VoIP, Internet and Routes …

VoIP or Voice over IP is quite the nifty feature. Nowadays, VoIP is reaching widespread consumer awareness, being utilized in Skype and many SIP based Softphones. Many Voice Service Providers (VSPs) are offering great deals on call rates, and all you need to get is a data connection to send/receive your voice – they handle the termination to/from the PSTN.

As anyone who’s used Skype can testify, the quality and reliability of VoIP calls can differ dramatically from minute to minute. This is normally due to the network which routes your packets from you to the other party and vice versa. Packet loss causes missing voice data (as data is realtime, sent via UDP), packet jitter causes delay and increases in the buffer (which tries to smooth out the jitter). The quality of service of an internet connection really begins to matter a lot more compared to static webpage downloads where high jitter and latencies only hurt throughput and don’t make the service completely unviable.

Today, I was giving the Skype Echo Test (echo123) a test when I realized it was stuttering badly. This is the first time in the history of my Skype use that echo123 wasn’t at least decent.

To troubleshoot – the first thing to check is the Call Technical Info under the Call menu. What I noticed was a horrendous Send packet loss up to the 30% mark. That is way too much. Having recently made a change to my router, I began to suspect that it was the cause.

So I did another call, this time to +1 800 4 NEWARK – a free call in the US via Skype. If you didn’t already know, Skype is happy to terminate free-calls in many countries without any Skype-out credit. This time, packet loss was well below 1% and the call quality was excellent. So what the hell was going on here?

It’s time to take out the venerable old tools – netstat and tracert. Instead of netstat, I used Netlimiter which gave me great information about what IPs were being used during the calls.

Echo test was a call placed to 213.146.189.236. My ISP is TPG (for the record) and the tracert looked like this:

Tracing route to 213.146.189.236 over a maximum of 30 hops

  1     1 ms     1 ms     2 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    25 ms    22 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    25 ms    23 ms    28 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    25 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   164 ms   163 ms   164 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   168 ms   169 ms   169 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   170 ms   167 ms   170 ms  xe-4-2-0.GW2.SEA1.ALTER.NET [157.130.180.13]
  8   168 ms   178 ms   171 ms  0.ge-2-0-0.XL3.SEA1.ALTER.NET [152.63.105.113]
  9   186 ms   188 ms   186 ms  0.ae3.BR3.SJC7.ALTER.NET [152.63.50.5]
 10   184 ms   182 ms   185 ms  te0-2-0-5.ccr21.sjc03.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.12.169]
 11   184 ms   185 ms     *     te0-1-0-4.ccr21.sjc01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.86.93]
 12   187 ms     *      186 ms  te0-2-0-4.ccr21.sfo01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.81.145]
 13     *      232 ms   232 ms  te0-0-0-2.ccr21.mci01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.30.54]
 14   234 ms   235 ms     *     te0-3-0-2.ccr21.ord01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.2.190]
 15   247 ms     *      251 ms  te0-3-0-3.ccr21.yyz02.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.27.182]
 16   263 ms   260 ms   260 ms  te0-0-0-2.ccr22.ymq02.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.30.210]
 17   327 ms   330 ms   329 ms  te0-1-0-6.ccr22.lpl01.atlas.cogentco.com [66.28.4.22]
 18   327 ms   330 ms   329 ms  te7-1.ccr01.man01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.62.150]
 19   331 ms   333 ms     *     te1-1.ccr01.dub01.atlas.cogentco.com [130.117.3.213]
 20   330 ms     *      332 ms  te2-8.ccr01.dub03.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.56.58]
 21   332 ms   330 ms     *     149.6.4.254
 22   330 ms   332 ms   334 ms  213.146.189.236

Trace complete.

So, it might not be obvious to some of you, but this looks really bad. Normally, being accustomed to seeing tracerts which are only 14-16 hops long at the maximum, this Skype call was being handled through 22 intermediaries – one of them being my own router, three of them being TPG’s, one of TWTelecom, three from ALTERnet, and eleven from CogentCo. The echo test is terminated at Skype’s facilites which are served by Cogent as the ISP, but look at the long route it seems to take through Cogent. It’s as if it’s being routed through some back-end cities, rather than through a “dedicated” long distance link. Worse is all the asterisks which start coming in when Cogent is involved indicating tracert-ping packets getting lost in Cogent’s network. Transit congestion along the way, at the ISP which is serving your service is a terrible thing from my point of view.

