What is Traceroute & How to Use to Troubleshoot & Test your Connections Print

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What is traceroute

When you connect with a website, the data you get must travel across multiple devices and networks along the way, particularly routers. A traceroute provides a map of how data on the internet travels from its source to its destination. 

A traceroute plays a different role than other diagnostic tools, such as packet capture, which analyzes data. Traceroute differs in that it examines how the data moves through the internet. Similarly, you can use Domain Name System time to live (DNS TTL) for tracerouting, but DNS TTL addresses the time needed to cache a query and does not follow the data path between routers.

What does Traceroute Do?

A traceroute works by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets, and every router involved in transferring the data gets these packets. The ICMP packets provide information about whether the routers used in the transmission are able to effectively transfer the data.

What is Traceroute Used For?

An Internet Protocol (IP) tracer is helpful for figuring out the routing hops data has to go through, as well as response delays as it travels across nodes, which are what send the data toward its destination. Traceroute also enables you to locate where the data was unable to be sent along, known as points of failure. You can also perform a visual traceroute to get a visual representation of each hop.


Install traceroute in Ubuntu 18.04 & 20.04 

root@server:~# sudo apt-get install traceroute


How to run a traceroute

root@server:~# traceroute google.com



As you can see, this tool is invaluable when troubleshooting network issues. As a network or systems administrator, I highly recommend becoming intimately familiar with this tool. Having the available might save you a lot of time troubleshooting later.

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