HostMonster Web Hosting Help

Traceroute (tracert)


Traceroute (tracert) works by sending a packet to an open UDP port on a destination machine. For the initial three packets, traceroute sets the TTL (see explanation of TTL) to 1 and releases the packet. The packet then gets transferred to the first router (completing the first hop), and the TTL gets decremented by the router from 1 to 0. The router then discards the packet and sends off an ICMP notification packet to the original host with the message that the TTL expired from the router. This tells tracert what the first hop is and how long it takes to get there. Traceroute repeats this, gradually incrementing the TTL until a path to the remote host is traced and it gets back an ICMP Port Unreachable message, indicating that the remote host has been reached.

Response times may vary dramatically because the packet is crossing long distances, other times the increases come from network congestion.

Example of a Traceroute

C:> tracert or C:> tracert

will show:

             Tracing route to []
             over a maximum of 30 hops:
             1 <10 ms <10 ms <10 ms []
             2 <10 ms <10 ms <10 ms []
             3 <10 ms 10 ms <10 ms []
             4 <10 ms 10 ms <10 ms []
             5 <10 ms 10 ms 10 ms []
             6 * * *
             7 50 ms 61 ms 60 ms 198.ATM7-0.XR2.TOR2.ALTER.NET []
             8 50 ms 60 ms 60 ms 194.ATM7-0.GW1.TOR2.ALTER.NET []
             9 50 ms 70 ms 60 ms []
             10 61 ms 60 ms 60 ms []
             11 60 ms 70 ms 70 ms
             12 60 ms 81 ms 70 ms []
             13 70 ms 70 ms 80 ms []
             Trace complete.

Note the asterisks on line six. This can indicate that a response wasn't received. Some routers do not issue TTL-expired ICMP messages.

How to perform a Traceroute

Windows Environment

Traceroute can be accessed at a DOS or command prompt. An Internet connection must already be established.

  1. In a Windows 2000 or XP environment, click on Start > Run. Type cmd into the dialog box, then click OK.
  2. In the resulting command line window, type tracert hostname, where hostname can be a domain name, a machine name or an IP address.
  3. Press Enter.

Mac OS X Environment

  1. Double-click the Hard Drive icon > Applications folder > Utilities folder > Network Utility program.
  2. Select the Traceroute tab and enter the hostname, where hostname can be a domain name, a machine name or an IP address.
  3. Press Enter.

Linux/UNIX Environment

  1. Launch a command line interface (will vary depending on the operating system distribution).
  2. In the resulting command line window or screen, type traceroute hostname, where hostname can be a domain name, a machine name or an IP address.
  3. Press Enter.

Additional Traceroute Commands

These extra commands will work in any environment except for the Novell operating system:
  • To stop traceroute, type Ctrl-C.
  • To print the results of traceroute to a text file on a local drive, add "> textname.txt" to the command.
    For example:

        tracert > tracert.txt

    will save the results to a tracert.txt file located on the primary hard drive.
  • To append the results of more than one traceroute to the same text file on your local drive add >> tracert.txt to the command:
    For example:

        tracert >> tracert.txt

    will save the results to the same tracert.txt file located on the primary hard drive.
Knowledgebase Article 155,564 views bookmark tags: route trace traceroute tracert (updated 718 days ago)

Was this resource helpful?

Did this resolve your issue?

Please add any other comments or suggestions about this content:

Recommended Help Content

An explanation of the server status: Admin En Route (updated 515 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 4,735 views tags: maintenance server

When performing an upgrade (in this case, Joomla) in Simple Scripts, it can throw the following error: "Host Server Unresponsive Unfortunately, the server you are attempting to install on appears to b (updated 1986 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 64,130 views tags: htaccess scripts simple

A guide on performing a standard SQL query using the phpMyAdmin interface (updated 823 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 14,459 views tags: databases mysql phpmyadmin

Related Help Content

The website is taking a long time to load. It just seems slower today than normal. (updated 418 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 190,699 views tags: site slow web website

What is an Addon domain? (updated 257 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 139,425 views tags: addon domain

Understanding Internet email headers. (updated 383 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 77,909 views tags: email header ip

This article explains the name server requirement for using CloudFlare. (updated 794 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 38,186 views tags: cloudflare nameserver

What is Hardware Repair? (updated 2001 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 59,204 views tags: check

General Email issues where should I start? (updated 727 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 49,111 views tags: blacklisted email

A list of locations where you can find support for joomla outside of HostMonster (updated 815 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 9,996 views tags: joomla

What is SpamExperts? (updated 372 days ago)
Knowledgebase Article 62,258 views tags: email filtering spam spamexperts virus