Not sure if this is the right place for this post, so please move if it need be.
I am getting really confused with ping and traceroute. In laymans terms what is the difference. I understand the basics, but I am in a class and supposed to download ping software. I have downloaded several but it looks like it is giving me traceroute results (hops).
Ping (DOS: ping <server IP/DNS> ) will send out a packet (typically 32bytes of data) and give you feedback on the approximate round trip time between your machine and the server that you were pinging. You ping the server and the server pongs back! Ping will give you round-trip time and tell you if any packets were lost.
Traceroute (DOS: tracert <server IP/DNS> ) will trace the path of a packet to a server over a maximum number of hops (as the packet finds it's way to the server in question, it passes through a number of routers, DNS servers etc. Each one of these is a hop). It will tell you how much time each hop took and resolve the IP address of each machine.
I generally use DOS for this, but there are packages such as McAfee Visual Trace (formerly NeoTrace, I think) that have nice visual interfaces.
there is a traceroute site, im sure you can try adding a .com/net/org or whatever to it but the site is a network of computers around the world where netadmins can perform traceroutes to help identify any downlinks.
ping - use a program search download.com for ping ;)