My ISP is owned by a company that resides in our neighboring country. I have noticed that when I do a traceroute to a server that I know is placed in the same country as I live, I can see some hops go through some servers with IP addresses registered in my neighboring country (according to RIPE database).

But I have heard that even if the IP is registered in another country, it necessarily does not mean that the traffic is really routed abroad to servers in that country.

How does that work in practice? How can I figure out which way my traffic really takes if I cannot trust traceroute?

  • packages can travel though unusual hops. you wouldnt know the cause and it may be temporary. Apr 5, 2015 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


Every ISP connects to more than one exchange point. Those exchange points are like crossroads that let the traffic jump from one network to another.

Whenever an ISP establish a connection to an exchange point, it means:

  • Infrastructure (routers, point-to-point links, AC Power, backup systems)
  • More employees (24/7 technical support)

At last, the ISP will be expending money on high speed point-to-point connections, technical suppport contracts from vendors, software licenses, technical people salaries,etc.

If the ISP has premises in the neighboring country is easier and cheaper to route all traffic to their equipments on the neighboring country and from there route it to the destination through the exchange points.

With actual networking speeds they can do that and customers don't notice it in terms of how fast the webpage loads.


You can’t. Well, you could contact the IP owner and ask about it, but they aren’t obliged to answer.

Depending on how you and other services in the same country (or even neighborhood) are connected to the internet, traffic may take extensive detours. That’s because it has to travel on your ISP’s network until it reaches an appropriate exchange point. Depending on whether this exchange connects directly to the destination ISP, it may have to travel through additional exchanges. These exchanges may or may not be in the same country.

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