Lets look at the alternative call using the SkypeOut facility. The call is placed to a server at 216.221.154.50 which takes a different, much shorter route:

Tracing route to 216.221.154.50 over a maximum of 30 hops

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    23 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    20 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5   165 ms   164 ms   165 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   190 ms   190 ms   188 ms  64-129-238-190.static.twtelecom.net [64.129.238.190]
  7   187 ms   190 ms   189 ms  64.128.212.194
  8   188 ms   185 ms   189 ms  xe-2-0-0.lax30.ip4.tinet.net [89.149.181.165]
  9   190 ms   188 ms   187 ms  216.221.154.50

Trace complete.

Lets notice that this call only involves 9 intermediaries, and the latency is close to half that of the echo test despite both IPs being within the USA. I think it’s clear that this call would be quite better based on the route involved. The difference is that this is terminated at TiNet as the ISP, and it doesn’t seem to encounter transit congestion by virtue of taking a different route.

The success and reliability of VoIP is highly dependent on timely delivery of many small packets traversing an unreliable internet. As such, the quality can never be guaranteed due to the behaviour of the intermediate routers. When congestion occurs, delays and packet drops become frequent, causing increases in jitter and thus increases in the duration of compensating jitter buffers, error concealment techniques to hide lost packets causing audio artefacts, and reduction of sample and data rate (call quality) to try and meet the constraints of the network. Unfortunately, even this is sometimes not enough, and the more redundant data is coded to try and shore up against packet loss, the more data rate the call consumes and the worse the congestion will be.

One possible solution is Quality of Service differentiation, although this is discriminatory and raises the whole net-neutrality debate – i.e. why should one packet have priority over the others / why doesn’t my packet get priority over the others / etc. Other than that, we just have to deal with the occasional bad call, and try again later.

Of course, this never happens in an old fashioned Circuit-Switched network because we pretty much are guaranteed a path and all its bandwidth to ourselves. But we pay a dear price for that luxury.

One way to get an idea of what the QoS is like to many places is to use the Pingtest service offered by Ookla. Trying it with different servers overseas will give you an idea of the round-trip time, packet loss (which should be pretty close to 0) and jitter. However, depending on the service you’re trying to connect to and the service you’re connecting from, they may take different paths.

The connection is only as strong as its weakest link. Your ISP can have an influence on this, depending on what transit-capacity they buy, and who from and whether they have any special deals with others (say, for example, through peering services). Outside that, the transits that those companies deal with will also influence the quality of service, especially if the packets have to travel over the internet over a long distance. This is why overseas VSPs tend to offer more variable quality of service than local VSPs – their packets are subject to more variables due to the greater numbers of intermediaries and likelihood of link congestion.

For example, this is a trace to UNSW Blackboard site – this travels through TPG to Equinix peering, where it “jumps” over to AARnet, throwing it over to UNSW’s CPE at the library and then straight into the data center. The link doesn’t even leave Sydney:

Tracing route to lms-blackboard.telt.unsw.edu.au [149.171.109.235]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    24 ms    26 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  6    23 ms     *       23 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  7    23 ms    26 ms    23 ms  p7575.syd.equinix.com [202.167.228.46]
  8    25 ms    24 ms    25 ms  ge-6-0-0.bb1.a.syd.aarnet.net.au [202.158.202.17]
  9    22 ms    22 ms    25 ms  tengigabitethernet2-1.er1.unsw.cpe.aarnet.net.au [202.158.205.162]
 10    24 ms    22 ms    24 ms  gw1.er1.unsw.cpe.aarnet.net.au [202.158.202.234]
 11    25 ms    25 ms    23 ms  libcr1-te-1-1.gw.unsw.edu.au [149.171.255.102]
 12    24 ms    22 ms    24 ms  libdcdnex1-po-1.gw.unsw.edu.au [149.171.255.174]
 13    24 ms    25 ms    29 ms  lms-blackboard.telt.unsw.edu.au [149.171.109.235]

Trace complete.

Are other UNSW services like this? Well, in a nutshell, no … for example, our Moodle is actually in Adelaide! This one jumps over to AARnet via Equinix.

Tracing route to unsw-mdl-prod.svc.netspot.com.au [192.160.71.185]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    24 ms    23 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    26 ms    23 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    23 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  6    23 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  7    25 ms    25 ms    24 ms  p7575.syd.equinix.com [202.167.228.46]
  8    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  ge-6-0-0.bb1.a.syd.aarnet.net.au [202.158.202.17]
  9    38 ms    36 ms    37 ms  so-2-0-0.bb1.a.mel.aarnet.net.au [202.158.194.33]
 10    49 ms    44 ms    45 ms  so-2-0-0.bb1.a.adl.aarnet.net.au [202.158.194.17]
 11    49 ms    49 ms    49 ms  gigabitethernet0.er1.adelaide.cpe.aarnet.net.au [202.158.199.245]
 12    45 ms    45 ms    45 ms  gw1.er1.adelaide.cpe.aarnet.net.au [202.158.199.250]
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 14    46 ms    45 ms    50 ms  192.160.71.185

Trace complete.

