This is a general question.

Will a packet loss get bigger if there are more hops (and thus more milliseconds) along the path?

Say, I ping a server1 from its default gateway R1 and get 2% packet loss.

And if I ping server1 from R10 located 10 hops away, and there are ~400ms total delay along the path, then the packet loss percentage as seen on R10 will increase proportionally? Is it that simple?

Thank you

2 Answers 2


Packet loss is primarily due to congestion in the path. If more packets are trying to use a link than the link can support, some packets will need to be dropped.

While it may happen that the more hops that are in the path, the more likely it is that you find a congested link, that is not absolutely true. You could have a path with many hops with little to no congestion on any link in the path, and a path with few hops that is heavily congested and dropping lots of packets.


No, its not that simple. Because packet loss is related to link quality and utilization, not hop count.

Another mechanism is the TTL (max. hop count) set in packets. If your target is to far away (normaly max. hop count is 30), you will receive a message from the 30th hop, that TTL is exceeded and your ping will not go any further, so you have 100% packet loss.

  • 1
    While the traceroute (and tracert) program limits the hops to 30, in actuality, the TTL on IP packets is much larger. Depending on the OS, it can be 64 or 255.
    – Ron Trunk
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 14:58
  • Yes, you are right Ron. This was just because the example is about Ping, which also sets the TTL to 30. Thank you for your advice. Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 6:13

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