Search The Hostwinds Guides Knowledge Base

How to Traceroute TCP/IP Connections

Share This Article [TheChamp-Sharing]

When troubleshooting connection issues to your website or your server, one of the tools you have at your disposal is the trace route tool. As a network troubleshooting tool trace route comes in handy when you’re trying to diagnose routing issues over large networks. This command line tool will print out the route taken by a packet between your computer and it’s destination displaying each hop taken between routers. Operating systems such as Windows and Linux have trace route utility already installed by default.

How To tracert in Windows

To perform a Trace Route In Windows you must first open the command prompt.

  1. Click the Start menu > begin typing cmd
  2. Now your command prompt you can start the tracert command where you would be replacing with either the hostname or IP address of your target server.

Replace <YOUR HOSTWINDS SERVER>  with your domain name, IP Address or server name for your Hostwinds server

What you’ll see is a numbered set of lines. Each line represents what’s called a hop which is the path the packets take from router to router until it makes its final destination or fails along the way. The columns you see are the times it took to make each hop in milliseconds and gives you an idea of the latency between each hop.

How To Do a traceroute in Linux

Performing a trace route is essentially the same in Linux. The difference is the name of the command. In Windows the command you use is tracert  where in Linux the name of the command is traceroute . As stated earlier both of the tools are used in the command line terminal

  1. Open your command line terminal or log in to your Linux server.
  2. Now in your command prompt run the traceroute command. Note the difference between the Linux and Windows commands.

Replace <YOUR HOSTWINDS SERVER>  with your domain name, IP Address or server name for your Hostwinds server

What you see is a similar output much like you did in Windows. This tool is not simply limited to that one string. There’s actually more to it as it has several command primers that you can leverage to get a more detailed output and further assist your troubleshooting.

For more information on the command primers consult the man page like so: man traceroute.


Additionally this tool also exists in Mac and the processes is literally the same. All you have to do is start typing terminal in your search. Once you have terminal up just run through the same steps as above. With Mac being a Unix based operating system just like Linux, the command traceroute  will be the same.

Copy and Paste the results

There may be times when a traceroute is requested by our Support Team. To provide this information through any open tickets, you can do the following steps:


  • Simply highlight the traceroute results and paste them into the ticket

Mac Terminal

  • Simply highlight the results and press Command + C to copy the items
  • Press Command + V to paste them into the ticket


  • Right Click on the window and select Mark in the pop up window
  • Use the up and down arrow to highlight all of the text that was returned in the tracert results
  • Press Enter
  • Press CTRL + C in the ticket to include the results

Windows 10

  • Simply highlight the tracert results and paste them into the ticket reply

If you are receiving an error that says ‘tracert’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file, check the command is in c:\windows\system32. There should be a file called ‘TRACERT.EXE’ file and you can run this from there.