And our UNSW front page? Well that’s in Adelaide too, but this *carried* all the way to Adelaide by TPG where it hops onto PIPEnetworks peering to hit the actual server.

Tracing route to www.unsw.edu.au [202.58.60.193]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    23 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    23 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    43 ms    45 ms    45 ms  adl-sot-way-crt-1-gi-0-1-0.tpgi.com.au [220.244.137.37]
  6    45 ms    42 ms    44 ms  adl-sot-way-crt-1-gi-0-1-0.tpgi.com.au [220.244.137.37]
  7    44 ms    48 ms    43 ms  as9667.adelaide.pipenetworks.com [218.100.3.10]
  8    45 ms    45 ms    43 ms  172.16.16.190
  9    45 ms    44 ms    43 ms  202.58.60.193

Trace complete.

So, I guess the moral is – while it looks like it’s the “same service”, each server could be somewhere else entirely, and the route it takes could be quite dramatic. Although it’s fixed now – when I was on uniwide connecting back to home, the performance was terrible because the route would go via AARNet to the USA, where it’d catch a transit back to Australia to get to TPG. Strange but true!

Conversely, you might stumble upon something quite nifty – like one of my favourite computer stores – ARC Computers

Tracing route to arc.com.au [60.242.23.215]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    24 ms    24 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    20 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  5     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  6     *        *        *     Request timed out.

The trace was truncated because whatever was present after the 4th hop doesn’t send back ICMP, and the rest … I’m not convinced they exist because a Reverse DNS Lookup of their IP gives ’60-242-23-215.static.tpgi.com.au’. Now I know when I go shopping on their website, my packets aren’t even leaving TPG!

Much of the time, the paths chosen are distinctly related to cost (that is, financial cost) rather than network cost. And some of these paths seem strange from a geographical standpoint, due to the way networks are designed and where peering/interconnections take place.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of how a packet is routed once it leaves your network, and there’s no real way to force it to follow a particular path. So when you spot a congestion issue, there’s really nothing that can be done about it. Try a different service, try a different ISP maybe, but they’re just not feasible solutions for most. I guess this is the “reality” of VoIP technology that we will have to come to accept.

Lets do some more tracing …

This just for laughs – this is another long tracert – this was to a company called JA Solar (solar cell manufacturer) who have a particularly slow-to-load website here:

Tracing route to jasolar.com [119.57.16.20]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     2 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    22 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    23 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    24 ms    26 ms    23 ms  syd-pwk-dym-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.130]
  6    22 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pwk-dym-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.130]
  7   171 ms     *      183 ms  Vlan572.icore1.HK2-HongKong.as6453.net [116.0.67.33]
  8   246 ms   249 ms   250 ms  219.158.32.197
  9   245 ms   245 ms   244 ms  219.158.3.97
 10   247 ms   247 ms   247 ms  219.158.27.29
 11   247 ms   248 ms   246 ms  219.158.97.25
 12   247 ms   249 ms   247 ms  219.158.11.41
 13   273 ms   275 ms   277 ms  219.158.100.161
 14   292 ms   292 ms   287 ms  123.126.0.22
 15   296 ms   280 ms   281 ms  123.126.8.146
 16   293 ms   294 ms   294 ms  61.148.157.42
 17   306 ms   290 ms   290 ms  61.49.43.150
 18   288 ms   285 ms   287 ms  121.101.208.14
 19   289 ms   290 ms   302 ms  121.101.208.126
 20   282 ms   285 ms   283 ms  119.57.16.20

Trace complete.

TPG takes me right to AS6453 which is Globe Internet in Hong Kong (AS = Autonomous System … BGP lingo). And from there, the trail … is not particularly fast but it’s stable.

Maybe I should get some news for my morning – nerds know it’s all gonna be at Slashdot:

Tracing route to slashdot.org [216.34.181.45]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    59 ms    22 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    23 ms    23 ms    26 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    26 ms    22 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   167 ms   163 ms   164 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   167 ms   170 ms   168 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   261 ms   213 ms   264 ms  TenGigabitEthernet4-2.ar5.SEA1.gblx.net [208.50.25.141]
  8   186 ms   188 ms   185 ms  savvis-1.ar4.SJC2.gblx.net [64.208.27.50]
  9   188 ms   190 ms   190 ms  cr2-tengig0-7-3-0.sanfrancisco.savvis.net [204.70.206.57]
 10   241 ms   244 ms   244 ms  cr2-tengig-0-7-0-0.chicago.savvis.net [204.70.196.246]
 11   241 ms   238 ms   239 ms  hr2-tengigabitethernet-12-1.elkgrovech3.savvis.net [204.70.195.122]
 12   243 ms   246 ms   247 ms  das3-v3039.ch3.savvis.net [64.37.207.186]
 13   242 ms   247 ms   251 ms  64.27.160.194
 14   244 ms   245 ms   244 ms  slashdot.org [216.34.181.45]

Trace complete.

