What is a traceroute, and how does it apply to Discord?
Think of a traceroute as an 'audit trail' for your Discord connection. Your data is usually routed through several servers between you and the Discord servers. A traceroute helps you measure and visualize the route your traffic takes, showing you each gateway or 'hop' along the way.
For your connection to Discord, your data packets will usually travel across multiple 'hops' to get from your computer to the server. Your data will often change hands across various networks to get from Point A (your device) to Point B (the game server).
A traceroute measures your data packets as they're set from your computer across all the various 'hops' between Point A and Point B. When you use a traceroute, your connection history is recorded as "round-trip time."
A traceroute shows you a list of each of the points your connection hits as it travels between you and the Discord server.
What is ping time, and how does it apply to Discord?
Ping is a measurement of the reaction time of your internet connection.
Your ping time measures how long it takes for data packets to get from your device to the Discord server. Ping measures the time it takes to make a round trip time between your computer and the Discord server, and it is typically measured in milliseconds. A fast ping time means you have a more responsive connection for latency-sensitive apps like online games.
Ping was initially a term used in active sonar technology, and it described the time it took for a sound to be sent and received between sender and target. In the animal kingdom, bats use a similar method called echolocation which uses high-frequency sounds to help the bat determine how close it is to a destination, even in total darkness.
On the internet, determining your Discord ping time can be a bit trickier. Internet connections are not typically direct – there are multiple 'hops' between the sender and the target. Much like bats, we're often flying blind on the internet, unaware of the latency of the next 'hop.' When calculating your overall ping time, it's important to factor in each 'hop' along the route.
When your Discord connection is laggy, it's usually due to a poor connection between 2 or more points. For example, your computer may be the Sender, and the Discord server may be your Target, but there could be other mystery hops along the way causing issues.