If MTR is showing something like:

1.    0.0%
2.        50.0%
3.  etc

That clearly shows that the packet loss is my ISP's fault, correct?

But if I'm seeing:

1.    50.0%
2.        0.0%
3.  etc

That means it's the hop between my workstation and my router? Ie, it's my wireless card?


The packetloss at your router will probably be an overloaded router dropping packets where normally an error packet would be generated. Try increasing the interval...see if there are changes.

Beyond that the packet loss figures don't really mean anything to your connection with the destination ip.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks - rebooting my router fixed my internal network packet loss. – Jeff Ward Mar 18 '14 at 19:41

The theoretical example where your first hop has 50% loss, but your second has none is quite unlikely, though covered above... Were your WiFi link lossy to the first hop, it would remain lossy to subsequent hops.

As for assigning fault based on traceroutes: I've professionally done senior-level network operations for over a decade, with full access to switches and routers (error counts, traffic levels, cache flows -- all manners of stats and metrics -- giving me visibility well beyond what a simple traceroute could provide, yet determining where packet loss was occurring to a host on a remote network was still an inexact art, mostly because the return path from the other host was obscured: Unless I had a traceroute back to me from the remote host, I could only guess at how return traffic was getting back to my workstation. I shall suggest that beyond the first or second hop in your traceroutes, there's not much you can do (or make meaningful deductions) with ping and traceroute.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks! I basically just needed help with the "off by one" error I could potentially be making interpreting which packet loss percentage correlates with which hop. So for the first example, the packet loss is happening during the hop from my router to the next piece of ISP equipment upstream, whereas in my second example, the packet loss is happening in the hop from my workstation to my router. Is that correct? Thanks a ton! – cat pants May 6 '13 at 21:40
  • That does seem correct... Were that the case, it would look more like this: 1. 25% 2. 25% 3. 30% 4. 30% 5. 27% 6. 25% .... – Nevin Williams May 8 '13 at 20:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.