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How To Ping & Traceroute Your Web Host or Site

Ping is a simple utility that is used to check if a server is active and responding, and if it is, how long it is taking packets of information to travel from your computer to the destination server. Packets are small blocks of data (often 32 bytes of information), the sending is then are checked to ensure that the data is transfered accurately. In addition to the time statistics provided, you will also receive the IP address of your destination. This can be usefull in tracking domain name issues by ensuring that the domain is pointing to the correct IP address.

Traceroute is a utility that helps diagnose network congestion between your computer (ISP) and the destination server (www.domainname.com). Traceroute works by sending packets of information from your location to the destination and timing how long it takes to receive a response. In addition to tracking the time it takes to reach the final destination, you are provided with the times to each 'Hop' between your terminal and the destination. Each Hop is a separate 'router' that your information must pass through. By providing the times for each hop, we can often find the source of problems accessing a server.

Using Ping in MS DOS

For Windows users, ping is already setup to run in the MS DOS window. To use Ping, open an MS DOS window, and type 'ping www.domainname.com' (without the quotes) and press [ENTER]. You should see something that looks similar to the following:

C:\WINDOWS>ping www.mysitespace.com

Pinging www.mysitespace.com [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=140ms TTL=244
Reply from bytes=32 time=160ms TTL=244
Reply from bytes=32 time=155ms TTL=244
Reply from bytes=32 time=145ms TTL=244

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 145ms, Maximum = 160ms, Average = 150ms

This tells you that the MySiteSpace server is up and running, and that the average time it took 32 bytes of data to travel from your computer to www.mysitespace.com, and back is 98ms.

Using Traceroute in MS DOS

For Windows 95 and 98 users, traceroute is already setup to run in the MS DOS window. To use traceroute, open an MS DOS window, and type 'tracert www.domainname.com' and press [ENTER]. You should see something that looks similar to the following:

C:\WINDOWS>tracert www.mysitespace.com

Tracing route to www.mysitespace.com []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 119 ms 121 ms 120 ms sym0103723m01.bctel.net []
2 107 ms 114 ms 98 ms
3 113 ms 117 ms 123 ms
4 135 ms 122 ms 116 ms
5 134 ms 145 ms 159 ms core7.SanFrancisco.cw.net []
6 144 ms 142 ms 136 ms Hssi2-1-0.BR1.SCL1.Alter.Net []
7 145 ms 152 ms 147 ms 105.ATM3-0.XR1.SCL1.ALTER.NET []
8 138 ms 149 ms 146 ms 195.ATM2-0.TR1.SCL1.ALTER.NET []
9 189 ms 170 ms 209 ms 107.ATM6-0.TR1.NYC1.ALTER.NET []
10 187 ms 180 ms 180 ms 199.ATM7-0.XR1.BOS1.ALTER.NET []
11 194 ms 177 ms 185 ms 191.ATM8-0-0.GW1.BOS1.ALTER.NET []
12 196 ms 208 ms 179 ms NVC.customer.UU.NET []
13 197 ms 206 ms 207 ms www.mysitespace.com []

Trace complete.

As you can see, it took 13 'hops' to get from my computer to the www.mysitespace.com server. If you experience hops with * this denotes possible congestion (packet loss) and can affect the loading of your pages. When this occurs and you are having trouble accessing your server, send in a support request with the above information. You can use the Copy and Paste buttons in MSDOS to copy to the request form's text box.

You can save the information from a Ping or Traceroute to a text file by using the following syntax:
Ping mysitespace.com >>filename.txt
Tracert mysitespace.com >>filename.txt

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