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Troubleshoot your network with a new free tool – Traceroute NG

Level 12

We are happy to announce the release of SolarWinds® Traceroute NG, a standalone free tool that finds network paths and measures their performance.

The original traceroute is one of the world’s most popular network troubleshooting tools but it works poorly in today’s networks. You can read about its shortfalls in this whitepaper.

SolarWinds® fixed these shortfalls with NetPath, a feature of NPM.  People love NetPath but there are two problems.  First, NetPath takes a couple minutes to find all possible paths in complex networks, much longer than a quick tool like traditional traceroute. Second, most people don’t own SolarWinds® NPM and so don’t have access to NetPath.

Traceroute is too important of a tool to allow it to languish.  That’s why we’ve taken what we’ve learned with NetPath and fixed traceroute.  We call it Traceroute NG.

Traceroute NG is a super fast way to get accurate performance results for a network path in a text format that’s easy to share.

Compared to traceroute, TracerouteNG is:

  • Super-fast
  • Rarely blocked by firewalls
  • More accurate, thanks to path control
  • Updates latency/loss continuously
  • Detects path changes
  • TCP or ICMP

1.png

You can download Traceroute NG here and launch the tool by double-clicking the traceng.exe.

You’ll be presented with a help screen and the application will wait for your input. Type the domain name to start a trace.

2.png

You can also launch the free tool from Windows command prompt:

traceng www.google.com

Let’s look at some results.

Scenario 1: Endpoint is blocking TCP port

We all know that HTTP uses TCP 80 by default. What would traceroute show you if someone blocks that port on a firewall or webserver?

3.png

All good, it’s not the network. You know it’s not your issue. But what is the issue?  That’s where Traceroute NG will help:

4.png

Traceroute NG can mimic TCP application traffic, so packets are treated as the application traffic is. In this case it detected that port TCP 80 on the destination webserver is closed. You know, it’s not the network. But you can be more precise and tell your sysadmin to enable this port on his webserver.

Scenario #2: Network path change

To illustrate this scenario, I have created a simple network using GNS3.

  5.png

I also have a loopback adapter configured, to point all IPv6 traffic to this lab:

6.png

I’d like to trace from my machine in Cloud1 to the PC (fc90::3). If the OSPF routing works, I should go through routers R1, R7 and R3. Traceroute confirms:

6a.png

Traceroute NG as well:

7.png

What if I do maintenance on router R7? Will traceroute tell me, when router R7 becomes unavailable and detect the new path? No. It runs once and then you need to run it again. Manually.

With Traceroute NG, detecting a change is simple. You can tell Traceroute NG to warn you if the path changes and optionally log the output. An example command would be: -a warn -l -p 23 fc90::3

And this is the result:

8.png

So you know that your router is down and once you hit enter, Traceroute NG will show you the new path. In the GNS3 lab we expect the new path will go through R1, R5, R2 and R3. Traceroute NG confirms:

9.png

And the log file as well, showing you original path and the new path:

10.png

In this use case, we have leveraged several features of Traceroute NG. First, it runs continuously. Second, it detects, when a path is no longer available. Third, it can log results in a text format, that’s easy to share.

Now, enough boring reading, it’s time to try it out! You can download Traceroute NG here: https://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools/traceroute-ng/

We’re super excited to share this tool with the world and hope you find it useful.  Let us know your thoughts!

24 Comments
Level 17

Awesome!!! New tools are always great, but this one is SCHWEET!

Level 10

Great free tool release! Looking forward to seeing our users enjoy this and make the most of it. 

Level 9

Its one of the good tool but need to add one more option like trace to multiple domain at a time, for new trace again .exe needs to execute.

Level 13

Great tool  Thanks

Level 11

milan.hulik

Is it working for UDP as well? How can i detect issue with port 161?

/MSARKAR

Level 12

Hi MSARKAR,

nope, just TCP and ICMP.

Milan

Level 9

Great tool and already used it to find the root cause of an issue that was otherwise hard to detect.

Level 9

Is it possible to check for TLS protocols with this tool?

Level 12

I'd use nmap to check TLS. Here's an example, how you can use it against VNC server: nmap -sV --script ssl-enum-ciphers -p 5901 <host>

Level 12

Does anyone know where the logs are written to when you use the logging switch?  I cant find the log file anywhere.

Also FYI the help file is not very detailed.  I think you need a Ctrl + Q to quit a session while its running. 

Level 11

@johnny ringo

Logs are written into the folder from where you run traceng. Logfile name will be like this "Tracing results 11-14-15 10.05.2018"

/msarkar

Level 12

thanks,  I think my A/V may be blocking some of this program from running as Its not generating these for me.  ill look into this.

Level 12

so I was never able to determine why this app continues to crash when I attempt to run it.  No install logs files were generated when I tried o install the program.  Checked the even logs and nthing there.

If some more documentation is created, or tech support starts helping with this tool I would be interested.  We are very interested in using this tool but cant get it to run at present.

Level 12

can you send a few screenshots from the crash and steps to reproduce to my email? milan.hulik@solarwinds.com

Level 9

Thanks for sharing

MVP
MVP

i finally got around to testing ... really like the tool.. thanks for sharing!!

Level 7

Hello, I need help installing this tool When I click the exe file , a cmd just pop-up quickly.Thanks guys.

Level 7

Hi Cahunt, can you pls help to install this tool?Thanks.

Level 12

Hi Ritchell,

try uninstalling WinPcap and 2013 VC redistributable x86. Then launch the traceng.exe file, which will install these dependencies again. Then reboot and then let me know, whether it helped. If not, I'll schedule a webex call with you to troubleshoot.

Milan

Level 7

Thank you for your reply Milan,I will try it later. I have wireshark installed in the computer,do you think that’s the one that caused the issue?

Ritchell

Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

Level 17

Where you able to get the tool installed?

Level 12

Could be some sort of fight between npcap and winpcap. If my previous advice does not work, try removing npcap.

Level 7

It worked!Thanks a lot!

Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

Level 12

Will not install on Win10 Home with Npcap 0.995 installed.

Please convert this product to use Npcap. WinPcap's days are over, at least according the the Nmap folks:

Npcap vs WinPcap