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There are times when it seems your website may respond slowly. Slow response time may indicate a problem. Most just assume the server is overloaded and call their technical support. Many times, the support representative will ask for a ping and traceroute report. While we have instructions on running this report, it can seem rather cryptic when looking at it.

It doesn't take a degree or any kind of special training to decode a traceroute report. In fact, we will teach you how in this article. This way, if you ever have slow response from your site, you can run a report and quickly determine whether you need to contact our Live Support team.

How a Traceroute works

Whenever a computer connects to a website, it must travel a path that consists of several points, a little like connecting the dots between your computer and the website. The signal starts at your local router in your home or business, then moves out to your ISP, then onto the main networks. From there it may have several junctions until it gets off the Internet highway at the local network for the website and then to the webserver itself.

A traceroute displays the path that the signal took as it traveled around the Internet to the website. It also displays times which are the response times that occurred at each stop along the route. If there is a connection problem or latency connecting to a site, it will show up in these times. You will be able to identify which of the stops (also called 'hops') along the route is the culprit.

How to read a Traceroute

Once the traceroute is run, it generates the report as it goes along the route. Below is a sample traceroute:

Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3     2 ms     2 ms     2 ms []
  4    12 ms    13 ms     3 ms
  5     7 ms     7 ms     7 ms []
  6    10 ms     8 ms     9 ms []
  7    10 ms     9 ms    10 ms []
  8    72 ms    84 ms    74 ms []
  9    76 ms    76 ms    90 ms []
 10    81 ms    74 ms    74 ms
 11    72 ms    71 ms    72 ms []

As you can see, there are several rows divided into columns on the report. Each row represents a "hop" along the route. Think of it as a check-in point where the signal gets its next set of directions. Each row is divided into five columns. A sample row is below:

10    81 ms    74 ms    74 ms

Let's break this particular hop down into its parts.

Hop # RTT 1 RTT 2 RTT 3 Name/IP Address
10 81 ms 74 ms 74 ms

Hop Number - This is the first column and is simply the number of the hop along the route. In this case, it is the tenth hop.

RTT Columns - The next three columns display the round trip time (RTT) for your packet to reach that point and return to your computer. This is listed in milliseconds. There are three columns because the traceroute sends three separate signal packets. This is to display consistency, or a lack thereof, in the route.

Domain/IP column - The last column has the IP address of the router. If it is available, the domain name will also be listed.

Checking the hop times

The times listed in the RTT columns are the main thing you want to look at when evaluating a traceroute. Consistent times are what you are looking for. There may be specific hops with increased latency times but they may not indicate that there is an issue. You need to look at a pattern over the whole report. Times above 150ms are considered to be long for a trip within the continental United States. (Times over 150ms may be normal if the signal crosses an ocean, however.) but issues may show up with very large numbers.

Increasing latency towards the target

If you see a sudden increase in a hop and it keeps increasing to the destination (if it even gets there), then this indicates an issue starting at the hop with the increase. This may well cause packet loss where you will even see asterisks (*) in the report.
  1    10 ms     7 ms     9 ms
  2    78 ms   100 ms    32 ms []
  3    78 ms    84 ms    75 ms []
  4   782 ms   799 ms     * ms []
  5     * ms   899 ms   901 ms []
  6   987 ms   954 ms   976 ms
  7  1002 ms  1011 ms   999 ms []

High latency in the middle but not at beginning or end

If the hop immediately after a long one drops back down, it simply means that the router at the long hop set the signal to a lower priority and does not have an issue. Patterns like this do not indicate an issue.

1  <1 ms     <1 ms       <1 ms
2  30 ms      7 ms       11 ms
3 200 ms    210 ms      189 ms
4 111 ms     98 ms      101 ms []
5  99 ms    100 ms       98 ms

High latency in the middle that remains consistent

If you see a hop jump but remain consistent throughout the rest of the report, this does not indicate an issue.

1  <1 ms     <1 ms       <1 ms
2  30 ms      7 ms       11 ms
3  93 ms     95 ms       92 ms
4  95 ms     99 ms      101 ms []
5  99 ms    100 ms       98 ms []
6  95 ms     95 ms       95 ms []
7  95 ms     96 ms       94 ms]

High latency in the beginning hops

Seeing reported latency in the first few hops indicates a possible issue on the local network level. You will want to work with your local network administrator to verify and fix it.

