Windows Network Command Line: PathPing

If you don’t know PathPing, you are not alone. I, for one, didn’t know there is such a command that has been around in Windows for over 10 years. Well, maybe I was just too comfortable using the commands I know and am familiar with. But it’s time for something new.

PathPing, a route tracing tool that combines the features provided in Ping and Tracert with additional information that shows the degree of packet loss along the tracing route, which helps you pinpoint which routers or links might be the source of the network problems.

Here is the basic usage of PathPing, which are the same on both Windows 7 and 8.

PathPing - Usage

To perform, you cam simply type the command in Command Prompt. For example, to perform a trace to this website, you can just type PathPing nextofwindows.com. And here is what you will be getting. The number of nodes may be different, depending on which network you are on to perform this command.

PathPing - Nextofwindows

Basically, there are two parts of information here. The first part is the list of routes PathPing went through and tested, which is the same path that you can get from command Tracert. But the second part, starting from “Computing statistics…”, provides more valuable information. It gathers information from all nodes listed in the 1st part, spending 25 seconds on each node to collect and calculate the packet dropping rate. You will have to be patient if the trace covers a lot of nodes.

You may pay more attention to the two rightmost columns, This Node/Link Lost/Send and Address. Looking at the result above, those that show 0/100 or 0% means perfect, and those 100/100 or 100% means the line is probably down for the moment.

As we can tell, the advantage of using PathPing over either Ping or Tracert is that the nodes along the way are not only pinged but also being studied over an extended time period as well. So from a network troubleshooting standpoint, the information provided in PathPing could be more useful and valuable to determine whether the network is live, and if not, where the problem might be.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: Tips & Tricks
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