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What is MTR and how to use WinMTR

The summary - tl;dr



(M)y(T)race(r)oute - My Traceroute otherwise known as MTR basically combines traceroute and ping for an accurate reading of a network's health. This tool is extremely useful because you can measure where your packets are going before reaching the server. Packets travel between multiple datacenters (PoP) in many cases to reach their destination, sometimes these PoPs can be unstable causing packet loss on the way to the destination server. With an MTR reading we can accurately gauge where the packets went missing.

WinMTR is a third party software used for taking super easy MTR readings, like the name implies it's for Windows.
You can find the download for WinMTR Here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/winmtr/files/latest/download

How to use WinMTR


This section will go over the extremely easy process of using WinMTR to monitor your network health.

Getting Started
Visit https://sourceforge.net/projects/winmtr/files/latest/download
Simply Right Click on the .zip file and then click Extract All...
Click the Extract button
Open to the WinMTR_x64 folder
Open WinMTR.exe

It's that simple! Now all you simply need to do is put your server ip (without the port) in the Host: box then click Start
If that's a bit confusing continue to read below for a more detail explanation. We'll be using a Physgun Game Server as an example

How to easily use WinMTR (using a Physgun Game Server)
Visit https://gamecp.physgun.com and navigate to the server you wish to monitor
On the side panel click on the IP Address for your server, this will copy the IP to your clipboard
Where the IP for your server is located on the navbar
Paste the IP Address into the Host: input on WinMTR (Remove the port and the colon (e.g. 45.62.160.69 :27082 should look like 45.62.160.69))
Removing the port for the WinMTR report
Let this run, while the issue is happening, give it about a minute or until the issue stops then click Stop
Once it has stopped you'll see a bunch of information, we explain this more in depth below but if you don't care about how it works then continue on!
Click Copy Text to clipboard
Paste the text into your ticket and send it to us, we'll take care of the rest!

How to tell what's going on


We'll go over a brief explanation on how the MTR operates and what you should be looking out for

The table below represents a simplified (Win)MTR report:
HostnameNrLoss %SentRecvBestAvrgWorstLast
22.128.0.110212116193311
static.netops69.spectrum.com20212116193311
lag.netops33.spectrum.com30212116193311
xe.netops7.spectrum.com40212116193311
st.netops31.spectrum.com5522111107110113109
oct.netops69.spectrum.com60212116193311
linx.gw4.peer1.net70212116193311
oc82-so-2-3-6.nyc-telx-dis-2.peer1.net80212116193311
hosted-by.physgun.com90242116193311


A breakdown of what each column means
Hostname - Simply tells you which domain/ip the packet has hopped to
Nr - Tells you which servers the packet went to first before arriving at its destination in an incrementing order starting at 1
Loss % - Tells you the percentage of packets that never made it to the server, if a packet is lost on any of it's hops it does not ever get sent to the destination server
Sent - How many packets were sent from your computer to the destination server
Recv - How many packets that came back in response, this ideally should be equal with every packet sent.
Best - Lowest ping (in ms)
Arvg - Average ping (in ms) from best to worst
Worst - Highest ping (in ms)
Last - How long in ms it took to ping the last request

Honestly what you are looking for the most is Hostname and Loss %. If there is even 5% loss that means you're likely running into connectivity issues such as rubberbanding, timing out, etc.. basically lag.

If you notice in the example table st.netops31.spectrum.com has 52% packet loss, this means 52% of the 21 packets sent were lost. Resulting in only 11 successfully making it, this would cause serious disruption with your network connectivity. Any of these hops can have packet loss, and if any of them do that means issues will occur with your network connectivity.

That's basically it, a cool simple and easy to use nifty tool that lets you gauge why you're having connection issues with your server.

Updated on: 09/02/2024

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