Timeouts at the beginning of the report

If you have timeouts at the very beginning of the report, say within the first one or two hops, but the rest of the report runs, do not worry. This is perfectly normal as the device responsible likely does not respond to traceroute requests.

Timeouts at the very end of the report

Timeouts at the end may occur for a number of reasons. Not all of them indicate an issue, however.

  • The target's firewall may be blocking requests. The target is still most probably reachable with a normal HTTP request, however. This should not affect normal connection.
  • The return path may have an issue from the destination point. This would mean the signal is still reaching, but just not getting the return signal back to your computer. This should not affect normal connection.
  • Possible connection problem at the target. This will affect the connection.

Do I need to contact my hosting company?

Once you have found a hop that seems to have an issue, you can identify its location and determine where the issue lies. It may be within your network, your ISP, somewhere along the route, or within your hosting provider's domain.

The first hop is within your own network. The next hop is your ISP. The last couple of hops are likely within your hosting providers' domain and control, so if the issue is there, they may be able to fix it for you. If it is anywhere prior to that, the issue is simply along the route and is within neither your nor your hosting provider's control.

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Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
tracert ending very odd?
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n/a Points
2014-09-10 11:55 am
IDK, probably the best one I have read and I have read MANY!
Having s SERIOUS issue with latency just on my pc using cable modem connecting to my website. No other website has this issue. Can take 20-30 seconds to load. If I use a proxy server, takes 2-3 seconds.
If I connect to cable modem via WiFi with my Samsung Galaxy S5, go to website, problem is there. If I kill WiFi and connect with AT&T carrier, response to website is 1-3 seconds; not 20-30 when using cable modem.
Now you guys have me interested in your hosting service.
n/a Points
2014-09-12 6:55 am
Oh! Thats 2much anyway.Ur Gr8! Thank you very much.
n/a Points
2015-01-02 10:15 pm
you can't improve it.
I knew nothing at all about tracer routes until I read your article.
Thank you very much.
n/a Points
2015-02-15 11:43 pm

How is the #10 hop number the 6th? Is there a reason that the origional poster didnt specify? Im completely new to this and ive been looking for an hour now about hop numbers and this threw me completely off

28,417 Points
2015-02-16 3:17 pm
Hello James,

Thanks for the questions. The traceroutes supplied above are samples for the purposes of the tutorial. If you have a specific question about traceroutes, please let us know.

Arnel C.

n/a Points
2015-07-29 5:04 pm

Arn, your answer to James regarding the example, 6th vs 10th hop is cavalier at best.

The example is shown specifically, graphically etc. and is wrong. This displays a lack of concern regarding quality and accuracy on your part. If you are wrong in this area, what else are you wrong in?  Show some pride and get it right. 

28,417 Points
2015-07-29 5:27 pm

Sorry, if my answer wasn't satisfactory to you (and to James). I was simply trying to keep things simple and not introduce more confusion in the issue. The second screenshot was created to provide the scenario that was being explained in the tutorial. I verified this with the author. There is NO correlation between those two screenshots. The tutorial was simply trying to demonstrate a scenario where the hop times all of a sudden showed a large increase in time towards the destination URL/IP address.

If this were to happen real life, the difference in hops simply indicates a different network route to get to the targeted URL/IP address.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2015-02-25 11:50 am
is asterisks the same as n/a , just before my latency goes high , a hop has n/a
31,565 Points
2015-02-27 10:02 am
Hello JimmyG,

It is not uncommon to have a hop or two in a trace with asterisks. If the asterisks continued throughout the trace and the trace never got to it's destination, that's obviously bad. But one or two hops in there with asterisks could mean that router is not sending responses to pings.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-02-25 11:54 am

rout has 9 hops , 1st 4 hops around 36 ms , then 5th hop shows n/a , 6th hop jumps to 138ms is that normal

31,565 Points
2015-02-27 10:03 am
Hello JimmyG,

If the 7th hop was under 100ms, then it is likely that hop 6 set your packet to a lower priority. That would not indicate a traffic or latency issue.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-04-24 2:15 pm

Have you ever see a tracert end like this below?  The end IP is

Any idea what could cause this?

12 * 273 ms *

13 * * * Request timed out.

