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Information Technology Help Desk

Mon -Thu: 8:00am -9:00 pm
Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm

(when classes are in session)

Exceptions for the year


Macintosh OS X Network:

Ping and Traceroute

Like Windows XP users, sometimes a Macintosh OS X user desires to troubleshoot TCP/IP connectivity using similar utilities. And like Windows XP, OS X offers both Ping and Traceroute in its Network Utility, and it is a graphical interface.

To use Ping or Traceroute, go to Finder and then Applications. Next, go to Utilities and from there, open Network Utility.

Network Utility provides the following: Info, Netstat, AppleTalk, Ping, Lookup, Traceroute, Whois, Finger, and Port Scan. However, Ping and Traceroute will be the most practical to use. NOTE: Do not use Port Scan! It may appear to be a port attack (which is traceable).

For help with other utilities, please call the JMU HelpDesk at (540) 568-3555.

Ping

Use the Ping command to ensure that there is good communication between devices using IP addresses. From Network Utility, select Ping. In the first field, you may type a network address. Next, click the Ping button.

Screenshot of Ping

Screenshot of a successful Ping



The functionality of Ping in Macintosh OS X is just like Ping in Windows XP. Ping sends a small amount of data from your machine to the destination machine or device and checks to see if the data returns. If communication is not working properly, then you will receive what is called packet loss.

Screenshot of an unsuccessful Ping

Note that sometimes, something will appear to time out even though it is actually fine. An example of this is www.microsoft.com, which times out when pinged even though the site comes up OK. Some sites restrict what data they send out, including pinging statistics.



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Traceroute

Use Traceroute command to troubleshoot TCP/IP communication issues more specifically than using Ping. From Network Utility, select Traceroute. In the field, you may type a network address. Next, click the Trace button.

Screenshot of Traceroute

The functionality of Traceroute in Macintosh OS X is just like Tracert in Windows XP. Traceroute shows the "hops" between your machine and the destination machine or device. Traceroute will number the hops from machine to machine. If an asterisk (*) appears, then there is either a failure to communicate or the destination site (if you are using traceroute on a web address) is not revealing that data. For example, if you find that pinging a web site times out, and you verify that you cannot open the page in a browser, then try traceroute. This will show you where the communication problem is occurring. Traceroute could yield information that would determine if the communication issue is within our network or outside of our network.

Note that sometimes, something will appear to time out even though it is actually fine. An example of this is www.microsoft.com, which times out after several hops, when the route is traced even though the site comes up OK. Some sites restrict what data they send out, including tracert information.



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