Traceroute is a computer network diagnostic tool that, as the name implies, traces the route packets of data take from the machine the command is executed on to the remote host. Traceroute offers a more granular look at the path the packets are taking than the Ping command, as it reports the length of each leg of the journey as the packets pass through different nodes on the network. By contrast, the Ping command only reports the length of the total trip. While both tools are effective for establishing whether or not a remote host is reachable, Traceroute will show you where the path from the host to remote machine is slowest (or breaks down entirely).
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 08/7/13