Online traceroute tool at HostTracker

The traceroute or tracert command is an essential tool to diagnose network-related issues. It was designed to provide help in finding malfunctioning network nodes between the user and the destination. This tool will send data packets to destination and will give all related info about packet status on each network node on the route.

What is traceroute and how it works

First of all, despite being almost identical in purpose, traceroute and ping are not the same. Traceroute is way more complex. Because data packets that are transmitted through the network do not pass immediately from device to the server, but go through specific hosts - network nodes.

Second, there are a lot of various tools to trace Internet routes. For example, GNU/Linux and macOS uses the traceroute website command, and Windows uses tracert command to check routes. Both of them are almost the same. And it is a network monitoring utility that traces the route from the device to the IP address and vice versa.

It is also important to understand that the reverse tracing may not coincide with the direct one and go along a completely different route. This is normal and should not be surprising, since the utility works one-way. And the network route between two devices may differ depending on the direction and network infrastructure.

What does traceroute do

The well-known ping command is used to test the connection to the server. Your device sends four packets of data to their destination, and once they arrive there, the data packets are sent back to your device. If you have received all or only part of the packets on your device, this indicates that there is a common connection between the device and the endpoint. In addition, you will receive data on how long (in milliseconds) the round trip of data packets took.

On the contrary, IP traceroute command will give you more information - the utility will not only check for host connectivity with the final host, but with every router along the way. When you tracert IP address, this tool will measure the time of reception and transmission of data packets from each router encountered along the way. It will allow you to find various network problems.

Simply put, when you run traceroute, your device sends data to the server and at the same time fixes all intermediate routers through which this data passes on the way to the server (target node). If there is a problem while delivering data to one of the nodes, the program determines the section of the network that has problems. And if you use online traceroute tool, for example, Host Tracker tracer, you will be able to understand how it works and which route data takes from various regions.

How to check route with tracert

After running the Traceroute command, the device or service will send three packets of data to trace each router on the way to the destination host. Each of them, in turn, immediately after receiving the packets, will send them back to our device and report information about themselves, such as an IP address. The router will also view the time, measured in milliseconds, that it took three packets of data to and from it. In this regard it is basically a tracert ping result.

The leftmost column of the traceroute details shows the number of nodes (hops) passed to the destination location. The last hop will be, obviously, trace location. The next three columns show the travel time for each data packet to and from each node. The last column shows the IP address of the node through which the data packet passes on this hop.

How to use traceroute

As it was already stated earlier, there are three main ways to test Internet traceroute and provide diagnostics. First, if you use Windows, is to use tracert command via Command Prompt. Second, if you use another OS, is to use the traceroute command in Terminal. Third way is to use various tracert checker software like PingPlotter.

Fourth, and the most convenient way, is to use various web site monitoring route tool like HostTracker. The latter is the most convenient because it’s easy to use. Users can simply visit the “Check site” section, open the “Trace” tab and type destination domain name or IP to trace it. Additionally users can choose regions to trace websites or web servers from different locations.

The latter traceroute method is the most advanced, and easily understandable by novices. Because it has a lot more functionality than all other methods. For example, with online services such as HostTracker, you will be able to trace website from different locations or even provide constant network route monitoring.