The TraceRoute program (Tracert.exe in Windows 98) is used to trace the route taken by datagrams to their destination. Computers configured with the Domain Name Service (DNS) can derive cities, regions and carriers from this programís responses.

The first datagram sent by TraceRoute has a Time To Live (TTL) of 1, hence it expires at the first router which sends a time exceeded message back to the source which includes the routers Internet Protocol (IP) address. TraceRoute then sends a second datagram with TTL = 2 which expires at the second router, giving this routers IP address and so on until either the destination or a maximum number of routers is reached.

Use either

tracert <IP address>


tracert <Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

TraceRoute does not define the specific path taken to a remote destination; it uses a random possible path. It is most useful when all paths go through some common nodes; in these cases it can find whether these nodes are working or not.

Tracert.exe is located in the Windows directory on a Windows 98 computer.