What is a traceroute?
Put simply, a traceroute will display the path from your home connection to the server you’re communicating with as well as the speed between each point on that path. The speed is displayed in milliseconds, and shows how many milliseconds it takes your data to move between each server as it makes its way to the website or server you need to communicate with.
Why would I run a traceroute?
If you’re experiencing difficulty accessing certain sites or playing specific games online, then a traceroute will help identify if there’s a problem in the way your data is being routed and at which point it occurs. This helps our Tech Support teams identify if the issue is something Optus can help you resolve, or if you’ll need to contact the provider of the website or game you’re trying to access.
How to run a trace route in Windows
These instructions should work for versions of Windows from XP and later.
To get it into a text version, right click on the results and click on Select All. Hit CTRL + C to copy and then paste the text where needed.
How to run a trace route on MAC
How to run traceroute on Linux
Note that for both Linux and Mac you use the full command "traceroute" while in windows it is an abreviation - "tracert". Getting them mixed up will cause it to not work.
Understanding the results of a trace route
So put simply, each hop in your traceroute represents the time it takes for your data to be sent from one server to another. If you find that on one specific hop the latency spikes and jumps higher, it could mean there’s a specific problem with that server. This is particularly helpful to narrow down the cause of specific problems e.g. high ping times when gaming or difficulty accessing some websites but not others.