Understanding Traceroute (Part 2 of 4)

Traceroute/tracert-like applications or commands will provide accurate results

Neither traceroute nor traceroute-like applications will provide accurate results. They can not, as using ICMP ping is inherently unreliable, as often the routers in the path, and sometimes even the end host, will be configured to either entirely discard ICMP ping requests, to treat it at the lowest priority, or to respond to a maximum of X pings per Y timeframe (as a security and/or performance increasing measure, to put higher priority and thus best performance on real legitimate traffic, and not to get bogged down by responding to multiple ping requests, especially to avoid being victims of a ping attack).

That being said, using the real traceroute (*nix systems) or tracert (Windows systems) command is the most certain way to get the most accurate results possible, as the results of these commands are not the subject of as many issues as the results of the imitators that do a plain ping of each hop directly.

Understanding Traceroute: A Four-part Series

Part 1: Traceroute can be used to measure performance

Part 2: Traceroute/tracert-like applications or commands will provide accurate results

Part 3: * * * s (apparent packet loss) somewhere in the route is always bad and a sign of problems

Part 4: A uni-directional traceroute (run only in one direction) can be used to accurately spot a problem area in a route

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