Welcome to Why Do We Need It? A feature where I take an element of the Windows operating system or anything else computer related and discuss what it is and why we need it. In this first episode, we will be taking a look at the Traceroute command.
One of the most important things to know about the internet is that data doesn't fly straight. The internet is a network of networks, so when data packets are transfered from device to device, such as when visiting a website, they have to pass through multiple computer networks before reaching their destination. The data packets start their journey by passing through your computer network to your gateway (internet router). From your router, they then pass through to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). They are then transported through multiple computer networks across the world before finally arriving at the destination device. Each time data packets pass through a computer network, it is known as a hop. The Traceroute command records these hops.
Traceroute is a great and powerful trouble shooting tool to diagnose internet access problems. For example, if you are having problems accessing a website or a website is taking too long to load, it might be because the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) packets are taking too long to reach a specific network, a node in one of the transporting networks is unresponsive or too many hops are required to reach the destination web server and the request has simply timed out. The Traceroute tool provides the number of hops it took to reach the destination machine, the hostname and IP address of each node the HTTP packet has reached and the amount of time (in milliseconds) it took to reach that node. This data can be used to help diagnose slow connections or those annoying page loading errors.
This guide assumes you are using a Windows PC. I don't know the steps to execute this command on any other OS.
cmdinto the run box and press Enter/Return.
tracert houseoffireseed.mland press Enter/Return. This will trace the route to the web server that hosts this website.
tracert houseoffireseed.ml > %userprofile%\documents\tracert.txt. This will write the output to a text file called tracert and save the file to your documents folder.