How can I use the traceroute command?

FibreStream Updated by FibreStream

Traceroute is a network diagnostic function used by network devices that records hops (or routers) by sending a series of packets to its destination. It also records the IP address of the routers and time/delay (ms). Like the ping command, it also confirms the Internet reachability of a device, but it allows for a more specific evaluation, because the traceroute command is designed to help isolate possible network issues.


The traceroute command in Windows is used by typing tracert in a command prompt window. Command prompt in Windows allows you to type commands executed by the operating system. To open a command prompt window, simply search “cmd” or “command prompt” in your Windows search bar.

Select command prompt to open up a DOS or command prompt window.

Enter tracert and its destination.

Once entered, press Enter. 

You must enter an address to run the tracert command. Tracert commands test the connectivity to another network device, so after entering the tracert command, you must specify a destination. You can enter a website like or an IP address after the tracert command.

Tracert records every router IP address, and how many routers forwarded its packets before reaching its destination (in the case above, 11).


The process for a traceroute command on an Apple device is similar to a Windows device, but you’ll need to use Terminal instead of Command Prompt. Terminal is located in Applications -> Utilities. You can also open it by typing “Terminal” in the search bar (or spotlight).

The command for an Apple device is “traceroute” and then the hostname or IP address.


The traceroute command for a Linux device is also very similar to a macOS device. 

Open the Terminal application by entering Ctrl+Alt+T. Once done, enter the traceroute command and its destination:

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