Digital enterprise networks are constantly changing, which means they require constant monitoring and reconfiguration of the devices if they are able to kept as easy as possible. This means network administrator required tools that help to make live in todays Enterprise market. There is one that can help to identify connectivity and latency issues in networks: the traceroute or tracert command.
What is traceroute or tracert?
Traceroute (in linux) and tracert (in windows) are two commands that run tools used for network diagnostics and help with resolving connectivity issues by tracing the paths data packets take while traveling from their origins to their destinations. If any network admin experience a network outage, tracert can help to determine how data packets is travelling with IP addresses.
The syntaxes of traceroute and tracert is
- tracert [-d] [-h maximum_hops] [-j host-list] [-w timeout]
[-R] [-S srcaddr] [-4] [-6] target_name
-d Do not resolve addresses to hostnames.
-h maximum_hops Maximum number of hops to search for target.
-j host-list Loose source route along host-list (IPv4-only).
-w timeout Wait timeout milliseconds for each reply.
-R Trace round-trip path (IPv6-only).
-S srcaddr Source address to use (IPv6-only).
-4 Force using IPv4.
-6 Force using IPv6.
- traceroute [-46dFITUnreAV] [-f first_ttl] [-g gate,…]
[-i device] [-m max_ttl] [-p port] [-s src_addr]
[-q nqueries] [-N squeries] [-t tos]
[-l flow_label] [-w waittimes] [-z sendwait] [-UL] [-D]
[-P proto] [–sport=port] [-M method] [-O mod_options]
How do tracert or traceroute work?
Each IP packet that you send on the internet has got a field called as TTL. TTL stands for Time To Live. Although its called as Time To Live, its not actually the time in seconds, but its something else. TTL is not measured by the no of seconds but the no of hops. Its the maximum number of hops that a packet can travel through across the internet, before its discarded.
The default value of TTL is maximum upto 30 hops but it can be change.
When the first packet is sent out it is assigned a TTL of 1. When it reaches the first network device the TTL is reduced by 1 and a response is sent back to the source.
A second packet will then be sent with a TTL of 2. It passes through the device identified by TTL1 moves on to the next connected device beyond it. When it reaches a second device, it drops a TTL and a reply is sent back to the original host.
The packets keep going out with increasing TTL values until it reaches to destination host. When the original IP address get UDP packet and it will send “ICMP Destination Unreachable” than we have reached the final destination and will stop sending ant further packets.
The 3 best tools for traceroute and tracert
Here is our list of the best 3 tools for traceroute and tracert:
- Open Visual Traceroute
- Visual Route
- Path Analyzer Pro
- Open Visual Traceroute
Open Visual Traceroute and tracert is a graphical overlay for traceroute that provides some useful visuals for elements such as maps, graphs, and much more. This software is free and open source and has the source code available for download on the site’s download page as well.
The useful features includes network packet sniffer, whois and traceroute. The application can run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, as well as Java, making it a truly universal, cross platform application. It can also show 2D/3D display map in visualize manner. This is really good software for network admin to trace any IP address in the world.
Pricing: Free and Open Source
This is very easy tool for network administrator that can perform complex traceroute in very easy manner. A graphical map of the traceroute result makes it easy to comprehend and consume the data. You can also used ping plotting to capture response time of IP addresses over a given time and data is available in graphical form. Reverse DNS lookup allows to for the discovery of IP address behind a domain name. another exciting feature is reverse tracing with remote agents that perform trace between two location without actually being in either of the locations.
Sending out of continuous tracert commands over measured time intervals makes it easy for admins to monitor any performance degradations that could occur over time.
Pricing: trials for 15 days than $60 for 1 user.
- Path Analyzer Pro
Path Analyzer Pro is a high end traceroute program that delivers advanced network route tracing, Whois, DNS and comprehensive enterprise network resolution tests to find network problems. This will help to find network issues and connectivity problem on the network. All of these features are rolled up into a single powerful application that makes it far easier for network admins to use. . It runs on both Windows and Mac OS, so you can map out the current state of your network, regardless of what type of environment you are trying to trouble shoot from.
This analyser utilizes the most powerful path discovery engine available today. Experts have seen it perform up to 20 times faster than the traditional traceroute programs.
Pricing: Starts at $29.95 for the personal version, and goes up to $89.95 for the business version.
Anyone wishing to try out Path Analyzer Pro can download the trial from here.