14 261 ms * *

15 282 ms * *


28,417 Points
2015-04-24 9:55 pm
Hello Clemson Guy,

The normal reason you'll see a repetition in the trace is due to network configuration. It might be an internal and external portion of the network. The timeout in between is probably the result of a firewall. This is a guess on my part at this point because I'm not familiar with your network configuration. This postalso describes a result similar to yours. If you want further confirmation, then look for a local network engineer, to look at the traceroute for you. You can also submit a ticket request (if you're a customer of InMotion) to the InMotion Hosting live technical support team. They can look at the traceroute result in more depth.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2015-05-03 6:49 pm

I'm having an impossible time connecting to certain sites, one of which is google. I can't connect to facebook or google using chrome or IE , but I can connect to all sites using firefox. Ironically, I can connect to bing using IE and chrome. I suspect that I have some vicious malware because Norton *cough cough* has been losing it's mind, and can't even run NPE now.

Someone suggested that I run a traceroute on to see what was going on, but I don't understand any of these results. Any help is appreciated.C:\Users\XXXXXXK>tracert route to []over a maximum of 30 hops:  1     2 ms     1 ms    <1 ms  2    12 ms    28 ms    35 ms  3    20 ms     9 ms     9 ms  4    12 ms    11 ms    12 ms []  5    22 ms    26 ms    19 ms []  6    15 ms    25 ms    17 ms []  7    22 ms    56 ms    16 ms []  8    21 ms    17 ms    17 ms  9    19 ms    24 ms    18 ms 10    32 ms    34 ms    31 ms 11    19 ms    17 ms    23 ms 12   119 ms    17 ms    18 ms 13    22 ms    18 ms    19 ms []Trace complete.

31,565 Points
2015-05-04 7:53 am
Hello NB,

I took a look at your traceroute and everything looks fine. There is no indicator of latency or of the signal not making the trip properly. You may have some sort of issue locally or within your browsers. Unfortunately we are unable to assist with local issues. But the trace definitely looks normal.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-06-10 11:50 am

thanks for the nice article.

when i do a traceroute in my system - i see a lot of "*" beyond 15 hops. however, when i try using http to access the target i am able to do it. Any idea what the problem might be? i read "*" meant loss of data packets. Does a "*" indicate slow network connectivity always?

i see the following

1 (  2.045 ms  1.619 ms  1.457 ms

 2 (  1.947 ms  2.646 ms  1.777 ms

 3 (  3.927 ms  2.427 ms  2.337 ms

 4 (  2.888 ms  2.905 ms  3.108 ms

 5 (  3.171 ms  2.532 ms  3.103 ms

 6  * * *

 7  * * *

 8  * * *

 9 (  124.681 ms  125.289 ms  128.638 ms

10 (  124.533 ms  123.979 ms  124.822 ms

11 (  121.835 ms  120.686 ms  120.923 ms

12  * * *

13 (  212.859 ms  206.206 ms  214.113 ms

14 (  222.660 ms  217.433 ms  218.426 ms

15 (  208.801 ms  211.877 ms  216.963 ms

16  * * *

17  * * *

18  * * *

19  * * *

20  * * *

21  * * *

22  * * * 


64 * * * 

28,417 Points
2015-06-11 3:45 am

Typically, the *** is indicating a firewall preventing a return in your traceroute. However, if it's timing out repeatedly at the end, then there may be another issue at hand. If you are a customer of InMotion Hosting, please submit the traceroute to our live support team through a support ticket in order to have the issue properly investigated. Otherwise, you will need to have the issue investigated by your ISP or your host's support.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2015-06-19 4:54 pm

 1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms 

  2     8 ms     8 ms    12 ms 

  3    60 ms    62 ms    59 ms 

  4    19 ms    19 ms    23 ms 

  5    58 ms    59 ms    59 ms 

  6    59 ms    58 ms    68 ms [] 

  7    82 ms    78 ms    92 ms [] 

  8    79 ms    88 ms    98 ms [] 

  9    79 ms    78 ms    87 ms 

 10    78 ms    78 ms    79 ms 

 11    97 ms    97 ms    95 ms 

 12    96 ms    97 ms    95 ms 

 13    97 ms    97 ms    96 ms 


This is my traceroute to a game server thats in portland oregon (I live in Idaho) what can I do to get my ISP to put me on a priority line because it hasn't always been like this... they keep telling me they have no control over their own routing.

19,934 Points
2015-06-22 3:02 pm
Hello Jordan,

Thank you for contacting us. Once your ISP leaves the Data Center they are essentially at the mercy of the backbone they are using, since there are a limited amount of lines connecting some areas.

A better approach may be to perform a traceroute at the time you are experiencing issues. This will provide specific evidence that you can forward to your ISP.

