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Ping Plotter

Ping Plotter is an enhanced traceroute tool published as shareware by Nessoft. (You can download a 30-day free trial; the license is a very reasonable $15.)

Ping Plotter has become my first choice for tracing - it is fast, and offers far better long-term monitoring. You select the trace interval and can let it run in the background for as long as you wish; sample sets can be stored and re-displayed. Here's a screen shot of the program running for 10 hours tracing from my Hawaii Road Runner connection to the 808hi.com server in California.

 

And here is a cut-out of a 13-hour trace to Fastclick. Notice the maximum latency - 1.422 seconds occurs between the Hawaii Road Runner (hop 7) connection to UUNet (hop 8) in Hawaii. This occurs when the ISP is oversubscribed - and doesn't have enough bandwidth to the Internet backbone. A similar, but less severe problem is evident in the inter-island bandwidth hop 4-5 - where the maximum latency hits 1.182 seconds.

What can these traces tell you? See: Understanding Traces.

 

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