Feel like Googling something … yep. Google has a local cache here.

Tracing route to google.com.au [74.125.237.127]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    23 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    23 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    21 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt1-ge-3-1-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.33]
  6     *       24 ms    22 ms  202.7.171.18
  7     *       25 ms    24 ms  66.249.95.224
  8    26 ms    24 ms    26 ms  72.14.237.135
  9    24 ms    23 ms    23 ms  syd01s12-in-f31.1e100.net [74.125.237.127]

Trace complete.

And so does Youtube.

Tracing route to youtube-ui.l.google.com [74.125.237.100]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    21 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3     *       21 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    23 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    23 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt1-ge-3-1-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.33]
  6    24 ms    24 ms    26 ms  202.7.171.18
  7    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  66.249.95.224
  8    24 ms    25 ms    22 ms  72.14.237.135
  9    22 ms    25 ms    25 ms  syd01s12-in-f4.1e100.net [74.125.237.100]

Trace complete.

Lets do some Facebook …

Tracing route to www.facebook.com [69.171.237.16]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3   141 ms   202 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    25 ms    23 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   163 ms   163 ms   165 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   166 ms   170 ms   167 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   170 ms   169 ms   169 ms  12.118.34.9
  8   202 ms   201 ms   200 ms  cr1.st6wa.ip.att.net [12.122.146.78]
  9   203 ms   200 ms   196 ms  cr2.sffca.ip.att.net [12.122.31.194]
 10   195 ms   195 ms   199 ms  cr1.sffca.ip.att.net [12.122.3.69]
 11   196 ms   199 ms   199 ms  cr81.sj2ca.ip.att.net [12.122.1.118]
 12   330 ms   197 ms   194 ms  12.122.114.21
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 14   195 ms   195 ms   195 ms  ae0.bb01.sjc1.tfbnw.net [74.119.76.21]
 15   222 ms   220 ms   220 ms  ae16.bb01.prn1.tfbnw.net [31.13.24.254]
 16   217 ms   218 ms   216 ms  ae0.dr06.prn1.tfbnw.net [204.15.23.59]
 17   220 ms   272 ms   215 ms  po1021.csw12c.prn1.tfbnw.net [31.13.26.227]
 18   219 ms   220 ms   217 ms  www-slb-10-12-prn1.facebook.com [69.171.237.16]

Trace complete.

This one’s interesting – traverses TPG, TWTelecom, AT&T and The Facebook Network.

Lets try for some comics. XKCD, SMBC, Something of that Ilk, PHD Comics, Cyanide and Happiness …

Tracing route to xkcd.com [107.6.97.98]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    20 ms    25 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    26 ms    22 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   167 ms   162 ms   166 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   171 ms   168 ms   169 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   168 ms   170 ms   168 ms  12.118.34.9
  8   221 ms   220 ms   221 ms  cr2.st6wa.ip.att.net [12.122.146.210]
  9   222 ms   215 ms   221 ms  cr2.dvmco.ip.att.net [12.122.1.77]
 10   231 ms   221 ms   219 ms  cr2.dlstx.ip.att.net [12.122.31.89]
 11   214 ms   214 ms   217 ms  ggr6.dlstx.ip.att.net [12.122.138.113]
 12   216 ms   215 ms   215 ms  12.90.228.14
 13   214 ms   219 ms   215 ms  border2.te3-1-bbnet1.dal006.pnap.net [216.52.191.3]
 14   219 ms   218 ms   215 ms  inapvoxcust-14.border2.dal006.pnap.net [74.201.53.94]
 15   225 ms   223 ms   225 ms  0.te1-2.tsr1.dal2.us.voxel.net [107.6.99.249]
 16   214 ms   218 ms   216 ms  107.6.97.98

Trace complete.

