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How to do a Tracert or Ping test for lag issues or Determining the best server location for you

This article is to guide you on performing a tracert to test for latency between your computer and the server/node.

In the world of computing, traceroute or tracert is a diagnostic tool for the computer network to display the route or path and measuring transit delays of packets or loss of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network.

The information gained from the traceroute/tracert is the history of the route is recorded. The information is the data to and from your computer to the address you tested. The information shows the round-trip times of the packets received from each successive host (remote node) in the route (path); the sum of the mean times in each hop is a measure of the total time spent to establish the connection. These are in milliseconds.

In order to get a valid result, you should close down all programs that are accessing the internet.

You can perform a traceroute/tracert in a couple of different ways. One way is to use this is from Windows.

To run traceroute/tracert on Windows:

You can find the Command prompt program by searching for it via the Windows search function.

[Searching for Command Prompt via Windows]

Searching for the Command Prompt

Open the command prompt.

Go to Start > Run.

Type cmd and press the Enter key.

This will bring up a command prompt window. It has a line that looks like this: C:\Documents and Settings\yourname> _ with a cursor blinking next to the > symbol.

The hostname will be the IP address of the server you're attempting to ping without the port number. If you have a sub-domain, you can put that in the place of the hostname. An example is the IP your pinging is: You would include everything before the :.

In the Command Prompt window, type in:
tracert hostname

You may have to wait up to a minute or more for the test to complete. It will generate a list of the connections along the way and some information about the speed of the steps along the way.

Example Tracert Results

You can send us the complete results (every line) for analysis to help us see if there is a connection issue between your computer and the server. You can copy the tracert results using your mouse cursor and right-click on it to copy into clipboard. Now you can now paste it into a document and send to us via a ticket.

If you experience difficulty copying the traceroute information, or if it runs off the screen, you can type alternatively use this command instead: tracert hostname > C:\trace1.txt This command will write the results to a text file named trace1.txt in the root area of your C:\ drive. You can then open this file and paste the contents into your ticket to support.

### Fully understanding the results of your traceroute/tracert

The information you get on the traceroute has four tabs. Each hop is a server/node between your computer and the one you put in the hostname.

The tabs are as follows:
Number: This column is the number of the hop. There can be a small or large amount of hops from your computer to the destination.

Round Trip Time (RTT): This value also called latency, lag, or ping and displayed in milliseconds for the time it takes for the packet to go from one hop to the next and back to your computer.
An asterisk (*) under the RTT means that the packet did not return. This indication does not necessarily mean packet loss as many routers may intentionally ignore tracert/ping commands.

Name: The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the system. Many times the FQDN may provide an indication of where the hop is physically located. Sometimes the FQDN can't be found and only IP address displayed. It is a common thing and also does not mean there is trouble with connectivity.

IP Address: The IP address associated with the Name. It can contain a sub-domain address instead of a IP address.

To run traceroute/tracert on Mac:

To run a traceroute/tracert on a Mac, navigate to Go > Utilities.
Mac Utilities

Locate the Terminal under Utilities
Mac Terminal

In the Terminal, type traceroute hostname
Mac Hostname

Updated on: 20/09/2020

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