How to read a traceroute.

  • Answered
How can i distinguish how many routers and how many ISPs exist in a traceroute??

Thank you for contacting us about reading traceroutes. If you would like to provide the results of the traceroute we'll be happy to review them. However, looking at the parentheses after "my computer" there is a different IP address. Is that the IP of you local network?

Christopher M.
Hello, Thank you for your question. We have a guide that goes over how to read a traceroute already in our system. If you need further help regarding your traceroute please post its response for us to review with you. Best Regards, TJ Edens
Hello again, and thanks for another great question! Some of what I replied to in your how to read the results of a ping test question would also apply to a trace route test as well, it just takes it a step further!

What does tracert do, when should I run one?

A trace route as the name implies will help trace the route that a packet of information must travel from your local computer to another computer connected on a network. In the case of a website owner, typically you'd run a trace route test with the command tracert on Windows, or traceroute on Linux or Mac. You'd want to run a trace route when you're experiencing delays in the loading of your website, and you want to check at the most basic networking level that things aren't simply being transmitted slowly due to high latency from either network congestion from your home to the server, or by long physical distances or other variables.

How do I identify if there is a problem with the tracert?

When reading the results of a tracert test, each hop listed on the right-hand side is a network router that your local packet must travel through to end up at the destination server. It will trace up to 30 of these hops, and typically if you're having to go through that many connections you're going to have lag. Beside each of these network hops, there will be 3 ping replies so that you can determine a rough average for the latency of that connection. So for instance if you see something like this:
1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms
2     3 ms     2 ms     2 ms []
3    827 ms   925 ms    830 ms []
4     8 ms     7 ms     8 ms []
5     8 ms     9 ms     9 ms []
We can see that our first hop is under 1ms and is going to our local router of The 2nd hop is still very low at around 3ms max, and is our Internet service provider that actually gives our office an Internet connection. The 3rd hop is another router that must be gone through before hitting our East Coast data center for a particular website hosted there. We can see that it's taking close to a full second to respond at around 900ms. Based off that router's hostname, I can guess that this router is in New York from the nyc4 in its hostname. In this case I did the trace route test from our Virginia Beach office, to a server in our Washington, D.C. data center which geographically is pretty close. But first the connection is going up past DC to a router in New York possibly due to temporary network saturation or maintenance issue. Then our 4th and 5th hops are back to normal low ping times, ending up on one of our shared servers in the East Coast data center. So in this case we could see the problem wouldn't be with either our Local internet connection, or with InMotion's data center or server, but rather the networking path my local computer tried to take to end up there. If your first few packets have high ping times, or are timing out, that would be an indication of your local router setup, or possibly your ISP having issues. If the last hop or 2 have these problems, then it could be something temporary from our side of the network, and so that's how you pin-point which it might be. I hope that made sense and was helpful, please let us know if you had any other questions! - Jacob

Internet routing does not always go in the most direct lines, and at times can seem to go on illogical routes. Routers attempt as direct a connection as possible at first and if they cannot find one may route other directions, if possible, to get you where you want to go.

Sometimes the routes are more direct than others, but it could be the backbone did not have a direct route and ended up routing through Virginia on its way to California. At times some of the routes may seem ludicrous but they do try to find the best way that is available at the time. I do know your server is a located on the West coast so that easily explains the California hop.

These routes can change due to your location and if there are any routing issues along the way.

I hope this answers your question. If you have any more questions or information specific to the issue please leave a comment below so we can further assist you.

Best Regards,
Scott M