PathPing : the forgotten latency tool

One of the biggest network troubleshooting questions has to be “why is my site loading so slow?” (and other related latency questions). A very useful and underutilised tool is built right into the windows OS. This tool is a relative of traceroute and uses ICMP to calculate the latency introduced at different hops along the traffic path. It’s not the silver bullet for troubleshooting and identifying latency issues purely because it is ICMP based, but it would at least give a rough indication of what may be affecting the latency. For example, this is the output when i use pathping against google.com:

pathping

Notice how the largest increase in round trip time is between hops 7 and 8. Nothing much we can do here, but at least it shows that there is very little delay introduced between the gateway and ISP, meaning it probably is not our Local Network causing latency issues.

There’s valuable information included in the output, this being mainly packet loss along individual links.

Bring back pathping into latency troubleshooting, it is a great accompanying tool to wireshark to help pinpoint where within a capture to focus on.