To pinpoint the exact location of your network connectivity issues, you can run a traceroute. You can use the traceroute command to get information about your internet connectivity, website status, etc. This information can be given to your technical support representative in order to resolve any network connectivity issues. This article will show you how to run a traceroute under Windows 10 and how it displays the results.
What is Traceroute?
Traceroute, a network diagnostic tool, tracks the data packet’s path from your computer to an internet destination. You can see the location of slow connections and unresponsiveness by running traceroute.
The traceroute tool can be compared to a traffic map for your internet connection. You can run a traceroute to see the routers and “hops” that each packet passed through on its journey to a destination. You can also see the latency of your network, which is how long each packet took to travel from one shop to the next.
You can also use our step-by-step guide to perform a ping test of your Windows 10 computer.
How to run a traceroute on a Windows 10 Computer
Open the Windows search box, and then type CMD in the search bar. Next, open the Command Prompt and type tracert followed closely by a space. Finally, enter the destination URL/IP address. Hit and enter.
- Open the Windows Search Box. Click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom-left corner.
- Type CMD into the search bar, and then click Open.
- Next type tracert followed by a space, followed by an IP address or URL. To test your internet connection, you can run a traceroute from 22.214.171.124.8 (Google’s DNS server). A traceroute can be run to any URL or IP address. You should make sure to leave space between tracert, and the URL or IP address. To traceroute HelloTech.com, type tracert hellotech.com in the Command Prompt app.
- Next, press Enter and wait for the traceroute process to complete You can also stop a traceroute by pressing the Control + C keys simultaneously.
Left-click and drag your mouse over the traceroute results to copy them. Next, press and enter. Next, open a text or document and copy the traceroute results.
How to read Traceroute results
Look for the round trip times (RTTs) in columns 2 through 4. You might have network connectivity issues if you notice any hops taking a long time, or if there are errors in any row.
How to Read Traceroute Columns
- Column 1 This is the hop number or the number of hops through which the data packets were passed to reach their destination.
- Columns 2 and 4: These columns show the round trip time in milliseconds. RTT is the time taken for a data packet from the source to reach the destination. The traceroute command sends three packets each hop to verify consistency in the response times. This is why you see three-time values per row. RTT values less than 100 milliseconds can be accepted. If you notice RTT values increasing consistently from the middle hop to the destination, this could indicate a problem with your network.
- Column 5This column lists the IP addresses or names of all routers that are connected to your computer from the destination. If that information is available, it will list the domain name for the router.
How to read the Traceroute Rows
You will see the IP addresses at different points along the traceroute route in the traceroute results. The first few rows represent your source network. The middle hops represent internet service providers (ISPs). While the last row represents the destination, they are the addresses closest to it.
- Local router. Your gateway’s IP address will be indicated in the first line of traceroute results. The router’s IP address will appear on the first line of traceroute results. This usually begins with 192.168.XXXX.X or 10.0.XXXX.X. There are some router manufacturers that have default IP addresses starting with different numbers. You can find the row that your router is in by reading our guide. Then, compare your traceroute results with it.
- PoP router. The point of Presence is your ISP’s local access point. This is how your device connects to the internet.
- Source Tier 2 ISP Network. A request may be routed to a local ISP, such as Comcast or Cox. They not only pay Tier 1 providers for connectivity but also have agreements with other tier 2 providers to exchange traffic. In lines three to four of traceroute results, you might see the name of your ISP provider.
- IXP. A physical location at which ISPs and network providers can connect to exchange internet traffic. Administrators make routing decisions based upon hop counts and other factors.
- Tier 1 ISP Network. Because they have the infrastructure to transport most of the traffic themselves, these ISP providers are the backbone of the internet. Tier 1 providers are AT&T and Sprint.
- Destination ISP Tier 2 ISP Network. It can be found in the second or last line of traceroute results.
- Destination web server. This line is in traceroute results after the “Trace complete”. message.
Common Traceroute Error Messages
Traceroute results may also indicate an issue in the network. These include Request timed-out, Destination unreachable, and * in RTT columns.
- Request timed-out: This error indicates that either a firewall, security device or problem with the return route caused the error. This error is common and not something to be concerned about.
- Destination network unreachable: This means that data packets are no longer traveling within the network. This is usually due to a problem in the router, or the website or IP address that you are trying to reach is down.
- * in RTT column: It indicates that the router didn’t respond to the request within two seconds. This could also indicate that the router was not configured to respond to traceroute requests. It does not necessarily mean the packet was lost. You can check if the packet was lost by pinging the router’s IP address.
Traceroute Command Variations
To find out how to traceroute, open the Command Prompt app. Type tracert /! You can see the variations that you have to choose from.
You now know how to traceroute your Windows 10 computer. Check out our article on how you can boost your WiFi signal.