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How to Test for a Bad Router on the Internet

by Jason ArtmanUpdated September 28, 2017

Many routers exist between your computer and the websites that you visit online. If one of these routers has a problem, your access to websites may be slow, impaired or nonexistent. The Windows "Tracert" command allows you to check every router on the route between your computer and a given website. Use this command to check for a bad router on the Internet when you are having trouble reaching a website.

Press the Windows logo and "R" keys simultaneously. Type "Command" into the box and press "Enter" to launch the command prompt.

Type "tracert www.example.com" and press "Enter." (Substitute "www.example.com" for the name of the website that you are having difficulty reaching.) Your computer will send a "ping" to each router or server along the path between your computer and the destination website. If the router receives the ping, it will reply and Windows will record the amount of time elapsed in milliseconds.

Examine the results of the "Tracert" command to determine the possible cause of the problem. If the process completes and a reply is received from the destination website but you are unable to view the site in a Web browser, your computer may have a problem. However, if the command receives no replies, intermittent replies or extremely high ping times from a particular address, the router at that address may have a problem.

Browse to the Arin Whois Database Search if you are able to browse the Internet. Enter the address of the router that showed a possible problem in the Tracert results. If the address was not shown in the Tracert, enter the address shown before it. Click "Submit Query" to determine the owner of that router. If the owner is your Internet service provider (ISP), call your ISP's support phone number and give them the address of the faulty router for further research. If the address does not belong to your ISP, it may be necessary to wait for the problem to be resolved by the owner of the faulty router.

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