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Standard User StephenTodd
(experienced) Thu 30-Oct-14 10:44:01
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ping vs tracert oddity


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I have recently noticed odd results on tracert tests. Pings are still good, but tracert values are all over the place. I know some servers are a little slow on tracert response, but not the pattern as below. I used to see and would expect all the first line of the tracert to show 1ms, and the second line to be a fairly constant value around 12ms. No significant other traffic as far as I am aware, and anyway if there were I would expect it to impact ping as well as tracert. I have rebooted the router (HH3B).

I'm not too worried as everything seems to be working well, just curious as to what the reason might be.

Tracing route to bbc.co.uk [212.58.246.104]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     6 ms    13 ms  BTHomeHub.home [192.168.1.254]
  2    14 ms    30 ms    29 ms  lo0-central10.pcl-ag03.plus.net [195.166.128.184]
  3    14 ms    28 ms    29 ms  link-a-central10.pcl-gw01.plus.net [212.159.2.168]
  4    59 ms    31 ms    29 ms  xe-10-2-0.pcl-cr01.plus.net [212.159.0.200]
  5    14 ms    29 ms    29 ms  ae1.ptw-cr01.plus.net [195.166.129.0]
  6    14 ms    29 ms    29 ms  kingston-gw.thdo.bbc.co.uk [212.58.239.6]
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8    12 ms    26 ms    29 ms  ae0.er02.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk [132.185.254.90]
  9    14 ms    29 ms    29 ms  132.185.255.165
 10    14 ms    29 ms    29 ms  fmt-vip133.cwwtf.bbc.co.uk [212.58.246.104]

Trace complete.

C:\utils>ping bbc.co.uk

Pinging bbc.co.uk [212.58.246.104] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.58.246.104: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=55
Reply from 212.58.246.104: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=55
Reply from 212.58.246.104: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=55
Reply from 212.58.246.104: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=55

Ping statistics for 212.58.246.104:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 12ms, Maximum = 15ms, Average = 14ms


--
Recently moved from BT Infinity 2 to PlusNet. Very happy so far.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 30-Oct-14 11:01:54
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity


[re: StephenTodd] [link to this post]
 
Wired or wireless? The first hop is computer to router. Given the madness there the rest isn't worth investigating until you get the 1ms you expect.

If it's wired, did you take the PN router as a spare? If you did try that. (Remember it can take a while to self-configure).

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
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Standard User StephenTodd
(experienced) Thu 30-Oct-14 11:08:36
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the answer. Yes, wired. I agree the first line is the one to sort out first. Still odd it doesn't impact pings and real traffic.

I'll try the Plusnet router in a few days ~ too busy right now with exhibitions starting in Dundee tomorrow and Goldsmiths on Monday.

--
Recently moved from BT Infinity 2 to PlusNet. Very happy so far.


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Standard User driz
(regular) Thu 30-Oct-14 11:51:37
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity


[re: StephenTodd] [link to this post]
 
Your traceroute looks sort of roughly clamped to around 70hz? eg 1/70 is 14ms, 2/70 is 29ms - with only a small amount of variance.

Which OS, firewall etc?
Standard User bsdnazz
(learned) Thu 30-Oct-14 19:00:27
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity


[re: driz] [link to this post]
 
The ping and traceroute programs are typically used together but they work differently and actually measure different things.

ping measure the time for a ICMP echo request packet to get to its target IP and for the reply to be returned. As such it's typically processed by hosts, servers and routers as quite an important activity. Wikipedia Ping Entry

traceroute works by sending out packets send sending packets with an increasing hop limit and when the hop limit is reached reporting on the error packet received back by the host, server or router. These tend to be processed as a lower priority activity and thus can take longer than a ping. Wikipedia traceroute Entry

Some routers process packets that have reached their hop limit in software and can take are while to respond. The result is that the response times in a traceroute can vary and across a route go up and down. Intermediate routers may not respond when the hop limit is reached leading to * * * being displayed. etc...
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 30-Oct-14 19:04:36
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity


[re: bsdnazz] [link to this post]
 
What is a little bit strange is that 29ms is very consistent and also the first hop is high (though apparently the BT HH does that, why on earth why!?). I am not sure I have an explination as to why every single hop after the 1st is showing 29ms most of the time.

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Standard User StephenTodd
(experienced) Thu 30-Oct-14 22:33:09
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity ~ RESOLVED: NetBalancer


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
Using Windows 8.1 with Windows AV and Firewall. It was behaving sensibly with exactly the same combination earlier. But that approximate sync to 1/70 is interesting. The frequenc appearance of 29ms also interesting. (Frequent appearance of 30

I know that ping and tracert measure different things and that there are often delays to tracert responses from some servers. However, the pattern irregularities you see from that is different from the pattern I am seeing here.

I've just checked from another computer (also Win 8.1) and it is showing sensible ping and tracert values. So that narrows it down to this computer. Turning off Windows Firewall or Windows Defender AV didn't make any difference.

Thanks for the suggestions: RESOLVED It was Serious Bit NetBalancer wot done it. I was only using it to monitor not balance. Turned it off except for when I really need it, though I don't think it was actually doing much real harm.

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Recently moved from BT Infinity 2 to PlusNet. Very happy so far.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 31-Oct-14 17:39:32
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Re: ping vs tracert oddity ~ RESOLVED: NetBalancer


[re: StephenTodd] [link to this post]
 
Seriously - well done for getting to the bottom of this in a sensible manner, i.e., using a 2nd computer to test, and then drawing an obvious conclusion it was the PC and then also starting at the obvious place i.e., security-type software which may be doing something funny with the low-level networking. A lot (not aimed at anyone here in particular) would have been moaning and asking for advice for weeks on end and not bothered to do some logical ruling out.

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