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Is it possible to track the path a packet takes on a switched network. When I run a traceroute I get only the router and the destination. I know for a fact, however, that the packet must pass through at least one switch and then be broadcast on a specific wireless AP.

Is it possible to retrieve which switches and AP the packet passed through?


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migrated from Mar 2 '13 at 19:35

This question came from our site for information security professionals.

So essentially you're looking to trace the mac address path as opposed to the IP layer? Here is a tool which can do it and shows you how to use it. – Peleus Mar 2 '13 at 2:53
You may have some luck searching on 'frame', as 'packet' is a term used for Layer 3 traffic (i.e. IP). If you're tracking a packet, you need to know that it may well end up repackaged in one or more frames, and repackaged again by any node along the path. – Bob Watson Mar 2 '13 at 3:16

Switches aren't included in a traceroute because they do not have an ip address. The switch is just used to pass the packet along to the correct destination. There are switches that you can enable ip address and at that time, it may modify the packet destination ip address.

With that being said, traceroute works on layer 3 and switches can be layer 2 or 3. If the switch is layer 2, it will simply forward the packet. Layer 2 is about networking with the mac address. The switch takes a packet and forwards it to the correct port base on the mac address. It does not look at any ip address.

This question has been answer on another site as well.

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I think you can visually map all the systems / network device on the path using the tool visual route. It does that effectively.

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