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in order to measure aprroximately the rouitng distance (to see if a server is close to my country or too far away) I usually use ping command.

I'm in Italy,

  • when I ping Italian servers I get 36ms
  • when I ping US EAST servers I get an average of 120ms
  • when I ping US WEST servers I get an average of 200ms
  • etc.

Unfortunately some web hosters turn off the ping reply on their servers, so my question is how do I detect the routing distance, is there another easy to use command in Windows to accomplish the same task?


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And you need this information why? The more people that ping for no reason, especially in programs, the more people are going to turn off ICMP. – dbasnett May 18 '10 at 13:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try tracert. Or "traceroute" for non-windows users. It will tell you every server the ping has to pass through to get to your destination.

A count of the number of hops is a good metric for how much latency you're going to have, and it will also tell you how much latency is being added by specific hops.

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Thanks, actually for the server where the ping is disabled I get dozens of "Request timed out" hops with tracert, but I think I can use the ms value of the last available hop. It makes sense, ping was still more quick, pity they disabled it. – Marco Demaio May 17 '10 at 18:48
No it won't. It only tell you about ICMP packets. It is not unusual for ICMP to be given low priority in routers. It would also not be a surprise if ICMP was routed differently i.e. cheapest route as opposed to best / fastest. – dbasnett May 18 '10 at 15:00
@dbasnett: Thank you Captain Pedantic. Perhaps there is some other method you would suggest for determining the information he needs? The whole purpose of ICMP packets is to determine this exact sort of information. – Satanicpuppy May 18 '10 at 19:35
Needs? What can the OP, or anyone else for that matter, do with the information? All I was attempting to do is point out that the exercise is futile. What do you think you can do with the information? And the information you gather using ICMP is good for that instant in time, period, and is only reflective of ICMP. Drawing a conclusion of how TCP/UDP traffic will be handled based on that is flawed. If there is a target on a barn, and you hitting the barn is all that is important, then yes I was Captain Pedantic. If actually hitting the target was important then I know some names that fit – dbasnett May 19 '10 at 0:06

for linux its "tracepath"

for windows its "tracert"

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MRT on Unix, or WinMTR on windows combines traceroute with ping. It can give you worst/best/average times for each step of the way.

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