Traceroute works by sending packets with gradually increasing TTL value, starting with TTL value = 1. The first router receives the packet, decrements the TTL value and drops the packet because it then has TTL value zero. The router sends an ICMP Time Exceeded message back to the source. The next set of packets are given a TTL value of 2, so the first router forwards the packets, but the second router drops them and replies with ICMP Time Exceeded. Proceeding in this way, traceroute uses the returned ICMP Time Exceeded messages to build a list of routers that packets traverse, until the destination is reached and returns an ICMP Echo Reply message.
Below is a guide to show you how to perform Traceroute on a Windows operating system as well as MacOS
- Open up your Start menu
- Open up Run
- Type cmd and hit Enter
- A black window opens where you can type on an empty line ending with C:\Windows\system32> type "tracert (site.tld) ex: google.com"
- Open the Utilities folder on your hard drive.
- Launch the Network Utility.
- Click Traceroute.
- Enter the domain name for which you want to perform a traceroute, and then click Trace.
- Select the results, and then right-click and select Copy or press COMMAND+C to copy the text.
- Paste the text into a text editor (TextEdit, etc.)