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PathPing

Friday 5 March, 2004, 03:55 PM

Every time I have occasion to look at the Windows command line documentation, I seem to discover something new. Admittedly this is because I don't really look for new stuff all that often...

This year's discovery, courtesy of the help file, is a program called pathping. If you're familiar with tracert (or if you use an OS which doesn't have the odd throwback to its 8.3 filename roots, traceroute) then it's like that only more so.

Like tracert, pathping will discover the route IP traffic will currently take to from your machine to a particular target on the internet, and how long each hop takes. But while tracert just shows you three samples for the timing to each hop, pathping runs for a few minutes, and sends out a much larger number of packets - 100 per hop by default. It then displays the average performance and packet loss for each hop in the chain. Since timing and packet loss can vary quite widely, three samples often isn't enough to characterise the quality of your connectivity, so pathping can give a better picture of network health between distant machines.

Doubtless it has been in there for years, but I only just noticed it, and it happens to appeal to me for some reason.

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