Traceroute pertains to a command that is used to mark out the route of a packet through a particular TCP/IP network. The Unix operating systems have the Traceroute command. Windows operating systems also use the Traceroute command, which has the name tracert.

Using the Traceroute command, individuals can determine certain pieces of information. Traceroute displays how many network layer hops had the packet passed through before reaching its destination. Hops refer to the transfers taken by the packet through the work stations on a network. This command also helps users to identify the other networks the packet would pass through to reach the station that requested it. Aside from this, Traceroute shows the number of times the packet crossed each network hop. Traceroute also shows the computer name of the host that responded to the packet request.

Generally, in order for an individual to use Traceroute, he should have any of these information: the destination computer’s IP address, name, or even website address.

To utilize the Traceroute command in Windows, the user first has to go to the command prompt. There he can enter “tracert (computer information)”. The quotes are not included, and the (computer information) should be replaced with either the computer’s IP address, website, or name.

Traceroute can also help in detecting subtle problems on the network. The user may see messages such as “request timed out” or the Traceroute command may display a message telling him that the web page he entered is loading slowly. In these events, the user can report the said messages to the network technician.