Tracing route to smbc-comics.com [184.107.48.150]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    25 ms     *     syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    21 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5   166 ms   164 ms   176 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   181 ms   179 ms   188 ms  64-129-238-138.static.twtelecom.net [64.129.238.138]
  7   270 ms   178 ms   180 ms  te-9-4.car1.SanJose2.Level3.net [4.59.0.229]
  8   181 ms   190 ms   178 ms  vlan60.csw1.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.69.152.62]
  9   179 ms   179 ms   180 ms  ae-62-62.ebr2.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.69.153.17]
 10   206 ms   215 ms   204 ms  ae-3-3.ebr1.Denver1.Level3.net [4.69.132.58]
 11   209 ms   206 ms   205 ms  ae-1-100.ebr2.Denver1.Level3.net [4.69.151.182]
 12   231 ms   228 ms   238 ms  ae-3-3.ebr1.Chicago2.Level3.net [4.69.132.62]
 13   229 ms   229 ms   229 ms  ae-6-6.ebr1.Chicago1.Level3.net [4.69.140.189]
 14   268 ms   252 ms   249 ms  ae-10-10.car2.Montreal2.Level3.net [4.69.153.86]
 15   252 ms   249 ms   249 ms  IWEB-GROUP.car2.Montreal2.Level3.net [4.59.178.58]
 16   251 ms   248 ms   297 ms  vl693.dr4.mtl.iweb.com [67.205.127.229]
 17   250 ms   250 ms   250 ms  vl3203.dr7.mtl.iweb.com [184.107.1.38]
 18   252 ms   249 ms   250 ms  184.107.48.150

Trace complete.

Tracing route to somethingofthatilk.com [184.168.62.1]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    20 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    23 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   166 ms   165 ms   164 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   196 ms   194 ms   194 ms  phx1-ar3-xe-0-0-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.249.230]
  7   197 ms   197 ms   193 ms  206-15-85-10.static.twtelecom.net [206.15.85.10]
  8   194 ms   195 ms   199 ms  be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg [184.168.0.69]
  9   194 ms   195 ms   193 ms  be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg [184.168.0.69]
 10   195 ms   195 ms   195 ms  be100.125.trmd0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg [216.69.188.30]
 11   197 ms   197 ms   195 ms  dsmb0902-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg [97.74.255.133]
 12   195 ms   198 ms   195 ms  p3nlhg264c1264.shr.prod.phx3.secureserver.net [184.168.62.1]

Trace complete.

Tracing route to phdcomics.com [69.17.116.124]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    24 ms    26 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    25 ms   103 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    23 ms    25 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5   162 ms   165 ms   164 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   168 ms   169 ms   169 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   171 ms   168 ms   171 ms  gig1-0-0.m10.stl.megapath.net [206.81.80.22]
  8   169 ms   246 ms   170 ms  ge3-0-0.m10.stl.bb.megapath.net [155.229.101.189]
  9     *      170 ms   169 ms  155.229.120.186
 10   190 ms   194 ms   195 ms  ve191.ge0-1-0.core1.lax.megapath.net [66.80.133.18]
 11   191 ms   195 ms   192 ms  152.ge-1-3-0.sr2.sea5.speakeasy.net [69.17.82.54]
 12   191 ms   193 ms   194 ms  webhosting.speakeasy.net [69.17.116.124]

Trace complete.

Tracing route to explosm.net [64.64.11.148]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     2 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    23 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   166 ms   164 ms   164 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   187 ms   168 ms   170 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7     *        *        *     Request timed out.
  8   251 ms   247 ms   249 ms  servint.tenge10-3.br01.rst01.pccwbtn.net [63.218.125.22]
  9   247 ms   249 ms   247 ms  sc-sdv1036.servint.net [216.22.61.120]
 10   248 ms   247 ms   249 ms  critter.flashasylum.com [64.64.11.148]

Trace complete.

In that, you’ve seen pretty much a large selection of the major US transit providers show up. So far, I don’t think I’ve found one that even matches the length of the route of a Skype Echo Test call … What does that tell you?

Local News from news.com.au and SMH:

Tracing route to a1273.g.akamai.net [202.7.177.67]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  203-26-22-005.static.tpgi.com.au [203.26.22.5]
  5    21 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken-ak2-67.tpgi.com.au [202.7.177.67]

Trace complete.

Tracing route to a1040.g.akamai.net [202.7.177.72]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    22 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    23 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-3-tengi-10-2.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.217]
  5    23 ms    26 ms    23 ms  syd-sot-ken-ak2-72.tpgi.com.au [202.7.177.72]

Trace complete.

