My Traceroute For Mac

Sometimes, you might have a hard time accessing certain websites, or you can’t connect to them at all. When that happens, your first instinct might be to call your internet service provider and ask them what’s causing the problem. However, you can do a little sleuthing on your computer and find out the reason for yourself. Here’s how to run a traceroute on a Mac to find out what’s slowing down your internet.

  1. My Traceroute Mac Install
  2. Traceroute Mac Ip
  3. List Of Os X Versions
  4. My Traceroute For Mac Windows 10

What Is Traceroute?

Traceroute is a command line utility for troubleshooting network connectivity issues. It’s like a map that shows you how data travels from your computer to the internet, and what stops it takes at each point.

Whenever you access a website on the internet, your data travels from your device to your router. Then that data is sent to other routers (or servers) across the world. Each time your data is sent to a new router, it is known as a hop. Running a traceroute lets you see all the hops your data makes and how long it takes between each hop. This way, you will know where your network issues are coming from.

Running a traceroute on your Mac can also tell you about your network latency. Latency is a measurement of how long it takes data to travel from your device to a website or server. If you are only concerned about network latency, check out our step-by-step guide on how to do a ping test on a Mac.

How to Run a Traceroute on a Mac

On Windows: Open Start ('Start' icon). Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the. Hi everybody I am reading about the command ' traceroute mac SRC-MAC-ADD DESTI-MAC-ADDRESS '. Unfortunately, my book did not give any example and google search did not yield any good example. I will appreciate if someone could give me an example. Thanks and have a nice weekend.

  1. Click Traceroute. Type the domain name or IP address of the final destination and click the Trace button. For help interpreting the results or to see how you can use the underlying traceroute command to fine-tune your troubleshooting, open Terminal (in Applications Utilities), then type man traceroute.
  2. Click Traceroute. Enter the domain name for which you want to perform a traceroute. For example: Click Trace. Select the results, and then right-click and select Copy or press COMMAND+C to copy the text. Paste the text into a text editor (TextEdit, etc.) and save the file. Add my email to Apple Mail.

To run a traceroute on a Mac, open the Terminal app and type traceroute followed by a space and the website or IP address you want to test. Then hit Enter on your keyboard and wait for the traceroute to be completed.

Remember to run traceroute on the computer where you’re having difficulty reaching a website at the time that it is happening. Otherwise, you will have to wait again until you run into the issue in order to effectively use traceroute.

  1. Open the Applications folder on your Mac. You can do this by clicking on the half-blue, half-gray face icon in your Dock. Then look for the Applications folder in the left sidebar of the Finder window. Or you can click anywhere on your desktop and press the Command + Shift + A keys on your keyboard at the same time.
  2. Then open the Utilities folder.
  3. Next, open the Terminal app.
  4. Then type traceroute followed by a space and then a website or IP address. For example, you can enter traceroute to test your connection with Google’s DNS servers. Or you can type traceroute or any other website to test your connection to that website.
  5. Finally, hit Enter on your keyboard and wait for the traceroute results. You will know that the traceroute is complete when you see your Mac’s name after the numbered traceroute results.

How to Read Your Traceroute Results on a Mac

To read your traceroute results, look for the round-trip times (RTTs) in each hop. If you see any hops that exceed 100 milliseconds (ms), it might indicate a network issue. You should also check for any error messages to see where your connection might be dropping off.

Traceroute results on your Mac will be divided into several rows and three columns:

  • The number of hops: The first column of your traceroute results indicate how many routers the traceroute command was able to query. The first row will likely be your local router, which usually has an IP address that starts with 192.168 or 10.0. The next few hops in the middle can include routers from smaller regional internet service providers (ISPs) or bigger Tier 1 ISPs that process the request near the source. Finally, the last row will be the destination web server.
  • Domain name: The second column indicates the URL and IP address of the router where your request passed through. Sometimes, it will include three-letter airport or geographic codes which will identify the router’s location. Other times, it will only indicate the router’s IP address.
  • Round-trip Times: Round-trip times (RTT) are indicated in the third to fifth columns. The RTT tells you how long it takes in milliseconds for your request to travel from origin to destination, then back again to its origin. RTT is an indicator of how fast and reliable your network connection is. In the traceroute results, you will see three RTTs because the traceroute command queries each hop three times to ensure accuracy in measuring the average RTT.

You might see very different RTTs for certain hops. However, you won’t need to worry unless any of them exceed 150ms. Any hops that take longer can indicate a network issue.

Also, if you see a high RTT in the first few hops, it might be caused by an issue within your local network. Get in touch with your local network administrator to confirm and fix the problem.

