- 1 Licensing
- 2 Docking, Floating, etc
- 3 Selecting Multiple Targets
- 4 The Focus Area
- 5 It’s somewhere other than me!
- 6 Comma delimited text file
- 7 Essentials
- 8 Location Location Location
- 9 UDP
- 10 Getting started with PingPlotter’s new web interface
- 11 Navigation
- 12 Adding new targets
- 13 Data Table
- 14 Important Terms
- 15 The road ahead
- 16 ICMP
- 17 Purchasing
- 18 Version 5 Manual
- 19 Timeline Graphs
- 20 Scenario: External customer has problems using your network resources.
- 21 Windows Agent Revision History
- 22 Getting Started Guide
- 23 How PingPlotter Works
- 24 Reading the Trace Graph
- 25 Comments
- 26 Mac
- 27 Latest Release
- 28 Oh crap! It’s hop one! I broke it!
- 29 The graphs
Can I buy a single license and use it on more than one computer?
Yes, a single license can be installed on a handful of machines. However, you’ll only be able to run a single instance of PingPlotter one at a time. For example, two machines with the same licensed version would work, just not simultaneously.
Do you have a concurrent use license?
Not at the moment. You have the option to install PingPlotter on a machine, then uninstall and reinstall on a different machine as you need it.
How is PingPlotter licensed?
A single user license is good for one user (person), and can be installed on a computer, uninstalled and moved to another machine. It’s also able to be installed on more than one computer at a time, however, only one instance of PingPlotter will work at a time (not simultaneously).
Multi-computer licenses operate strictly by the number of computer installs.
How many licenses does my team need?
Single-user licenses are ideal for an individual IT person supporting an office or small client base. This license allows them to troubleshoot and monitor several targets.
If a team of people need their own instance of PingPlotter, a single-user license for each person would suit them best. Allowing them to troubleshoot and monitor their own situation. If a team of people will be using the same computer (with their own user profile), then a license for each user is recommended. For teams of people needing access on several machines, multiple-computer licenses are for you. This scenario would allow several computers to all have their own independent functions with PingPlotter, troubleshooting and monitoring their own set of targets.
A license for each individual user profile (if they require separate configurations/targets/etc.). Or, if each user profile uses the exact same instance (same configurations/targets/etc.) a single license would work.
Docking, Floating, etc
Note: the information in this section is specific to the Windows version of the program
By default, each target in PingPlotter Pro is shown in the “All targets” summary screen (and doesn’t have it’s own tab unless you open one for it). This works, but may not be exactly what you’re after. Maybe you want a few targets side by side. Or maybe you have 8 monitors and want 64 targets up filling your high def “war room screen” (and if this is the case… we salute you). There is definitely a way to achieve this!
Once you open a target (or summary) into a tab, that target is living in its own “dock” control. If you grab the tab and drag it away from PingPlotter, you can position it somewhere within the PingPlotter widow — or drag it out into its own “stand-alone” display.
**Some of the features listed in this topic are only available in PingPlotter Pro and/or PingPlotter Standard. See our product comparison page for more details**
Selecting Multiple Targets
You can select multiple targets and apply changes to them (pause, change the trace interval, use a different configuration, or add them to a summary screen). This is a pretty easy process, too. Hold down either the “CTRL” (for Windows) or the Command (for Mac) key on your keyboard, and click on a few different targets. If the targets you’re needing to select are in order, you can click one, hold down the shift key, and click on the last one in the list to get the whole group.
Once you’ve got multiple targets selected, any changes made in the target bar will be automatically applied to the selected targets. There are also a few options (pause, resume) available via the right click menu.
The Focus Area
Any time you double click on a timeline graph, a blue “Focus Area” will appear, which focuses the upper graph to that point in time. This focus area is based off of the “Focus Time” value (and this won’t work if you have this value set to “ALL”).
If you’ve got your graphs set to show 48 hours worth of data, and if you find a time period that looks like it might be interesting, you can double click on the timeline graph at that point and the trace graph will move to that time period as well. You can then change your timeline graph scale, and the lower graphs will stay focused on the period you selected. This makes it easy to spot, and zoom in on problems.