Interesting to see both guys are using Akamai CDN technology so they have a server parked locally at TPG ready to push the data out. Lightning fast speeds that way. Apple seems to have this too – however, Microsoft uses Akamai entirely differently (probably for load balance only, and no CDN, but I’m only guessing):

Tracing route to e3191.c.akamaiedge.net [23.0.109.15]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    20 ms    21 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    23 ms    24 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-3-tengi-9-1.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.153]
  5    22 ms    22 ms    22 ms  a23-0-109-15.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com [23.0.109.15]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to lb1.www.ms.akadns.net [65.55.57.27]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    22 ms    24 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5   166 ms   163 ms   166 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   169 ms   170 ms   170 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   166 ms     *      171 ms  66.192.252.14
  8   167 ms   171 ms   168 ms  ge-1-0-0-0.wst-64cb-1b.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.40.177]
  9   173 ms   173 ms   171 ms  207.46.44.3
 10   172 ms   174 ms   174 ms  10.22.8.10
 11     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 12     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
[Truncated because it didn't finish]

Maybe I’ll go for some laughs and check out 9gag and ICHC:

Tracing route to www.9gag.com [204.236.130.234]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    25 ms     *       21 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    22 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   163 ms     *      163 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   165 ms   170 ms   168 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   168 ms   169 ms   170 ms  64.132.69.202
  8   186 ms   182 ms   186 ms  snj-edge-04.inet.qwest.net [67.14.34.82]
  9   182 ms   189 ms   184 ms  65.113.42.250
 10   186 ms   186 ms   185 ms  205.251.229.153
 11   196 ms   185 ms   185 ms  72.21.222.17
 12   184 ms   184 ms   188 ms  216.182.236.106
 13     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 14     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 15     *        *        *     Request timed out.
Tracing route to ono.cheezburger.com [168.63.185.203]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    20 ms    24 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    23 ms    24 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    24 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  6    23 ms    21 ms    23 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  7   139 ms   140 ms   138 ms  ix-11-1-0-0.tcore2.TV2-Tokyo.as6453.net [116.0.88.21]
  8     *      162 ms   138 ms  if-2-2.tcore1.TV2-Tokyo.as6453.net [180.87.180.1]
  9   187 ms   192 ms   200 ms  Vlan1143.icore1.HK2-HongKong.as6453.net [180.87.180.38]
 10   188 ms   189 ms   193 ms  ix-3-1.icore1.HK2-HongKong.as6453.net [116.0.67.146]
 11   228 ms   229 ms   230 ms  ge-1-0-0-0.sin-64cbe-1a.ntwk.msn.net [207.46.41.79]
 12   218 ms   220 ms   225 ms  10.22.212.249
 13   232 ms   228 ms   230 ms  10.175.56.65
 14   213 ms   213 ms   213 ms  10.175.57.85
 15     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 16     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 17     *        *        *     Request timed out.

Hmm, something unusual is happening on the ICHC trace. TPG has sent me to Tokyo, which then pushes me to Hong Kong, which then pushes me back to the USA via msn.net. Oh how the internet works in mysterious ways.

Maybe I’ll check the weather now at Bureau of Meterology:

Tracing route to www.bom.gov.au [210.8.119.235]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    21 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    23 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-4-Ten-11-2.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.221]
  6    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-4-Ten-11-2.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.221]
  7    24 ms     *       22 ms  ve2070.rn-400harris-cer-01.pipenetworks.com [203.161.136.1]
  8    22 ms    24 ms    24 ms  ve2012.rn-639gardeners-cer-01.pipenetworks.com [121.101.138.67]
  9    24 ms    25 ms    22 ms  PE-5016775.sclarinte01.gw.aapt.com.au [203.174.177.25]
 10    23 ms    41 ms    22 ms  po7.sclardist02.aapt.net.au [202.10.14.4]
 11    22 ms    24 ms    24 ms  te2-1-110.sclardist01.aapt.net.au [202.10.12.128]
 12    26 ms    24 ms    26 ms  te4-2.sglebdist02.aapt.net.au [202.10.12.134]
 13    31 ms    25 ms    22 ms  5-1-1.sglebinte01.aapt.net.au [203.131.60.41]
 14    22 ms    25 ms    24 ms  210.87.9.42
 15    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  210.8.119.250
 16     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 17     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 18     *        *        *     Request timed out.

Well that was quite an involved process in terms of hops. TPG carries me to PIPENetworks Peering in Sydney which pulls me over to AAPT, all within Sydney or so it seems.

