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Lowell Shatraw

Windows Tip:  Traceroute

Lowell Shatraw, CUGG

October 2001

Have you had problems lately downloading a file, or do you feel your connection to your ISP or some other site is slow. Traceroute (or tracert) can show you if that site has slow connections along the way between you and the site. You will be looking for lower numbers in the "round-trip" columns.


tracert [-d] [-h maximum_hops] [-j host-list] [-w timeout] target_name


-d Specifies not to resolve addresses to host names
-h maximum_hops Specifies maximum number of hops to search for target
-j host-list Specifies loose source route along host-list
-w timeout Waits the number of milliseconds specified by timeout for each reply
target_name Specifies the host name of the destination computer


The following shows sample output for tracert. The first column is the hop number, which is the Time To Live (TTL) value set in the packet. Each of the next three columns contains the round-trip times in milliseconds for an attempt to reach the destination with that TTL value. An asterisk (*) means that the attempt timed out. The fourth column is the host name (if it was resolved) and IP address of the responding system. I did not specify the maximum number of hops, 30 is the default. I did not use the host name resolution because of space limitations in the newsletter. The -d command parameter eliminates the host name.

C:\WINDOWS> tracert -d

Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops:

   1. 24 ms 24 ms 25 ms
   2. 37 ms 26 ms 25 ms
   3. 38 ms 24 ms 25 ms
   4. 31 ms 25 ms 26 ms
   5. 62 ms 57 ms 55 ms
   6. 62 ms 57 ms 56 ms
   7. 64 ms 56 ms 58 ms
   8. Trace complete.


This tool, included in your WINDOWS programs, was used by my ISP when I was having a problem last year. Try it and see what results you show getting to your ISP.

If you want more info on this neat command, email me asking for TRACERT info.

Lowell Shatraw email: web page


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