detailed movements within our consoles and could then somehow exploit a commonality to cause the downfall of the world's economies and cause us all to buy our milk and cereal with Wii U Points and BitCoins....

    ....na, that sounds more like Microsoft. I'm putting my money on error trapping. Maybe it's a slice of code that was put in during development that was never taken out.

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    New Member BabyDaddy's Avatar
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    Update 1/3/13. I haven't had time to test this out. Fell asleep last night prematurely (and managed to leave 5 lbs of venison that I was *supposed* to marinate thawing on the radiator, pretty steamed about that). But I DID, however, get my firewall all set with a dedicated rule for just the Wii U, Wireshark installed on the home laptop, and the WiiPad is charging. I'm just not sure if I can capture all wireless traffic using Wireshark and a wireless NIC, or just local traffic. I may have to throw a *gasp* hub in between my firewall and AP and capture the traffic via my wired NIC. Good thing I still have a few! ;-)


    Update 1/4/13. I did some initial data collection this morning, and I definitely found something peculiar happening while traversing the menus on the Wii U.

    As a baseline for times, here's what I recorded:

    Startup to Character Select - 18 seconds
    Character Select to System Menu - 4 seconds
    System Menu to System Settings - 17.79 seconds
    System Settings to System Menu - 22 seconds
    System Menu to MiiVerse - 12 seconds

    Ok, all's well with that. Normal times that most everyone else is recording. However, here's what my firewall is seeing:

    Firewall Log



    It's hard to see, but the Wii is normally communicating via HTTPS (TCP port 443) with 111.168.21.82, 107.23.125.12, 207.108.201.136, 69.25.139.188, 69.25.139.194, and 23.8.242.90. There is also some straight HTTP (tcp port 80) communication happening with 72.21.211.171 and 199.7.59.72. So let's take a look at just what those IP's are:

    HTTP communication:
    72.21.211.171 - Owned by Amazon. WTF?
    199.7.59.72 - Owned by VeriSign. Logical enough.

    HTTPS communication:
    111.168.21.82 - Registered to NEC BIGLOBE Ltd. in Tokyo. However, the traffic is showing Yokohama, Japan.
    107.23.125.12 - Cannot find any registration info for this IP. It's located in Virginia, however. (May be VeriSign).
    207.108.201.136 - Registered to Nintendo of America - Redmond, WA. ISP is Quest Communications.
    69.25.139.188 - Registered to Nintendo of America -Atlanta, GA.
    23.8.242.90 - Registered to Akami Technologies, Boston, MA.

    All-in-all, most of this is to be expected. The more that I think about is, Amazon is probably doing a quick query for the Amazon video service, and Akami *may* be Netflix.

    Here's where things get strange.

    IP addresses 203.180.85.70 and 202.232.239.25 are showing UDP traffic from ports 9103 to ports 50000, 50031, and 50051. But it's ALWAYS port 9103 on the source side (from the Wii U). Usually that's randomized due to port translation. The only time it's not, is when a service is explicitly bound to a particular port. These always fail (age out, no response recieved). So yes, as suggested earlier, communication via port 9103 IS in fact bombing out.

    202.232.239.25 - Registered to Silicon Studio, Corp. In Japan (registered location is Tokyo, however, actual location is coming near Nagano.
    203.180.85.70 - Same as above.

    From my research, this appears to be the Nintendo eShop. There were some issues initially with 3DS users not being able to connect to it. If this is in fact the eShop, then the Wii should try to connect to it as well. I am going to see what that traffic looks like.

    TODO LIST:
    Setup inbound rules to log all traffic to the Wii U. Try to determine WHY these packets aren't coming back.
    Try to get these packets from 9103 working. Retest menu load times. (duh, that's the point, right?)
    Set up some rules to log the Wii's traffic for comparison.
    Try accessing the eShop on the Wii U (haven't done this before....)


    For those with residential routers, you should be able to set up port forwarding and forward 9103 UDP to your Wii U. This may confuzle the heck out of the Wii (ie, no more eShop for the Wii) but it will allow you to see if it speeds up your load times. Ya'll may want to give it a try. If you can log traffic as well, that may be beneficial. For me, it's not so simple, due to my firewall, so I'll have to do a little digging and playing around with it to see if I can get it to work. If anyone is feeling froggy and wants to give it a try, let me know what happens. More to come.

    Update 1/10/13:

    I have still been working on this and have gathered a plethora of information but have made no significant strides. I was faced with a "DOH!" moment last Friday night / Saturday Morning, at about 3am, when I realized something significant: UDP is connectionless, there is no acknowledgement. So all those time-outs that I've been seeing on UDP ports, are actually the ports closing after inactivity. Still I was not seeing the traffic that I wanted to see (since it was being handled by the NAT, I wasn't seeing the packets on my firewall logs NOR on my the data stream logs that I set up on the firewall).

    So, last night and this morning, I did what any network tech worth their salt would do: I made use of the latest and greatest technology (circa 1999), a 10/100 hub! That's right, a hub. They don't make 'em, but I still got 'em! What does a hub do, you ask? Well, simple. Unlike switches, which send traffic only to the interface which contains the destination MAC address, a hub broadcasts traffic to ALL ports (which is why they're prone to collisions, required a LOT more planning and engineering when designing large networks, and are no longer in use today). However, given the fact that they broadcast all incoming packets to all ports, they're a *great* tool for network sniffing. Heck, you don't even need an active IP and you can still see the traffic. What I did was simple, place the hub in between the cable modem and firewall, and gathered all network traffic, and then moved it between the firewall and access point, and gathered all the network data.

    What I found was that everything was working as expected. The UDP 9103 traffic is being sent, translated, and received by Nintendo. They are then sending a packet of data back with the translated source port, which my firewall is translating back into port 9103 and sending it to my Wii U. All is working correctly. So, why the flip am I not seeing significant results like the posters on the other forums? That I don't know, but I'm going to start looking at my access point now to see if I can come to any conclusions. My access point is a Linksys WRT-300N, which is an old draft-N router, running DD-WRT. I have some new Intellinet APs at home (which I'm going to be installing at my church) which I can use momentarily to see if there is any change. The AP's, by the way, are fantastic access points that are PoE capable and support 802.q VLANs. If you're looking for a good little access point for the right price, check those puppies out. That's just a bit off topic. Will update again once I've tested out some new APs in different locations.

    Final Conclusion:

    I've done a plethora of testing, packet capturing, allowing, blocking, as so on and so forth. The last of my testing included moving my wireless access point, and even using a different access point all together, nothing of which has made ANY difference. According to my findings, I'm concluding that while blocked ports may contribute to Wii U lockups, it does not contribute to menu loading times, at least on my Wii U. This, of course, is contrary to multiple people who are claiming that enabling port forwarding as directed on WiiUForums.com has sped up their menu loading times significantly. Perhaps they were not loading the same menus? Or maybe it does in fact speed up certain menus that I didn't test.

    All my testing pertained only to the System Settings Menu and the Wii U Menu, both of which were completely unaffected by anything that I had done. I was really hoping to have some good news in this matter, however, I am officially putting this matter to rest and will waste no more time on it. Thank you for your patience, and I'm sorry I don't have better news.
    Last edited by BabyDaddy; 01-15-2013 at 07:19 AM.

    Baby Daddy's System



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