Updated: 10/07/2019 by Computer Hope
Illustration of traceroute.

Traceroute is a network diagnostic method where a packet is sent to a destination. The traceroute software reports the location and travel time of each hop the packet makes as it travels from device to device on the intermediate network. An example of a program that performs a traceroute is the tracert command in Microsoft Windows, or traceroute command in Linux, macOS, and BSD.

Example of a traceroute

The following is an example of a traceroute performed by the Windows tracert command. The text output, displayed below, lists each of the hops a packet travels to arrive at the Computer Hope server (

Running this command from another computer, or another geographic location, would produce different output. In this example, IPv6 addresses and hostnames are listed.

Tracing route to [2400:cb00:2048:1::6814:3876]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
1   1 ms   1 ms  2 ms  2601:671:8280:1820:2e85:69ff:fe9b:3639
2  10 ms  11 ms  9 ms [2001:558:102:2060::1]
3   9 ms   9 ms  9 ms [2001:558:100:22::1]
4   9 ms   9 ms  9 ms  2001:558:fe0b:a::a
5  14 ms   9 ms  8 ms  2400:cb00:2048:1::6814:3876
Trace complete.

ICMP, Network terms, Trace