Issue:

A PC or Mac is having difficulties connecting to a server on its internet connection, resulting in errors and timeouts. However, the same PC works when using another internet provider. This article will guide you through using the tracert on Windows, and traceroute on macOS, command to diagnose where the connection is being blocked.

Symptoms:

  • Connection errors or timeouts when trying to reach a specific server.
  • Successful connection to the server when using a different internet provider.

Solution:

Use the tracert or traceroute command to trace the route and identify where the connection is blocked.

For Windows:

  1. Open Command Prompt:
    • Press ‘Windows Key + R’, type cmd, and press Enter.
  2. Run the ‘tracert’ Command:
    • Type the following command and press Enter:
      tracert example.com

      Replace example.com with your domain.

For Mac:

  1. Open Terminal:
    • Press ‘Command + Space’, type Terminal, and press Enter.
  2. Run the ‘traceroute’ Command:
    • Type the following command and press Enter:
      traceroute example.com

      Replace example.com with your domain.

Example Output (Windows and Mac):

Tracing route to example.com [93.184.216.34]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2    10 ms    10 ms    11 ms  203.0.113.1
  3    15 ms    15 ms    16 ms  203.0.113.5
  4    30 ms    30 ms    30 ms  203.0.113.9
  5    50 ms    50 ms    51 ms  198.51.100.1
  6    70 ms    70 ms    71 ms  198.51.100.5
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  9     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 10     *        *        *
...

Analysis:

  • Each line represents a “hop” or point in the route between your PC/Mac and the server.
  • The times (in ms) indicate the latency for each hop.
  • Asterisks (*) and “Request timed out” messages indicate points where the connection is failing or timing out.

In the example above, hops 7, 8, 9, and 10 are timing out, indicating a potential issue starting at hop 7. This information can help your internet service provider or network administrator identify and troubleshoot the connection issue.

Additional Tips:

  • Ensure you are connected to the network where the issue occurs before running tracert or traceroute.
  • Run the command multiple times to check for consistent results.
  • Provide the full tracert or traceroute output to your network administrator for detailed analysis.