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I want to send some data around the circumference of the earth from my computer and back to my computer. How do you suppose I can accomplish this?

I tried searching for something online to handle this, but I was unable to find anything!

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For what purpose? This sounds like an XY question to me... Do you simply want to introduce a delay? –  Karan May 15 '13 at 21:36
    
To determine on average how long it would take to execute such a task. Curiosity, mainly. –  Chris B May 15 '13 at 21:39
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the problem is,whether packet switching(where each packet goes a different route you can't determine beforehand),or(virtual or not) circuit switching(which is used for phone calls, where one route is established then all data flows down that route).If data has2go 360 degrees,or 350 degrees,then it's probably going to go 10 degrees instead.Perhaps if you can chain proxies together, and each each proxy is say no more than,say,degrees around the globe from the next,then likely perhaps it'll go from one to the next in a circle around the globe.But to test that you'd have to check all your proxies –  barlop May 15 '13 at 21:51
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closed as not a real question by Karan, Breakthrough, Tanner, Keltari, techie007 May 15 '13 at 22:09

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2 Answers

As far as I'm aware, it's not possible to do because there is no way for you to specify which path the packet will take. Even if that were possible, it may be hard to determine which is the right path.

The internet routing protocols are designed to always take the shortest (or least cost) route. So sending a packet to yourself is going to be very short.

But, since the aim of your experiment is to determine how long it would take to travel around the globe you could try to locate a server that is close to the opposite side of the world from where you are that can be pinged. Then, double the result and it will be give you an approximate time.

By the way, the answer you get back may very well be quite meaningless. Those numbers can change as routes change, traffic flows build up and so forth. So you may get a number that is double what you had before when you run the test later in the day.

One server that I know of that is about 1/3 of the way on the other side of the globe is one my company has. If I ping that I get

PING xx.xx.xx.133 (xx.xx.xx.133) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=1 ttl=52 time=461 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=2 ttl=52 time=447 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=3 ttl=52 time=309 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=4 ttl=52 time=153 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=5 ttl=52 time=181 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=6 ttl=52 time=149 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=7 ttl=52 time=163 ms
64 bytes from xx.xx.xx.133: icmp_req=8 ttl=52 time=153 ms
^C
--- xx.xx.xx.133 ping statistics ---
8 packets transmitted, 8 received, 0% packet loss, time 6999ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 149.988/252.410/461.149/126.491 ms

So If I multiply that by 3 I get ~756ms.

Again, it's fairly useless information because the largest link delay may be introduced between you and your internet service provider. Some ADSL can have up 100ms ping, and it's only going across town.


Just ran the test again and I got an average of 167ms to travel approximately 1/3 of the globe. Multiplying by 3 I get 501ms.

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He could get hold of proxies perhaps, and chain them together somehow, and check their logs. Each proxy, say, 40 degrees around the globe from the next, so make it most likely that it'll take the short distance route. –  barlop May 15 '13 at 21:53
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@barlop - At the IP level you still can't determine which direction the packets will take when talking between proxies. It should still be the most optimal route each proxy though so it may give "a number". –  Matt H May 15 '13 at 22:04
    
of course and my point is that if the proxies are near each other (to use an extreme example, suppose they're 3 degrees away from each other on the globe), then it's very unlikely that the optimal route is going to be 357 degrees across the globe. To determine the optimal route, distance is a consideration. When the distance is so significantly shorter in one route than another, then the longer route would have to have some super duper tech and the short route some terrible tech, for the longer distance route to be optimal. –  barlop May 15 '13 at 22:31
    
Also i'm not talking of checking a header in the packet to see the route, of course it isn't there. I'm talking of checking logs of the proxies. –  barlop May 15 '13 at 22:31
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Based on your comment, to see how long it would take...

  • circumference of earth = 40,076 km
  • speed of light = 300000 km/s
  • d=vt
  • t=40076/300000
  • t= .1335866667 seconds

According to the laws of physics, thats the minimum time it would take, if it were a straight shot... which it isnt.

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40,075.16 km rounded is 40,075. Also, i'd add, as we're talking the circumference at the equator, he should be on the equator if doing the test in practice, when doing the test, so his starting point and ending point is en route. –  barlop May 15 '13 at 22:36
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