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How Traceroute Works

Part 4: Checking and Troubleshooting the Traceroute Results

We already discussed how traceroute works in the past three days. Let’s check the traceroute results of the example that Computer A do a traceroute to computer B. The traceroute of this example may look something like below:

how to read traceroute result

Troubleshooting Traceroute results

Actually, the above output example is a typical traceroute result.

  • The first column is the hop count (1 – 4). That is, it takes 4 hops to get to Computer B.
  • The route of packets went through router-A, router-E, router-H and finally to Computer-B.
  • You should noticed that there should be a problem with router-H. The response slow down drastically in router-H. Computer A will experience slow response from Computer B due to the problem of router-H until it’s being repaired. Moreover, An asterisk means the packet timed out without getting a response.


  • Sometimes, if you cannot access a website, or the speed of website is very slow, the problem may not be the website. The problem may be the gateways or other computers on the Internet. From the above example, the problem is the router-H.
  • If the packets of other computers do not need to pass through router-H, the speed will be much faster. That’s why people sometimes complaint that they cannot access computer B (website), while others can.
  • Some computers will disable traceroute to prevent people from learning the configuration of their computers.
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