Lets try for a selection of NTP (time) servers just for some fun. We’ll get to see the peering in action:

Tracing route to ntp.tpg.com.au [203.12.160.2]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    22 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    25 ms    23 ms    19 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    26 ms    23 ms    23 ms  ntp1.tpgi.com.au [203.12.160.2]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to ntp.iinet.net.au [203.0.178.191]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    24 ms    20 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    22 ms    20 ms     *     syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    24 ms    23 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    24 ms    24 ms    22 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  6    23 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  7    23 ms    24 ms    24 ms  as4802.sydney.pipenetworks.com [218.100.2.69]
  8    22 ms    29 ms    26 ms  ae0.syd-mas-core1.iinet.net.au [203.215.20.111]
  9    27 ms    24 ms    24 ms  te1-4.syd-mas-bdr1.iinet.net.au [203.215.20.95]
 10    22 ms    24 ms    24 ms  te1-2.syd-mas-bdr2.iinet.net.au [203.215.20.152]
 11    25 ms    23 ms    24 ms  gi0-48.syd-mas-svc1.iinet.net.au [203.215.18.71]
 12    22 ms    23 ms    24 ms  dns.iinet.net.au [203.0.178.191]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to ntp.on.net [192.231.203.132]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    26 ms    25 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    21 ms    25 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    24 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  6    23 ms    25 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  7    24 ms    23 ms    24 ms  gig0-0-106.bdr1.syd6.internode.on.net [202.167.228.20]
  8    24 ms    23 ms    24 ms  xe-2-1-2-100.br1.syd4.on.ii.net [150.101.197.154]
  9    22 ms    23 ms    26 ms  te0-0-0.bdr1.syd7.internode.on.net [150.101.197.5]
 10    23 ms    25 ms    23 ms  gi1-2-104.cor2.syd7.internode.on.net [150.101.197.114]
 11    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  resolv.internode.on.net [192.231.203.132]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to ntp.iprimus.com.au [210.50.30.220]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    25 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    22 ms    23 ms    21 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    24 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  6    26 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  7    24 ms     *       22 ms  p9443.syd.equinix.com [202.167.228.33]
  8    23 ms    24 ms    23 ms  vl-04.sw01.syd.iprimus.net.au [203.134.67.129]
  9    23 ms    24 ms    22 ms  ntp01.syd.iprimus.net.au [210.50.30.220]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to ntp1.optus.net.au [202.139.82.244]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4     *       24 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    24 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-4-Ten-9-1.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.157]
  6    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  syd-sot-ken-crt-4-Ten-9-1.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.157]
  7    26 ms    22 ms    26 ms  ve2070.rn-400harris-cer-01.pipenetworks.com [203.161.136.1]
  8    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  ve2012.rn-639gardeners-cer-01.pipenetworks.com [121.101.138.67]
  9    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  PE-5016775.sclarinte01.gw.aapt.com.au [203.174.177.25]
 10    23 ms    25 ms    26 ms  po7.sclardist02.aapt.net.au [202.10.14.4]
 11    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  te2-1-110.sclardist01.aapt.net.au [202.10.12.128]
 12    24 ms    25 ms    24 ms  te4-2.sglebdist02.aapt.net.au [202.10.12.134]
 13    24 ms    23 ms    25 ms  po7.sglebbrdr01.aapt.net.au [202.10.14.9]
 14    25 ms    24 ms    24 ms  119.225.216.17
 15     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 16     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 17     *        *        *     Request timed out.
Tracing route to pool.ntp.org [130.102.2.123]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    21 ms    25 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    22 ms    24 ms    25 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    23 ms    21 ms    23 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5    23 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  6    22 ms    25 ms    24 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-0-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.225]
  7    23 ms    25 ms    24 ms  p7575.syd.equinix.com [202.167.228.46]
  8    25 ms    24 ms    23 ms  ge-6-0-0.bb1.a.syd.aarnet.net.au [202.158.202.17]
  9    40 ms    38 ms    40 ms  so-0-1-0.bb1.a.bne.aarnet.net.au [202.158.194.50]
 10    42 ms    38 ms    40 ms  tengigabitethernet2-1.er2.uq.cpe.aarnet.net.au  [202.158.209.3]
 11    36 ms    39 ms    39 ms  113.197.8.34
 12    40 ms    38 ms    37 ms  uq-se1-uq-gw1-itmbypass.router.uq.edu.au [130.102.159.3]
 13    41 ms    37 ms    36 ms  zeus-uqse1.router.uq.edu.au [130.102.0.242]
 14    40 ms    39 ms    38 ms  a82-208.nat.uq.edu.au [130.102.82.208]
 15    41 ms    38 ms    41 ms  b.pool.ntp.uq.edu.au [130.102.2.123]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to time.microsoft.akadns.net [65.55.21.23]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     4 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    23 ms    60 ms    81 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    81 ms    78 ms    46 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4    73 ms    26 ms    77 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5   178 ms   174 ms   190 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   166 ms   215 ms   194 ms  sea2-pr2-xe-1-3-0-0.us.twtelecom.net [66.192.253.122]
  7   225 ms   193 ms   195 ms  66.192.252.14
  8   244 ms   177 ms   180 ms  207.46.44.69
  9   175 ms   175 ms   256 ms  10.22.8.2
 10     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 11     *        *        *     Request timed out.
 12     *        *        *     Request timed out.