They should then be able to contact their backbone provider and address the route problem.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2015-07-19 7:13 pm

I live in North Dakota and am experinacing high latency connecting to XBOX, ISP says its XBOX and XBOX says its ISP. Here is what I get when i tun trace route

Traceroute has started…


traceroute to (, 64 hops max, 72 byte packets

 1  hitronhub.home (  1.045 ms  0.666 ms  1.052 ms

 2  * * *

 3 (  11.132 ms  10.323 ms  10.060 ms

 4 (  21.068 ms  20.242 ms  26.324 ms

 5 (  25.176 ms  23.304 ms  23.295 ms

 6 (  214.619 ms  217.187 ms  214.597 ms

 7 (  223.046 ms  227.141 ms  217.488 ms

 8  * * *

 9  * * *

10 (  218.566 ms  214.333 ms  213.881 ms

11 (  213.599 ms  216.126 ms  214.015 ms

12 (  214.177 ms  215.225 ms  214.000 ms

13 (  215.676 ms  215.787 ms  218.094 ms

14 (  232.149 ms  214.606 ms  215.554 ms


15 (  215.448 ms  215.244 ms  214.590 ms

Any help would be greatly appreciated

31,565 Points
2015-07-20 4:41 pm
Hello Travis,

The latency starts at hop 6, which is at an IP owned by The network name is which seems to indicate it is a Microsoft network. Hope this helps!

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-07-20 10:31 am

I tested the speed from the Optimum Online - 52 ms pingdwnld 10.04upld 4.79Should I get a higher speed?

31,565 Points
2015-07-20 4:42 pm
Hello Carolina,
I am not sure what you are asking. Could you be a bit more specific?

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-07-21 10:14 am

52 ms ping download

10.04 upload

 4.79 download

Should I get an increase to get higher speed?

7,033 Points
2015-07-21 11:51 pm
Hello Carolina,

That speed looks fine to me, can you explain more in detail what this pertains to such as FTP connections?

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-09-13 2:02 pm

Doing a traceroute how would i know if my ISP is blocking ICMP packets??

31,565 Points
2015-09-14 1:28 pm
Hello Mark,

Doing a traceroute I don't believe there is a way to tell 100% if a specific hop (ISP, router, etc) is blocking ICMP. You may just try to ask your ISP support directly to be certain.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-05 4:00 am

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  2    23 ms    23 ms    24 ms  3     *        *        *     Request timed out.  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.  9     *        *        *     Request timed out. 10     *        *        *     Request timed out. 11     *        *        *     Request timed out. 12     *        *        *     Request timed out. 13     *        *        *     Request timed out. 14     *        *        *     Request timed out. 15     *        *        *     Request timed out. 16     *        *        *     Request timed out. 17     *        *        *     Request timed out. 18     *        *        *     Request timed out. 19     *        *        *     Request timed out. 20     *        *        *     Request timed out. 21     *        *        *     Request timed out. 22     *        *        *     Request timed out. 23     *        *        *     Request timed out. 24     *        *        *     Request timed out. 25     *        *        *     Request timed out. 26     *        *        *     Request timed out. 27     *        *        *     Request timed out. 28     *        *        *     Request timed out. 29     *        *        *     Request timed out. 30     *        *        *     Request timed out.Trace complete.IT IS OK ?

31,565 Points
2015-10-05 12:54 pm
Hello Stiles,

The trace shows that the connection never got past the second hop. Tracing that IP, it is in Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, George Town.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-08 4:54 pm

Hey Guysso i did the trace tooand in my 4 and 5 hop it just said requested timed out

and stars where the 3 numbers should beI run the trace for

19,934 Points
2015-10-08 5:18 pm
Hello Atom,

Thank you for contacting us. A "request time out" message can indicate an issue with the router/switch, or a switch set to not.

Performing a Ping & Traceroute may provide additional clues on your connection.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2015-10-09 7:09 pm

What happens if you run it and it shows all * from the begining to the end?  If I understand it correctly, this means you're blocked from running certain network tools, but who or what is blocking it?  Firewall or router?  How can I tell?  Details would be great.  Thanks!

31,565 Points
2015-10-09 7:28 pm
Hello Hanna,

Do you even get a first hop?

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-12 12:04 am

No, it is all *.  What does this mean?  And what does it mean if I do get a first hop (in case I was mis-remembering). 

