When you are attempting to troubleshoot slow response times between two networks, it is critical to understand how each hop along the path is performing rather than just monitoring the performance of the local network. The tracert utility extends the functionality of ping; rather than simply reporting whether a remote host is reachable or not, tracert will display the hostname or IP address of each host along the route.
Beginning in Windows 2000, Microsoft's TCP/IP implementation has included the pathping utility to assist with this. This command combines the features of ping and tracert into a single command, sending packets to each router on the path to the remote computer and displaying performance statistics for both the router and the links. This command will help you determine which routers or links are creating network issues by illustrating the degree of packet loss at each step.
■Note It's important to keep in mind that all three of these utilities depend on the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) to function; if ICMP is being blocked by any firewall or router between you and the remote host, these tools can fail even if the host and the route to that host are functioning perfectly.
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