Latency spikes >5000ms every 3-10 min with NordVPN and ExpressVPN

Hi everyone and thanks in advance for trying to help.

I am experiencing sporadic latency surges while connected to NordVPN + Express VPN US server locations from Mexico City, Mexico via GL.iNet Slate AX1800 router - experiencing issues wirelessly and wired.

My goal is to identify the root cause to prevent this going forward. Be it replacing my router or being more selective with the accommodation I choose to stay in (I’ve tried the 3 networks here that are available).

I have ping tested my network via terminal (connected MacBook Pro to ISP router) here in Mexico City, without VPN, and receive avg latency of 20ms and max 235ms out of 1000 packets - 0% loss.

Additionally tested connecting MacBook Pro wirelessly connected to Gl.inet router wirelessly connected to ISP router. avg latency 52ms and max 322ms out of 1000 packets - 0% loss.

When I connect to US NordVPN UDP & TCP configurations - I have tested > 4 locations (both downloaded from VPN provider and installed in Gl.inet GUI as well as through gl.inet gui using NordVPN quick connect).

I am experiencing WILDLY high surges in latency (>5000ms) every 2-10 minutes with an average latency of 250ms (which is sufficient for working) but max latency of 15000ms. These surges have caused me to be kicked from video calls >10 times today.

Today, I purchased ExpressVPN today and have been testing their configuration packages. I am averaging 150ms latency and max of 400ms BUT now I am experiencing >8% package loss. Interestingly enough, when using gl.inet MAC address, I receive less packet loss at ~8% when running 1000 packages. When I clone my computer’s MAC address in the GL.inet GUI I am experiencing over 18% packet loss running 1000 packages.

My next test was factory resetting the router. I reran the tests with both NordVPN and Express VPN and the latency spikes and packet losses persist.

I have used this exact GL.iNet device for just over a year working remotely from Mexico City for ~6 months, various countries in South America for 4 months and Europe for 3 months - never had any issues.

*note, connecting via my laptop from the NordVPN application is NOT an option because I need to connect through a work static IP VPN. The latency spikes I’m experiencing are ONLY through NordVPN. Upon connecting to Cisco anyconnect, the internet is virtually unusable.


Is your computer still connected to something when you used the cloned MAC? Cloning the MAC address of a device that is still communicating with the network leads to problems. It might not explain everything, but at least why the connection is more bad then.

Since the ping here is already terrible sometimes, this might be the main issue. High latency on the unencrypted non-VPN connection will cause much trouble on the VPN one.

My next steps would be:

  • Testing a VPN server in Mexico
  • Checking the logs
  • Trying to figure out why the ping to is sometimes >200ms
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