When you’re finished going through your graph history, you can reset everything to display your current results by right clicking on a timeline graph and selecting “Reset focus to current.” This returns both of the graphs to, you guessed it, the current time.
**Some of the features listed in this topic are only available in PingPlotter Pro and/or PingPlotter Standard. See our product comparison page for more details**
It’s somewhere other than me!
If the network trouble seems to be originating somewhere outside your direct control, there’s — you guessed it — good news and bad news.
Good news? It’s not your fault! Woo! Get dunked on, tech support! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Got it out of your system? Good, because here comes the bad news: You probably have an uphill battle ahead. ISPs and other service providers get the “it’s your fault” all the time, so they’re going to need some serious nudging before they listen. Luckily, you already have the best weapon for this fight: evidence!
First, let’s find out who to talk to. By taking the IP address or DNS name from the offending hop and doing a WhoIs lookup (from a site like who.is), you can usually find the organization and/or contact info for the responsible party. Got ‘em! If you can’t find the details on the hop’s owner, it’s best to default to your ISP as a point of contact.
If you need help finding the contact info for a service, we’ve gathered resources for many of the most popular providers out there.
The next step is gathering the screenshots, sample sets, and other PingPlotter data you’ve collected to present your issue. Now you’re set to begin making your case.
You’ve got some data and a good idea of what to do next. All that’s left is to finish the fight.
Comma delimited text file
This option is built to import into a program like Microsoft Excel — so you can manipulate the numbers and create output in different formats. To export a comma delimited text file, use the “File” -> “Export to Text File” option. From there, you’ll be able to specify the file you want to export (and a couple of other options). You can either export all samples in memory, or the range as specified on the main screen.
The “Include sample times in export file” option will specify whether or not to include the time each sample was taken at. If you don’t have this turned on, all of the samples will be output, but you won’t get corresponding times. Enable this option to include the times.
We discuss more reporting options in our knowledge base.
What’s a good use case for PingPlotter Professional?
Collecting data for long periods of time and sometimes from other machines. Possibly from clients/customer machines. Using features to import data automatically or remotely. Scenarios where there is a need to test many targets at a time (up to a several hundred).
ISP’s, Telecom Companies, Gaming Companies, Government Offices, Tech Support Teams
What’s a good use case for PingPlotter Standard?
Collecting data over time with options to test more than one target (two at a time). Scenarios for performance based alerts and notifications. Share collected data to support staff, IT department(s) and/or ISP’s.
Small/Medium sized businesses, Home users, Gamers, Independent Technicians/IT staff
What do I need to collect data for several clients/customers?
PingPlotter Professional can collect data from multiple sources.
Using Remote Agent it can collect data on a remote machine and transmit it to your local instance of PingPlotter. It is then collected and displayed like any other target data.
Users can also use the Share function to submit collected data to someone (like their ISP or IT support staff). Allowing people to show network results by posting them on a private share page hosted on PingPlotter.com.
PingPlotter to PingPlotter
Additionally, anyone can collect data using the PingPlotter Free Edition. Then send .pp2 files to whomever they choose, so they can be opened on another instance of PingPlotter.
Learn more about Remote Agent and Share features here.
Can I install PingPlotter on a server to be used by many other users?
Shared Server Environment
We don’t currently have a license built for a shared server environment. For example, a single instance of PingPlotter that can be accessible for many users all with different targets, configurations, etc.
Single License on a Server
We do however, allow you to install PingPlotter on a server. Only a single license is needed if each user is accessing the same instance of PingPlotter (same target list, configuration, etc.). If each user needs their own individual instance of PingPlotter, then each user needs their own license.
Only if PingPlotter is configured to one user profile and is a single instance that multiple users will access. If there are several user profiles that all require their own instance of PingPlotter (separate targets, configurations, etc.) then a server would be considered «multiple computers».
Location Location Location
When it comes time to diagnose the network issue, the first thing you need to know is where it’s originating from.
Remember this graph? We identified the captured data was a good snapshot of a possible issue, so let’s dive a little deeper.
