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When data is transferred across the internet it is split into numerous data packets of size no more than 1500 bytes and these packets reach their destination through different paths across the internet.

When we use the trace route command to trace the path of the packets, how is the path selected whose IP addresses are shown to us.

  • "When data is transferred across the internet it is split into numerous data packets of size no more than 1500 bytes and these packets reach their destination through different paths across the internet." That is a pretty distorted view of what really happens, and not very accurate. – Ron Maupin Aug 19 '19 at 12:54
  • I'm have recently started learning about computer networking so I don't deeply understand how data is transferred. I found that information of How Stuff Works website. – Shaik Mohammed Zeeshan Aug 19 '19 at 14:36
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It's not like routes changing every second, routes to various destinations are rather stable because they crossing various enterprise ISPs network infrastructures so most likely your packets will be delivered by the same way that you see it in trace route.

Addressees that you see in tracert output are routers/firewalls and other devices that can forward traffic on Layer 3. Path is selected based on the best route available now for your packet with your destination address

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  • I meant of all the different packets the data is divided whose path is shown in the terminal? – Shaik Mohammed Zeeshan Aug 19 '19 at 11:45
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    Traceroute packet isn't divided, its one packet much smaller than standard 1500 MTU so its not divided on the way – kubn2 Aug 19 '19 at 12:35
  • Oh, Now I understood. So, when we put a trace route request only one packet is sent. – Shaik Mohammed Zeeshan Aug 19 '19 at 14:33
  • Ok maybe to be more precise: when you click traceroute command then you send 1st packet with TTL 1 and first router/firewall on the way will decrese this TTL to 0 so packet will be discarded, then this layer 3 device will send information to you that this happen after you receiving this packet about discarding packet you sending another ICMP packet with TTL 2 (so +1) so now your packet will be discarded on one device further than previously. And again and again and again until you reach your destination. – kubn2 Aug 19 '19 at 14:41
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    Yeah, I got it. Thank You for explaining. – Shaik Mohammed Zeeshan Aug 19 '19 at 14:58

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