31,565 Points
2015-10-12 7:55 am
Hello Hanna,

If you are not even getting a first hop then it likely means an issue with your local machine or network. You will need to start looking (or have someone look) there.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-13 2:10 pm

Hi Scott, what if I got a first hop, but the second hop onwards is showing all ***?

7,033 Points
2015-10-13 3:51 pm
Hello Hanna,

That means that the request is timing out as soon as it leaves your router/modem. You may need to contact your ISP in order to have the issue resolved or investigated further.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-10-13 6:26 pm

Thanks, TJ.  I thought I had read somewhere that typically it means my firewall or whatever is blocking the request. 

2015-10-10 6:10 am
Hello everyone,
I've been suddenly having an issue with my connection which started three weeks ago. My ping has been spiking to 100~300ms and 500~1000ms whenever I play a game such as League of Legends. It is normally around 50~70ms in ping tests and games.

This is a tracert I just took on LAN (Ethernet)

This is a ping test I also took on LAN (Ethernet).

I normally use my laptop for gaming on WiFi, but I decided to conduct tests using my desktop which is LAN connected.

Does anyone know what my problem might be?
31,565 Points
2015-10-12 8:34 am
Hello Fi,

It seems your latency starts around the third hop. That is usually either your router or your first ISP node. You may want to check with your ISP to see if they can assist you.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-23 6:54 am

Can anyone help in understanding me this tracert result.

my wesbite goes down for 5 mibutes 4 times a day.



Tracing route to []

over a maximum of 30 hops:


  1     2 ms     2 ms     3 ms

  2    28 ms    28 ms    34 ms  abts-north-static- []

  3     *        *        *     Request timed out.

  4    86 ms    90 ms    89 ms  abts-north-static-

.in []

  5   179 ms   153 ms   153 ms

  6   189 ms   187 ms   188 ms

  7   143 ms   139 ms    72 ms

  8   191 ms   179 ms   168 ms

  9   168 ms   168 ms   168 ms

 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.

 11   226 ms   206 ms   207 ms

 12   232 ms   233 ms   232 ms

 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.

 14   209 ms   209 ms   208 ms []


Trace complete.



7,033 Points
2015-10-26 11:37 am
Hello kunal taneja,

I do not think your website is going down but the server location is so far away from you, almost across seas it seems. Have you contacted your host to check to see if your website was going down?

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-10-25 7:26 am

Hello Scott, 


Please help me. I need your help badly. I've been having problems with my ISP for the past 3 weeks now and I'm not seeing rainbow on its 4th week. 


They said they've already checked and fixed their network/base station where I am connected and even replaced my modem/router and canopy. I'm using a wireless connection with a 5Mbps plan. 


I ran ping test on google and facebook, and got high latency, in as much as 2000ms last week and around 400-500ms this week. I also ran trace route but I can't fully identify the figures I am getting. The only thing common that I see is that the numbers 3 and 6 lines are both coming up as request timed out, this applies to all the sites I've ran it with. 


Kindly check the sample trace route for google: 


1      3ms    10ms   <1ms

2      2ms    2ms       1ms

3      *        *            *       ---- request timed out

4      76ms  78ms      65ms

5      87ms  67ms      *

6      *        *            *       ---- request timed out

7      74ms  59ms      62ms

8      96ms  *            110ms

9      47ms  57ms      58ms

10    81ms  62ms      94ms

11    94ms  75ms      69ms


Also, if I may add, the current situation is that, we can't access facebook, it tries to load for a few minutes, but won't display anything, it's just the blue facebook top, with my profile but nothing else. The only trime I can access facebook will be around 1AM till roughly 10PM. This goes the same with the sites where I work. However, youtube loads fine. And one thing I noticed, the upload speed is way better than the download. It is very intermittent. 

Any help will be appreciated. Thank you. 

31,565 Points
2015-10-26 2:05 pm
Hello Joan,

Your trace report looks fine, at least in this instance. The times are all good. Don't worry about occasional 'time outs' if the numbers look good, those routers could be set to not report.

I had a similar issue recently that got worse until I could not bring up any site. I checked other devices on my network like my phone, other computers, etc and they were fine. That pointed to the specific computer. It turned out to be my wireless network adapter.

I am in no way saying that is your issue, but try to rule out or confirm it is a network issue by using other devices if you can. If other devices behave similarly, you know it is not the computer. If the other devices work fine, then you may want to look at the specific machine for the issue.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M

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