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I've been having network issues and I noticed that my traceroutes were looking a bit weird considering I'm connected directly to my modem, which goes straight to the cable.

Tracing route to www.google.com [173.194.219.104]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.50.1
  2     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  3    11 ms     8 ms     9 ms  192.168.224.230
  4    16 ms    13 ms    12 ms  192.168.214.1
  5    13 ms    10 ms    10 ms  192.168.22.41
  6    11 ms    11 ms     9 ms  192.168.15.18
  7   189 ms   198 ms   196 ms  72.14.211.5
  8   133 ms   161 ms   131 ms  72.14.232.86
  9   137 ms   137 ms   135 ms  216.239.41.37
 10   143 ms   141 ms   139 ms  64.233.174.9
 11   136 ms   137 ms   137 ms  72.14.239.64
 12   203 ms   197 ms   180 ms  209.85.143.193
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 14   135 ms   138 ms   135 ms  ya-in-f104.1e100.net [173.194.219.104]

Is it normal for the first hops to look like that? The setup is literally my computer connected to the modem which goes to the post.

Thanks.

  • What sort of network issues have you been having? This tracert is not normal, there are several peculiarities, but they are not necessarily indicative of a problem. – Marcks Thomas Jun 12 '15 at 17:49
  • I'm having latency issues on a couple of games, and a couple of streaming sites don't really work at all. – hiddencat Jun 12 '15 at 18:10
  • "I'm having latency issues on a couple of games" tracerts to the game servers would be more interesting. Note also that pathping gives more useful results. However neither tracert or pathping diagnose the reverse route which could be where the problem lies. The forward route and the reverse route may be (and often are) completely different ("Asymmetric"). – DavidPostill Jun 12 '15 at 18:16
  • A Loose Source Route tracert -j can be used to see the reverse route. Unfortunately, source routing has a great potential for abuse, and therefore most network administrators block all source-routed packets at their border routers. So, in practice, Loose Source Routes aren't going to work. – DavidPostill Jun 12 '15 at 18:18
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    Yeah I pathpinged to the specific server I was having particular issues with (Blizzard) and they asked me if I was trying to connect from a school or an office, because of the local hops. They also told me that one of the hops was having a particularly high % of packet loss and that I should ask my ISP, but I phoned them and their answer was "yeah this is normal" but no actual answer was given. – hiddencat Jun 12 '15 at 18:19
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You have not stated which protocol you are using to compile this traceroute, which makes its interpretation difficult.

If, as I suspect, you are using ICMP or UDP, then it is indeed normal. The two anomalies you see (two sites not replying, and one major leap in travel time, at step 7 where it passes from a few milliseconds to 196msec) are all easily explainable.

ICMP packets are often dropped by firewalls altogether (hence the lack of two replies), or are given lower priorities by busy servers with respect to TCP/UDP traffic (hence the big leap in travel time in the first Google server you encounter at step 7).

If instead you were using TCP probes, neither anomaly could be easily understood, because the protocol demands a reply, and the number of nodes that will drop a SYN packet is indeed very small.

So, in order to get a clearer picture of your situation, I suggest that you use TCP probes, and an instrument like mtr, which keeps sending probes every second (you may change this) to allow you to circumvent the (possible) occasional loss of packets, giving you a faithful representation of your connection.

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Is this tracert normal?

Yes, it is normal.

 *        *        *     Request timed out.

Indicates that the target system (which may be a router at an intermediate hop, or the final destination) could not be reached.

More accurately, it means that the packets could not make it there and back; they may actually be reaching the target system but encountering problems on the return trip.

This is possibly due to some kind of problem, but it may also be an intentional block.

For security reasons, some routers do not allow you to Ping them (ICMP is disabled due to a firewall or other security measures).

Traceroute will carry on unless all (three) sent packets are lost more than twice, then the connection is lost and the route cannot be evaluated.

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    But why are there four 192.168.. hops if it's a computer connected directly to a modem? – gronostaj Jun 12 '15 at 17:54
  • They are addresses assigned to equipment belonging to your ISP and is on their network. What is unusual is that most of the rest of hops are addresses belonging to Google ... is Google your ISP? – DavidPostill Jun 12 '15 at 18:00
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    I wouldn't say it's normal to see private block IPs in a traceroute, outside of your LAN. It doesn't surprise me that OP is concerned, the timeout isn't the only peculiarity of this traceroute. – gronostaj Jun 12 '15 at 18:07
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    Yeah I was actually more thrown off by the multiple privates rather than the time out. – hiddencat Jun 12 '15 at 18:09

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