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A: Pingplotter is a commercial program that can be very useful to monitor latency and packet loss problems on the network. The paid versions allow a 30-day evaluation period. There is also a reduced functionality, freeware-version of the program available that can be used to record network problems as well. It's main limitations when compared to the paid version are its lack of latency over time graphs and the inability to save an image capture of the results from within the program.
Before PingPlotter can be used, there are some setting changes that need to be made to maximize the value of the data obtained. These three settings should be changed:
1. The number of times to trace should be set to Unlimited. You can manually stop the program when you have enough data to demonstrate the network problem.
2. The trace interval should be set to 1 - 5 seconds if a short duration (say up to 15 minutes) PingPlotter test is to be run. If an extended duration test is planned, say for hours or overnight, then a trace interval duration of 15 - 60 seconds would be more appropriate.
3. The samples to include should be set to ALL in order to show all the data captured by the entire run of the program.
Other useful setting changes:
4 and 5. The number of errors received and the Min and Max latencies can also be shown on the trace list by right-clicking on it and choosing Customize View and changing those settings.
6. On the paid versions of the program, a time chart for any hop can be added at the bottom of the display by double left-clicking on the hop. Right click on a time chart to choose Hide Graph. The first hop and the last hop graphs are usually of most interest.
To post an image of your results on a forum, you will have to save a copy of the image by selecting Save Image from the drop down menu of File if you are using a commercial version of the program. If you are using the freeware version, you can capture a copy of your computer screen to your clipboard by hitting the CTRL-PRT SC buttons simultaneously. Then open the Paint program, paste the screen image into it, and use Paint's cut-and-paste to edit the image to just a shot of the PingPlotter window. Whichever method you use, save the image in PNG format for an attachment to a thread.
Note: Packet loss on one intermediate-hop router does not usually cause packet loss at the end point router. An intermediate router showing packet loss may be set to give low priority to ICMP packets or to not respond at all. Packet loss that starts at an intermediate-hop router and then persists through the remaining hops to include the end point router does indicate a problem!