To check host reachability and network connectivity, use the ping (IP packet Internet groper function) privileged exec command. The extended ping utility is called by entering the command without any destination. This results in the utility asking a series of questions, allowing you to change the defaults.
I do not use trace to determine the path taken, but rather to identify where there is a problem in the network. Where the trace utility fails indicates a good starting point for troubleshooting a complex network.
trace is not very reliable in reflecting the routing path because path changes are not shown. The extended ping command, however, is very useful because it announces every interface that it traverses. The limitation is the maximum hops that it can report, which is nine.
It is also possible to specify a source address in the trace or ping commands (as long as it is an interface on the router). This can be useful for testing certain types of access lists, route maps, and so on.
These commands are generic to TCP/IP troubleshooting.
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