There are any number of reasons why one would want to trace the route between where you are and the IP Address or URL of another server, including for security analysis, performance analysis or planning purposes.
A number of applications and services on the Web will enable this function, and Vtrace, a free download from the Apple iTunes App Store, performs this task quickly and with a nice, graphical user interface.
The app was developed by Vlad Alexa, and is straightforward. It lets you enter the IP Address of another server or node, or the URL of a site, and Vtrace will log the IP address of every gateway between the points and plot each of them on a Google map with the standard map pin. Click the pin, and you’ll be directed to a Web site for further information.
We tested this out on a number of different sites, including Microsoft.com, and Vtrace not only provided us with a Google map plotting the route from our location to Microsoft’s servers, but provided us information on all the other URLs that pointed to the Microsoft.com site.
If you run a Web site or Web service that’s experiencing latency, this will, for example, give you the chance to see if your route is running through a location that is handling a natural disaster or other stress – so you may consider other potential hosting options.
It’s a decent free app with a utility some will find quite handy.
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