Step 1 Find a Target
To find out what’s getting in the way of whatever you were trying to do, you need to identify the final destination, or target.
A target can be a DNS name (www.google.com) or IP address (192.168.0.1), depending on the configuration of the endpoint you’re trying to reach. The most important thing is making sure you have the right target for a trace.
General Internet Problems
Finding a target for your average internet outage is easy. Since you can’t connect to anything in the outside world, you can trace to just about any external target and get useful results.
The URL of a favorite, reliable website (like www.pingplotter.com), makes for a great target when trying to solve general issues.
Specific Service Problems
Finding the right target for a specific connection issue takes a bit more work. Imagine playing a round of Fortnite when you start to experience bad lag. You might think, “Fortnite is laggy, so I’ll just trace to Fortnite.com,” but that won’t actually tell you what you need to know. Often, you need to find an address for the server related to the service or program.
To find that address, you’ll need to do some sleuthing. Often, searching “[service] server ip address” will get what you need. If you are struggling to Google your way to an address, you can contact the service’s customer support and tell them “I need an IP address for a traceroute due to [thing driving you bonkers].” In addition to the address, they might even give you some advice on the problem itself that can speed up troubleshooting.
To make finding a target easier, the networking wizards at PingPlotter have collected a number of resources for some of the most popular programs and services out there:
Now that you’ve got a target, it’s time to fire up PingPlotter.