Computer Networks/Tracert/Host

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Tracert is a Windows command used to display the route (path) and transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network. These activities will show you how to use the tracert command to trace the route to a host.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

To prepare for this activity:

  1. Start Windows.
  2. Log in if necessary.

Activity 1 - Trace Route to the Default Gateway[edit | edit source]

To trace the route to the default gateway:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Use ipconfig to display the default gateway address. Note the Default Gateway displayed.
  3. Type tracert -d <default gateway address> where <default gateway address> is the default gateway address displayed above. For example, if the default gateway address was, you would type tracert -d Then press Enter.
  4. Observe the results. You should see one hop to the default gateway, because the default gateway is on the same network.

Activity 2 - Trace Route to an Internet Host without Name Resolution[edit | edit source] is the IP address of one of Google's public DNS servers. To trace the route to this server:

  1. Type tracert -d and press Enter. The -d option disables host name resolution and therefore performs faster.
  2. Observe the results. Identify the number of hops (routers) and time delay between your host and the Google server. Hops that show * and "Request timed out." are routers that are configured to not respond to Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets. These may sometimes be referred to as black hole routers.

Activity 3 - Trace Route to an Internet Host with Name Resolution[edit | edit source]

To trace the route to an Internet host with name resolution:

  1. Type tracert and press Enter. Note the removal of the -d option used above.
  2. Observe the results.

Activity 4 - Terminate a Trace[edit | edit source]

To terminate a trace:

  1. Type tracert and press Enter.
  2. During the trace, press Ctrl + C to terminate the command. Traces are frequently terminated early when the destination appears to be unreachable.
  3. Close the command prompt to complete this activity.

Readings[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]