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Traceroute shows us the path traffic takes to reach the website. It also displays the delays that occur at each stop. If you’re having issues reaching a website and that website is working properly, it’s possible there’s a problem somewhere on the path between your computer and the website’s servers.
Traceroute in Windows machine
- Go to Command prompt and type the command
tracert domainname (where domainname is your domain name. eg: tracert yahoo.com)
Traceroute in Linux machines
- Open Terminal and type the command:
traceroute domainname (where domainname is your domain name. eg: traceroute yahoo.com)
Understanding the Output
The basic idea is self-explanatory. The first line represents your home router (assuming you’re behind a router), the next lines represent your ISP, and each line further down represents a router that’s further away.
The format of each line is as follows:
Hop RTT1 RTT2 RTT3 Domain Name [IP Address]
- Hop: Whenever a packet is passed between a router, this is referred to as a “hop.” For example, in the output above, we can see that it takes 14 hops to reach How-To Geek’s servers from my current location.
- RTT1, RTT2, RTT3: This is the round-trip time that it takes for a packet to get to a hop and back to your computer (in milliseconds). This is often referred to as latency, and is the same number you see when using ping. Traceroute sends three packets to each hop and displays each time, so you have some idea of how consistent (or inconsistent) the latency is. If you see a * in some columns, you didn’t receive a response – which could indicate packet loss.
- Domain Name [IP Address]: The domain name, if available, can often help you see the location of a router. If this isn’t available, only the IP address of the router is displayed.