How-To: Perform a Ping and Trace Route

OK, So How Do I Ping and Trace Route?

The Ping:

The first step in diagnosing the problem with a slow website is to perform a Ping test to your website and measure the round trip speed. Performing a Ping test will be a little bit different depending on whether you’re on a Windows, Mac or Linux PC:

For Windows:

Step 1: Click your “Start Menu” and choose “Run”.
Step 2: Within the Run menu type “cmd” and click “OK”. This will open a Command Line window.
Step 3: From the command line type “ping yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.

Test Process: The ping test will run and send 4 packets of data and then stop.

For Mac:

Step 1: Open “Applications” and then open “Utilities”.
Step 2: Open “Terminal”.
Step 3: Type “ping yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.

Test Process: The ping test will run continuously. After 4 or 5 pings hold down CTRL+C to stop the test.

For Linux:

Step 1: Open a Command Prompt.
Step 2: Type “ping yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.

Test Process: The ping test will run continuously. After 4 or 5 pings hold down CTRL+C to stop the test.

Test Results: After performing your ping test you’ll see several numbers reported in the ping test results. This includes the “Minimum” (Fastest), “Maximum” (Slowest) and “Average” time it took for the data to make the round trip, which is reported in milliseconds. You’ll also see the amount of packets sent, received and whether or not any of them got lost in the process.

Ping times of 30ms or greater can lead to noticeably slow performance of your website or email. Packet loss is a bad thing and can mean one of the routers in your path is having issues.

The Route:

The next step in determining what’s happening with your data is to perform a trace route:

For Windows:

Step 1: Click your “Start Menu” and choose “Run”.
Step 2: Within the Run menu type “cmd” and click “OK”. This will open a Command Line window.
Step 3: From the command line type “tracert yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.


Test Process: The trace route test will run and send 3 packets of data through the network. Each hop will be numbered and include the speed of each of these 3 packets. You’ll also notice that each hop has a domain name and IP address associated with it (e.g.testdomain.com – 50.23.240.109), this can be helpful information to provide your web hosting company if that hop is experiencing true packet loss.

For Mac:

Step 1: Open “Applications” and then open “Utilities”.
Step 2: Open “Terminal”.
Step 3: Type “traceroute yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.

Test Process: Same as Windows.

For Linux:

Step 1: Open a Command Prompt.
Step 2: Type “tracert yourwebsite.com” and hit “Enter”. Be sure to change “yourwebsite.com” to the URL of your actual website.

Test Process: Same as Windows.

Test Results: Once you’ve run your trace route you’ll see the exact route your data packets took across the Internet. The locations you see are the network “hops” and each one will have 3 times reported in milliseconds.

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