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Monday, November 19, 2012, 15:24

The TraceRoute Tool

Category: General

Solution ID: 00000163


How to diagnose connectivity issues using the TraceRoute Tool.


The TraceRoute Tool is used to trace the route (path) of network packets travelling between two computers. Similar to the Ping Tool, TraceRoute sends ICMP packets from a source computer to a target computer and any intermediate hosts. The IP address and hostname of each host are listed (if available), along with the return time in milliseconds. This tool can be useful in identifying where a problem may exist when network connectivity is broken between two networked computer systems.

Each intermediate host (called a "hop") in the route is numbered and displayed. The sequence number, hostname, IP address and packet times (3 packet response times displayed). If information can not be gathered for a hop, an asterisk '*' is displayed for each packet sent (i.e. "* * *").

Example: Tracroute to

traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1  * * * 
2 (  1.890 ms  2.307 ms  1.921 ms
3 (  2.315 ms (  2.091 ms (  2.063 ms
4 (  17.991 ms  17.943 ms  17.904 ms
5 (  28.114 ms (  29.377 ms (  29.329 ms
6 (  38.218 ms  38.764 ms (  38.738 ms
7 (  38.699 ms  38.668 ms  38.635 ms
8 (  38.601 ms  38.666 ms  38.255 ms
9 (  38.256 ms  38.214 ms  38.177 ms

This information is extremely useful when trying to diagnose connectivity issues between servers.

Packet latency varies depending on the quality of the Internet / network connection. A good broadband Internet connection (wired or wireless) typically results in ping test latency of less than 100 ms, often less than 30 ms. A satellite Internet connection normally suffers from latency above 500 ms.

Note: Some network devices, including firewalls, may disable ping packet responses or even block the ICMP protocol, used to send ping network packets. When this occurs TraceRoute will display a series of asterisks (i.e. "* * *").

The PerfectMail™ TraceRoute Tool allows administrators to trace the route of network packets sent from your PerfectMail server to another Internet host. On the "Tools => TraceRoute" menu item enter the host name or IP address want to perform a trace route to and click the "Trace Route" button.

Tags: mail, server, host, connectivity, network, packet, diagnostics, traceroute, ping

See Also:

Link to this article: kb/traceroute_tool_network_diagnostics

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012, 15:24

-- David Rutherford


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Last modified: 2012-11-19, 16:13

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