Network troubleshooting means solving the problems occurring in a computer network by identifying, diagnosing, and resolving the root cause. It is a purely technical process carried out by network engineers, which can be manual and automated.
Numerous network troubleshooting tools are created to automate identifying and diagnosing the root cause, which effectively carries out the process quicker than the manual way. After the diagnosis, you can easily carry on working on the solution.
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Now moving back to Network troubleshooting. Let’s know about the top 5 network troubleshooting tools used by computer network engineers worldwide.
The Ping is the most trending and widely used network troubleshooting tool for the initial network problem-identification process. The Ping frames network troubleshooting as its utility.
It provides information on the general connectivity between the host requesting the connection and the host, which is the destination through a test.
The process of testing is carried out by using Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). This protocol offers the facility to send an echo packet to the destination host and listen to its response.
If the requesting host can get the destination host’s response, the destination host is reachable. This forms an initial image of the situation and confirms whether the networking problem is occurring or not.
After using the Ping tool to state the general connectivity scenario, we need tools to gather more specific details and network information about the path and route of the destination host and the response timing of intermediate and destination hosts.
For this function, tracers and traceroute tools are used by network professionals.
- Tracert is used on Windows OS.
- Traceroute is used on Linux or *nix-based OS.
In networking, a route that leads to the destination includes numerous hops or stops. Each hop is a device used for routing and moving forward the packets.
The traceroute tool finds and provides information on each hop that leads to a destination. This is something that we cannot attain with just the ping tool.
Tracert and Traceroutes are used to find and identify network problems that go beyond the local network.
They provide crucial information about the path, including all those devices that move your packet to the destination. This tool offers IPs, hostnames, and response times of each hop.
There is a critical step involved while network troubleshooting, which is to identify the particular IP configuration of the affected hosts. There are specific tools that are used to carry out this process. Those tools which IP professionals use to identify the IP configuration include:
- Ipconfig on Windows OS.
- Ifconfig on Linux or *nix-based OS.
Both of them provide all present TCP/IP configuration information on all networks which are presently connected.
Suppose the network in use utilizes a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) Server to provide IPs to all the hosts. In that case, IP configuration is a mandatory process while troubleshooting.
It can also be used when the IPs are assigned statically by the network because then there is a possibility that there might be a change in the IP address.
TheIpconfigand Ifconfigtools provide all information about the network adapter such as:
- Default Gateway
- IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses
- Subnet Mask
Another scene required for diagnosing a network problem is the present situation of active network connections on a host.
It is one of the crucial information which the IP engineers need to find the root cause for various network troubleshooting reasons, like:
- To check and verify the status of a listening port on a host
- Remote hosts are connected to localhost on a specific port.
Netstat is short for Network Statistics. It gives you detailed information on the present network connections on the computer.
Netstat is crucial for troubleshooting when you want to know about the open ports and remote servers which are currently creating a connection to your computer with their ports.
Nslookup helps resolve some of the most common network troubleshooting issues related to DNS (Dynamic Name System) addresses.
A DNS address is used by users to utilize domain names and IP addresses. When this function is faulty, most Internet or website functionality is hindered for use and gets cracked.
The Nslookup (Name Server Look Up) command is used to determine if the DNS Server is resolving names. It is used to find and state the specific
IP address or multiple addresses connected to the domain name. If it cannot translate a name or fails to grab and provide this information, we can conclude there might be some DNS problem.
Using a basic finding algorithm, the Nslookuptool can find specific DNS servers and figure out if there is a problem with the default DNS addresses configured on a host server. The Ping and Tracert can resolve a domain name to an IP address.
Still, they work based on the NetBIOS information. Nslookup will take information directly from the host’s configured DNS server.
All these tools are within everyone’s reach. These tools reduce the troubleshooting time remarkably and are free and easy to use. These are accessible through:
- Native command line interface on your OS
- Web browser
- Downloadable free software.