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How Do I Run a Ping and Traceroute Test?

Testing and troubleshooting internet connections is possible by running ping or trace route tests. This can help to find where a non-connection or in the event of a connection issue or to identify where in the network the issue is occurring.

What is a PING TEST?

When a PING test is run, it sends a series of short and small connections to a website (or IP) address and monitors both completion and response time. Though the process is editable for sending continuous connections over a period of time, only 4 pings are sent and received normally.

What is a TRACE ROUTE TEST?

With a TRACE ROUTE test a normal connection will be run via the Command/Terminal box. This test will provide the details of the ‘hops’ taken as well as the response times for each hop. A hop is actually a computer or server used for routing your device to the selected website or IP address. Typically the hops can vary from 5 to 20 on any website request.

The process of running each test is similar but the method of starting them varies across Operating Systems.

Windows Operating Systems

Opening a Command Prompt

It is possible to run the ping or trace route test only from a command prompt box (also referred to as a ‘DOS Box’ sometimes). The opening process of this box varies from slightly between the Operating Systems. Follow the instructions below that relate to your OS:

All the instructions below are based on the assumption that your machine is powered up and you are logged in to the admin account.

Windows XP and below:

  • Click on Start button at the bottom-left hand corner of the screen.

  • Select ‘Run’ from the menu which will open a small window.

 

  • Here, type ‘cmd’ or ‘command’ and press Enter on your keyboard or click on the ‘OK’ button on the screen.

  • Now, a small black window will appear and it is the Command Prompt.

Windows 7

  • Click on the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen.

  • The search function will be selected automatically where you need to type ‘cmd’ or ‘command’ and press Enter on your keyboard or wait a moment and select the ‘cmd.exe’ icon from the search results.

  • A small, black window of the Command Prompt will appear.

Windows 8

In the ‘Metro UI’, type ‘cmd’ and press Enter on your keyboard. The system will automatically start searching for it.

A small, black window of the Command Prompt will appear.

Windows 10

Go to the Windows icon at the bottom-left corner of the desktop and right-click on it.

Select ‘Command Prompt (Administrator)’ from the provided list for opening the Command Prompt.

Running a Ping Test

Type the below command in the Command Prompt box:

A series of four pings will be sent by your computer to our web server. The result of each ping attempt along with a summary of the statistics will be displayed in the box.

The ping time will be in double figures and there will be zero percent packet loss. Your results will be as below:

 

Important note: In case your problem is irregular and you want to test for a longer period of time, you can run multiple ping requests to a website. For more than 4 pings, just enter ‘-n x’ after the web address. For example, if you want to ping the Google website 25 times you will need to enter ‘ping www.google.co.in -n 25’.

Suppose the entire ping requests fail or timeout or lose packets then it is the internet issue. For this, we would recommend replacing the ‘www.google.co.in’ section of the ping test for the IP address of your router.

Running a Trace Route

Type the below command in the Command Prompt:

A connection test tracing the route your computer is taking to access our site will be run. This process will require a minute or two to complete and message presenting ‘Trace Complete’ will be displayed once it’s done.

The image below displays successful traceroute from the internet connection to the MilesWeb website:

This type of test helps in finding out if the internet connection or website are working and this is possible because you can pin-point the location of any issues. The ‘hops’ will time out (displayed as a line of asterisks) occasionally and you would see a new route being tried to reach the destination.

In case your connection fails regularly within the first one or two hops, it indicates that there is an issue with the internet connection.

Apple Mac Operating Systems

Both Ping and Trace Route tests are offered as built-in functions by the Apple operating systems. For accessing these tests, navigate to Utilities > Network Utility. A screen similar to the below image will appear:

Running a Ping Test

From the Network Utility window, select ‘Ping’. This will open a field asking for the address to ping.

Enter the below URL in this field:

The option to send unlimited pings or a specified number will be given to you. It is strongly recommended to send pings between 4 and 10 in any one test. Click on Ping to start the test. The result of each ping attempt will be presented along with a summary of the statistics in a window just below the result.

If the entire ping requests fail or timeout or lose packets then it is the internet issue. If this happens, we would recommend replacing the ‘www.google.co.in’ section of the ping test for the IP address of your router.

Running a Trace Route

From the Network Utility window, select ‘Traceroute’. This will appear with a single field where you will be prompted to enter the web or IP address.

Enter the below web address:

You will be presented with the route your connection is taking to our web server and this will take just a few minutes to complete.

This type of test helps in finding out if the internet connection or website are working and this is possible because you can pin-point the location of any issues. The ‘hops’ will time out (displayed as a line of asterisks) occasionally and you would see a new route bring tried to reach the destination.

In case your connection fails regularly within the first one or two hops, it indicates that there is an issue with the internet connection.

To know the basic trouble shooting and have skills for dealing with any problem is always beneficial. It helps to identify the issue when anything goes wrong.

Pallavi Godse

Pallavi is a Digital Marketing Executive at MilesWeb and has an experience of over 4 years in content development. She is interested in writing engaging content on business, technology, web hosting and other topics related to information technology.

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