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Transit Time Tester Back to Home Page



Users sometimes want to know how accessible a certain site is and how long it takes to get to it. The "ping" command has traditionally been used for that, but there are problems using this utility. The difficulty is is created by the way that some routers handle Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets. These routers give ICMP packets the lowest priority, so the round trip time displayed is highly questionable.

"Ping", (as well as "Tracert") utilize UDP packets, which do not establish a connection with the far end. Transit Time Tester uses TCP packets, which are initiated using a 3-way handshake. The client sends a SYN request, the server responds with a SYN-ACK, and the client completes the connection with an ACK. Transit Time Tester measures the time required to receive the SYN-ACK, and terminates the connection by forcing an error.

Using the "Ping command:
C:\>ping 96.53.96.50
Pinging 96.53.96.50 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 96.53.96.50: bytes=32 time=52ms TTL=58
Reply from 96.53.96.50: bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=58
Reply from 96.53.96.50: bytes=32 time=52ms TTL=58
Reply from 96.53.96.50: bytes=32 time=49ms TTL=58
Ping statistics for 96.53.96.50:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 49ms, Maximum = 52ms, Average = 50ms

The "Ping" command returns a round trip time of 50ms, whereas Transit Time Tester returns a round trip time of 47ms. And the "Ping" is from the NAT router in front of the actual server (one less hop). This clearly shows that a TCP connection has a higher priority.

For the domain, you can use the domain name, the domain IP Address, or just copy and paste the URL. If the URL is used, the port is automatically adjusted to 80.

NOTE: This program will only work on dual stack systems that support both IPv4 and IPv6. That more or less restricts it to Windows Vista or later. IPv6 has not been tested yet due to a lack of a native IPv6 network.

Transit Time Tester is written in VB6, and is being made available in ZIP format. Installation is usually straight forward, using "setup.exe" to install files extracted from "TTL.cab" as laid out in "setup.lst".

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