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Using pathping to diagnose Internet packet delays.

If you're having delays in the route to some destination on the Internet, or, perhaps, some location that you're accessing over your corporate WAN, you can use the pathping command to attempt to see where the problem is. Windows 2000 introduced this new utility, which combines some of the functionality of both the PING and TRACERT commands. PATHPING sends packets to every router on a path over time, and then analyzes the results over time from each hop.

The syntax of the command is:

pathping [-n] [-h maximum_hops] [-g host-list] [-p period] [-q num_queries] [-w timeout] [-T] [-R] target_name

For an explanation of each of these options, simply type PATHPING at the command prompt in Windows 2000 or XP. If you just type pathping such as pathping, the output will show the hops you go through to get to that IP address, and then will send IP packets to that destination for a set period of time and analyze the results of those packets.

PATHPING is useful because it allows you to figure out the amount of loss that occurs at any router and along any link. So you can use this information to figure out where your routing problems may be occurring.

Barrie Sosinsky ([email protected])is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.

This was last published in July 2002

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