Common Traceroute Error Messages

If there is an issue within your network, the traceroute results will also show error commands, which include Request timed out, three asterisks (***) in RTT columns, Destination net unreachable, and more.

  • Three asterisks (* * *): This is not an issue if it occurs at the beginning or middle hops, as long as the rest of the hops are successfully completed. However, it indicates an issue if it occurs at the destination server and does not show the IP address or server name. This could occur because of a network outage, network congestion, or a firewall interrupting traffic from your router.
  • Destination net unreachable: This means a packet was dropped on the network. This might be because of misconfigured router settings or a nonexistent IP address.
  • Request Timed Out: If you see this error message in the first few hops, you can ignore it. Some routers are not configured to respond to traceroute requests. However, if it happens in the last few hops, it might be a firewall blocking the request at the destination, a problem in the return route, or a system-related connection problem.

To stop a traceroute any time, just hit the Control + C keys on your keyboard at the same time.

If you’re still experiencing internet problems, the issue might be due to your network. Check out our article on why is my WiFi so slow to find out more.

Updated on September 8, 2020

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Original author(s)Van Jacobson
Initial release1987; 33 years ago
PlatformUnix-like systems

My Traceroute Mac Install

Developer(s)Microsoft, ReactOS Contributors
PlatformWindows, ReactOS
LicenseMicrosoft Windows: Proprietarycommercial software
ReactOS: GNU General Public License

In computing, traceroute and tracert are computer network diagnostic commands for displaying possible routes (paths) and measuring transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The history of the route is recorded as the round-trip times of the packets received from each successive host (remote node) in the route (path); the sum of the mean times in each hop is a measure of the total time spent to establish the connection. Traceroute proceeds unless all (usually three) sent packets are lost more than twice; then the connection is lost and the route cannot be evaluated. Ping, on the other hand, only computes the final round-trip times from the destination point.

For Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) the tool sometimes has the name traceroute6 or tracert6.


The commandtraceroute is available on many modern operating systems. On Unix-like systems such as FreeBSD, macOS, and Linux it is available as a command line tool. Traceroute is also graphically accessible in macOS within the Network Utilities suite.

Microsoft Windows and ReactOS provide a program named tracert that performs the same route-tracing function. Windows NT-based operating systems also provide PathPing, with similar functionality. The ReactOS version was developed by Ged Murphy and is licensed under the GPL.[1]

On Unix-like operating systems, traceroute sends, by default, a sequence of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets, with destination port numbers ranging from 33434 to 33534; the implementations of traceroute shipped with Linux,[2]FreeBSD,[3]NetBSD,[4]OpenBSD,[5]DragonFly BSD,[6] and macOS include an option to use ICMP Echo Request packets (-I), or any arbitrary protocol (-P) such as UDP, TCP using TCP SYN packets, or ICMP.[7]

On Windows, tracert sends ICMP Echo Request packets, rather than the UDP packets traceroute sends by default.[8]

The time-to-live (TTL) value, also known as hop limit, is used in determining the intermediate routers being traversed towards the destination. Traceroute sends packets with TTL values that gradually increase from packet to packet, starting with TTL value of one. Routers decrement TTL values of packets by one when routing and discard packets whose TTL value has reached zero, returning the ICMP error message ICMP Time Exceeded.[7] For the first set of packets, the first router receives the packet, decrements the TTL value and drops the packet because it then has TTL value zero. The router sends an ICMP Time Exceeded message back to the source. The next set of packets are given a TTL value of two, so the first router forwards the packets, but the second router drops them and replies with ICMP Time Exceeded. Proceeding in this way, traceroute uses the returned ICMP Time Exceeded messages to build a list of routers that packets traverse, until the destination is reached and returns an ICMP Destination Unreachable message if UDP packets are being used or an ICMP Echo Reply message if ICMP Echo messages are being used.[7]

The timestamp values returned for each router along the path are the delay (latency) values, typically measured in milliseconds for each packet.

The sender expects a reply within a specified number of seconds. If a packet is not acknowledged within the expected interval, an asterisk is displayed. The Internet Protocol does not require packets to take the same route towards a particular destination, thus hosts listed might be hosts that other packets have traversed. If the host at hop #N does not reply, the hop is skipped in the output.

If a network has a firewall and operates both Windows and Unix-like systems, more than one protocol must be enabled inbound through the firewall for traceroute to work and receive replies.

My Traceroute For Mac

Some traceroute implementations use TCP packets, such as tcptraceroute and layer four traceroute (lft). PathPing is a utility introduced with Windows NT that combines ping and traceroute functionality. MTR is an enhanced version of ICMP traceroute available for Unix-like and Windows systems. The various implementations of traceroute all rely on ICMP Time Exceeded (type 11) packets being sent to the source.