Some interesting outcomes here. Not surprisingly TPG being my own provider, has the shortest route (hence is probably a better source for timing than others). iiNet and Internode actually have different paths and different servers, so while they have been merged as a company, their infrastructure hasn’t yet. iiNet goes via PIPE peering, whereas internode is peered directly with TPG – wow. iPrimus goes via Equinix. Optus is a sorry story – it doesn’t seem to want to peer with anyone – so TPG hands off to PIPE which hands off to AAPT which I believe then passes onto Optus (we lose the trail).

Compared to the pool.ntp.org redirector, that sent me to the University of Queensland, which wasn’t too bad, via Equinix, then AARnet. But as we know, pool.ntp.org is a “load balancing” resolver, so if we try it again, we get something different – for example, below, which doesn’t necessarily make it a great choice. The shock is that the default windows time update service at time.windows.com sends us all the way to the US, making this a bad idea for an accurate time source. Oh well.

Tracing route to pool.ntp.org [27.50.90.172]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    61 ms    36 ms    87 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3    24 ms    35 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-2-Ten-4-4.tpgi.com.au [202.7.173.57]
  4     *       57 ms    22 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-4-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.13]
  5    73 ms    56 ms    58 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  6    52 ms    24 ms    33 ms  syd-sot-ken2-crt1-ge-1-0-0.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.201]
  7    24 ms    50 ms    58 ms  core-bdr-1-1-eqx-ge-2.sau.net.au [202.167.228.70]
  8    43 ms    54 ms    45 ms  core-bdr-2-1-ge-1.sau.net.au [202.130.33.1]
  9    50 ms    47 ms    26 ms  202.130.32.70
 10    25 ms    77 ms    50 ms  ntp3.riverwillow.net.au [27.50.90.172]

Trace complete.
Tracing route to pool.ntp.org [131.188.3.220]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.0.1
  2    24 ms    35 ms    28 ms  syd-pow-cla-bras-14-lo-20.tpgi.com.au [10.20.21.193]
  3   155 ms    54 ms    70 ms  syd-pow-cla-csw-1-tengi-3-4.tpgi.com.au [203.29.135.117]
  4    59 ms    50 ms    24 ms  syd-pow-cla-crt1-ge-7-0.tpgi.com.au [202.7.162.141]
  5   179 ms   196 ms   197 ms  66.162.129.149
  6   203 ms   198 ms   206 ms  64-129-238-138.static.twtelecom.net [64.129.238.138]
  7   181 ms   179 ms   227 ms  te-9-4.car1.SanJose2.Level3.net [4.59.0.229]
  8   184 ms   199 ms   188 ms  vlan90.csw4.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.69.152.254]
  9   234 ms   192 ms   179 ms  ae-91-91.ebr1.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.69.153.13]
 10   274 ms   248 ms   407 ms  ae-2-2.ebr2.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.135.186]
 11   269 ms   261 ms   288 ms  ae-82-82.csw3.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.148.42]
 12   249 ms   252 ms   277 ms  ae-81-81.ebr1.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.134.73]
 13   350 ms   333 ms   339 ms  ae-42-42.ebr2.London1.Level3.net [4.69.137.69]
 14   333 ms   328 ms   353 ms  ae-24-24.ebr2.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.148.198]
 15   352 ms   328 ms   353 ms  ae-72-72.csw2.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.140.22]
 16     *      381 ms     *     ae-2-70.edge5.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.154.73]
 17   358 ms   328 ms   353 ms  212.162.4.6
 18   342 ms   339 ms   353 ms  cr-erl1-te0-0-0-19.x-win.dfn.de [188.1.145.197]
 19   358 ms   350 ms   348 ms  xr-erl1-te2-4.x-win.dfn.de [188.1.145.114]
 20   372 ms   333 ms   333 ms  kr-uni-erlangen1.x-win.dfn.de [188.1.234.230]
 21   347 ms   356 ms   363 ms  constellation.gate.uni-erlangen.de [131.188.20.105]
 22   330 ms   360 ms   334 ms  optimus.gate.uni-erlangen.de [131.188.10.26]
 23   338 ms   347 ms   346 ms  ntp0.rrze.uni-erlangen.de [131.188.3.220]

Trace complete.

Yay! I finally got a trace that’s longer than the Skype Echo Test! Wow, this one is sent from us to the US then to Germany! I guess that’s enough poking around and admiring the “structure” of the networks that make up our internet. Back to work, my supervisors will say (I’m meeting them tomorrow).

About lui_gough

I'm a bit of a nut for electronics, computing, photography, radio, satellite and other technical hobbies. Click for more about me!
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