What is a trace route (tracert)? How do I run one?
A “traceroute” is a function which traces the path from one network to another. It allows us to diagnose the source of many problems. To be effective, the traceroute must be run during a time when you are experiencing the problem, from a computer that is experiencing the problem. A trace when you are able to connect, or one from another computer, is not helpful. Therefore, you should try to connect to your site again just before you run it. If the problem is no longer occurring, you will have to wait until the next time the problem occurs before running your trace route.

In Windows 98 or ME, Go to “Start” > “Run”. Type “command” and press the “Enter” key.
In Windows 2000 or XP, go to “Start” > “Run” and type “cmd” and press the “Enter” key.

This will bring up a ‘command prompt” window. It have a line that looks like this:
C:\Documents and Settings\yourname> _   with a cursor blinking next to the “>” symbol.

To run the traceroute type “tracert [hostname]” where the [hostname] is the name of the server that you are connection testing. This test will proceed some up to a minute or more. It will generate a list of the connection along the way and some information about the speed of the steps along the way. Then you would send us the complete results (every line) for analysis.

If you have difficulty copying the traceroute information, or if it runs off the screen, you can instead type
“tracert > C:\trace1.txt”.

This would write the command results to a text file named trace1.txt in the root of your C: drive.

If you have OS X, you can use the built-in network tools. Double-click the Hard Drive icon > Applications folder > Utilities folder > Network Utility program. Select the Traceroute tab and enter the hostname.

If you have an older Macintosh, you may need to acquire third party software utility software. Go to and do a search for “Trace” on “Macintosh”. Programs like the ‘DNS Expert Professional’ will allow you to run a “trace route”.

Please note that “[hostname]” should be replaced with whatever site is not working for you.  If you cannot access your e-mail server, you would actually be running a tracert to

If you are having trouble accessing our website, the tracert be to the website’s URL address. Please also note that even if the problem seems to occur at your host, it may actually be a problem at your ISP.

If you like, you can run a secondary traceroute, for your own information, by going to

I hope this helps. 🙂


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