Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope

Traceroute may refer to any of the following:

Illustration of traceroute.

1. 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 (Berkeley Software Distribution).

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.

Alternative Windows traceroute utility

Windows users may also want to consider the free TraceRouteOK network utility from SoftwareOK for more options and settings.

2. Traceroute is the name of a 2016 documentary film directed by Johannes Grenzfurthner about the history, politics and impact of nerd culture.

ICMP, Network terms, Trace