On Linux, tracepath is a utility similar to traceroute, with the primary difference of not requiring superuser privileges.[9]

Cisco's implementation of traceroute also uses a sequence of UDP datagrams, each with incrementing TTL values, to an invalid port number at the remote host; by default, UDP port 33434 is used. An extended version of this command (known as the extended traceroute command) can change the destination port number used by the UDP probe messages.[10]


Router addresses can be superimposed upon maps of their physical locations. This example shows a request from New Zealand to an IP address in Massachusetts which takes a route that passes through Europe.

Most implementations include at least options to specify the number of queries to send per hop, time to wait for a response, the hop limit and port to use. Invoking traceroute with no specified options displays the list of available options, while man traceroute presents more details, including the displayed error flags. An example on Linux:

In the example above, selected options are to wait for three seconds (instead of five), send out only one query to each hop (instead of three), limit the maximum number of hops to 16 before giving up (instead of 30), with as the final host.

This can help identify incorrect routing table definitions or firewalls that may be blocking ICMP traffic, or high port UDP in Unix ping, to a site. A firewall may permit ICMP packets but not permit packets of other protocols.

Traceroute is also used by penetration testers to gather information about network infrastructure and IP ranges around a given host.

It can also be used when downloading data, and if there are multiple mirrors available for the same piece of data, each mirror can be traced to get an idea of which mirror would be the fastest to use.


The traceroute manual page states that the original traceroute program was written by Van Jacobson in 1987 from a suggestion by Steve Deering, with particularly cogent suggestions or fixes from C. Philip Wood, Tim Seaver and Ken Adelman. The author of the ping program, Mike Muuss, states on his website that traceroute was written using kernel ICMP support that he had earlier coded to enable raw ICMP sockets when he first wrote the ping program.[11]


Traceroute limitations[12] are well known and should be taken into account when using the tool. For example, traceroute does not discover paths at the router level, but at the interface level. Another limitation appears when routers do not respond to probes or when routers have a limit for ICMP responses.[13] In the presence of traffic load balancing, traceroute may indicate a path that does not actually exist; to minimize this problem there is a traceroute modification called Paris-traceroute,[14] which maintains the flow identifier of the probes to avoid load balancing.

See also[edit]

  • MTR (software) – computer software which combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool
  • netsniff-ng – a Linux networking toolkit with an autonomous system traceroute utility
  • PathPing – a Windows NT network utility that combines the functionality of ping with that of traceroute (or tracert)


Traceroute Mac Ip

  1. ^
  2. ^traceroute(8) – Linux Programmer's Manual – Administration and Privileged Commands
  3. ^traceroute(8) – FreeBSD System Manager's Manual
  4. ^traceroute(8) – NetBSD System Manager's Manual
  5. ^traceroute(8) – OpenBSD System Manager's Manual
  6. ^traceroute(8) – DragonFly BSD System Maintenance and Operation Commands Manual
  7. ^ abcComer, Douglas (2004). Computer Network and Internets with Internet Applications. Pearson Education, Inc. pp. 360–362. ISBN978-0131433519.
  8. ^'Tracert'. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  9. ^'tracepath(8) – Linux man page'. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  10. ^'Understanding the Ping and Traceroute Commands'. Cisco IOS Software Releases 12.1 Mainline. 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  11. ^The Story of the PING Program
  12. ^Ray Belleville (March 3, 2017). 'Limitations of Traceroute Explained'.
  13. ^Marchetta, P.; Montieri, A.; Persico, V.; Pescapé, A.; Cunha, Í; Katz-Bassett, E. (June 2016). 'How and how much traceroute confuses our understanding of network paths'. 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Local and Metropolitan Area Networks (LANMAN): 1–7. doi:10.1109/lanman.2016.7548847. ISBN978-1-4673-9882-4.
  14. ^'Paris Traceroute'. Retrieved 2017-06-10.

Further reading[edit]

  • Frisch, Æleen (2001). Windows 2000 Commands Pocket Reference. O'Reilly. ISBN978-0-596-00148-3.
  • Stanek, William R. (2008). Windows Command-Line Administrator's Pocket Consultant, 2nd Edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN978-0735622623.
  • Barrett, Daniel J. (2012). Macintosh Terminal Pocket Guide: Take Command of Your Mac. O'Reilly. ISBN978-1449328986.

External links[edit]

Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Guide to Windows Commands

List Of Os X Versions

  • RFC 1393: Traceroute using an IP Option Internet RFC
  • Tracert – Windows XP Command-line reference

My Traceroute For Mac Windows 10

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