Traceroute is a diagnostic tool used to track the path of data packets from your computer to a target destination on the internet. It is a command line utility that maps the journey of data, revealing each stop it makes along the way.
Traceroute is also known as tracert in some operating systems.
How does Traceroute work?
It works by sending a series of data packets: as the packets traverse the network, each router they encounter sends back a message, allowing you to identify the routers’ IP addresses and measure the time taken for a round trip.
By analyzing the number of ‘hops’ (each router that the data encounters on its journey) you can get an idea of how the network is structured and identify any unexpected or inefficient routes.
Understanding Uptime with Traceroute
- Identifying Network Hops: Traceroute displays the IP addresses of each router (or hop) that a packet encounters on its journey to the target. Each row shows one hop.
- Measuring Latency: Along with the IP addresses, using traceroute provides information about the time taken for packets to travel to each hop.
- Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues: Traceroute allows you to pinpoint specific routers that might be performing slowly. If there is a particularly slow step between the user’s device and accessing your website, you can use a traceroute to diagnose which step is the issue.