What target should I ping or trace?
I think my cable modem (or cable line) is bad. What's the best address to ping or trace?
The best address to use for troubleshooting is a target that is exhibiting problems when using other (not just PingPlotter) applications. If you're a gamer, and you're getting lag in your game, then you should trace to your game server. If you're a stock trader and your stock software is having
If you're having problems with all applications, then you ideally want to find the server (a provider of services, not a router) that is the closest to you that is also having problems. If you're having problems with your cable modem, these symptoms might show up when checking mail - and
Since packet loss and latency is really only important when it's seen at your final destination (game server, web server, etc), any packet loss or latency seen at intermediate routers might just be because the router doesn't like to respond to packets, but loves forwarding them. See our article on Packet loss at intermediate hops for more details.
There may be some instances where tracing to an intermediate hop gives you a better picture of the problem, but in
If you see packet loss or latency at your final destination, then look back upstream for the first hop showing similar characteristics. We discuss this technique more in our "How do I pinpoint the problem" article.