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TRACEROUTE

Traceroute is not an ICMP-based network utility in the same sense that ping is. However, because traceroute uses ICMP messages to perform its functions, and for many people the next step after ping is traceroute, this is the place to discuss this utility. We’ll use traceroute heavily in Chapter 9 and throughout the rest of the book.

After ping has been used to verify that an IP address is reachable over the network, the next logical step is to determine how the packets make their way to the destination and back. In other words, we would like to trace the route from source to destination (the reverse path is normally the same). Yes, IP networks route around failures and routing tables can change, but paths are usually stable on the order of hours if not days when things are not going completely haywire. Of course, paths might also simply be asymmetric, yet stable, so it is not only path changes that are challenging for traceroute interpretation.


  

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