Troubleshoot networks with the pathping command

One way of resolving network problems is by using the pathping command. This command works like a combination of ping and tracert.

The first thing you'll need to do is type pathping from the command line, like this:
pathping target
where target is either a hostname or an IP address, for example, pop3.catalog.com or

You then get a two-part report. The first part will be a list of every hop along the route to the destination, and the second part will be statistics about each hop, including the number of packets lost at each hop. It uses switches like those shown in the following example:

pathping -n -w 1000 msn.com

This command tells pathping not to resolve the IP addresses of routers, and to wait one second (1,000 milliseconds) for an Echo Reply message.

Here is a list of most important pathping switches:

  • n Does not display the hostname of each router.
  • hvalue Sets a maximum number of hops for the trace to the destination. The default is 30 hops.
  • wvalue Sets the maximum amount of time (in milliseconds) to wait for a reply.
  • p Sets the amount of time (in milliseconds) to wait before a new ping is issued. The default is 250.
  • qvalue Sets the number of ICMP Echo Request messages to transmit. The default is 100.

About the author: Rahul Shah currently works

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at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experiences deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.

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This was first published in September 2006

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