If you are having difficulty getting to a particular website, but other websites are working fine then the best way to diagnose the problem is to use a tool called “traceroute”. This tool exists as a command line program on Windows, Linux and Mac’s but for the average user they may find that a bit too complicated, and so in this post I’m going to show an easier way.
Essentially what it does is attempt to send a packet of information from your machine to a web server somewhere else in the world, and then it analyses the path that the packet takes as it moves around the Internet. By looking at the results of this path, you can see where the packet is stopping and therefore which link in the chain is not working.
So, in order to run a traceroute do the following:
1) Visit this site: http://www.mapulator.com/
2) Type the website domain you are trying to connect to as the target host (e.g. pyrosoft.co.uk)
3) Select run from: Your PC
4) Press Trace
This will run a traceroute from your computer to the target website, which can help a techy identify the problem. Once the traceroute is complete, click the “Raw Traceroute” tab in the results section and copy and paste this into an e-mail to your ISP. The results should look something like:
traceroute -n -m 30 -w 5 google.co.uk 1 18.104.22.168 0.455 ms 2.040 ms 0.208 ms 2 22.214.171.124 2.157 ms 2.238 ms 2.298 ms 3 126.96.36.199 2.840 ms 2.680 ms 3.046 ms 4 188.8.131.52 2.789 ms 2.932 ms 2.843 ms 5 184.108.40.206 3.235 ms 3.169 ms 3.209 ms 6 220.127.116.11 13.733 ms 13.821 ms 13.777 ms 7 18.104.22.168 13.830 ms 14.144 ms 13.885 ms 8 22.214.171.124 18.026 ms 126.96.36.199 16.810 ms 188.8.131.52 19.519 ms 9 184.108.40.206 14.270 ms 14.506 ms 14.266 ms
The tool is particularly handy in that it also shows you a visual representation on a Google map of all the hops involved. This is roughly the physical path that your data takes as it passes from your PC to the target website.