With all due respect, I don't mean that tracert fails every time. I mean that when one host in the path fails to respond to a tracert it doesn't mean that that host is the problem, and if you use tracert a lot you'll see that invariably there always seems to be a host in the path that doesn't respond.
The issue here is with the connection intermittently dropping. If it were down hard than using tracert and ping would be a good choice. Ping and tracert are good triage level tools but they're not going to help discover the cause of intermittent problems. Tracert (as it's name implies) is a tool for tracing the route to a remote host, and by it's nature can tell you if a path does or does not exist. Tracert is not a diagnostic tool that can tell you why a host isn't responding or is dropping packets. The only way to glean that information is to run a network capture on both ends of the connection, and ideally if possible, on each link in the path.
If I run a constant ping and a constant tracert to a remote host and I get a failed ping response from the remote host and at the same moment see an intermediate host in the tracert stop responding, does that mean that that intermediate host is the problem? No it doesn't and there would be now way to correlate the two events unless I was running a network capture on every link in the path and could analyze the data at the packet level.
I was simply suggesting to start the troubleshhoting with the known, measurable components, which are the two hosts at either end of the connection.
I know everyone has their own opinion and my intention is not to start a war, so my apologies if anyone takes offense.