If the final hop is the most important, the first hop is a close second. Why? That’s simple: it’s you! Nasty red stuff at hop one usually means something on your end is causing the frowny face. If the start of a route is squeaky clean, you can begin to rule out internal factors.
The next steps are directly tied to where the problem starts. Take a look at your collected data and see on which hop the latency and/or packet loss seems to originate:
The User Datagram Protocol, or UDP, is a bit different from what you might expect from a transport protocol. Unlike TCP, UDP is a connectionless communication method. This means UDP datagrams can be sent without establishing a connection between two devices, allowing them to be sent without consideration for rate or sequence.
For UDP, the primary focus is speed. Since UDP datagrams are coordinated by the application and not the protocol, they can be received and processed as they come. This is critical for things like video streams or VOIP, where processing info as fast as possible is more critical than reassembling the data in perfect order.
In PingPlotter, using UDP to test things like livestreams or other time-sensitive applications can give you a better idea where your data is being held up.
Getting started with PingPlotter’s new web interface
Setup for PingPlotter’s web interface is fast and simple.
First, download the latest version of PingPlotter Professional (version 5.15 or later) from your account, our download page, or by launching PingPlotter and selecting Check for Updates… from the main menu.
To activate PingPlotter’s web interface, begin by opening the Settings menu. Under Web Server, you should see the option to Enable built-in web server.
If you’re familiar with or have previously set up PingPlotter’s web interface, you’re already good to go! You can simply refresh your browser, and the new interface should pop right up.
From here, you can set a port number for the local server. You can also require a login to restrict web access.
Once enabled, you can navigate to the address you set (http://localhost:7464/ by default), and ta-da! Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be greeted with your All Targets screen.
As you can see, the web interface looks a lot like the PingPlotter you already know. You can click, drag, resize, and generally interact with the web just as you would the existing client. In fact, all of your current PingPlotter sessions are already waiting for you.
Much like the client, you can right-click on any row to see all available options. You can also customize which columns are visible by clicking on the menu icon in the top-left of the target bar.
Clicking on the IP address of any target will open the full target window for that trace.
From the target window, you can start/pause/stop the trace, change targets, select remote CloudConnect agents, or adjust trace intervals and focus periods. In addition, you can double-click on any hop to open a timeline graph — just like with normal PingPlotter. You can also download your collected data directly from the interface by clicking Download .PP2.
All-in-all, the web interface brings the core PingPlotter functionality to a new form factor, giving you more versatility in how you collect and view diagnostic data.
If there is more data collected than we can show on a timeline graph (for example, if you’ve got 48 hours worth of data, but have your graph scale set to “10 minutes”), you can click (and hold down) your mouse button on the graph, and drag it back and forth. This allows you to move back in history and examine the samples during those times.
On Windows, if you click on a graph and scroll down, you’ll move back on the time graph, scrolling up will move the graph forward. If you click the scroll wheel, scrolling up or down will toggle through the time period options on the graph (so you can basically zoom in, or zoom out using this method). On Mac, with a magic mouse you can hold a left click and scroll to zoom in/out on the timeline graph.
Adding new targets
There are a few ways to add new targets to PingPlotter. If you’ve just opened up the program for the first time, odds are you’re on a “(new trace)” tab — and the “Target Name” field is empty (with a blinking cursor in it):
All you need to do is (if you haven’t guessed it by now) enter your target’s DNS name or IP address in the empty field, and hit the big green “Start” button on the left hand side (the “enter” key on your keyboard works here as well).
Wondering how to get another “(new trace)” window open? You can use the «File» -> «New Target» option, or, in the Windows version of PingPlotter Pro, just click on the “+” symbol in the upper left hand corner of the program.
If you’re on a summary screen in PingPlotter, you can quickly add targets by entering them in the “Target name” field, and pressing the start button (or the enter key on your keyboard). Targets added via this method will automatically start tracing and are added to your list of all targets (and if you’re on a custom summary screen, they’ll be added to that summary as well — we cover this in more detail in the summary graphs section). A tab *won’t* be opened if you’re using this method — but it’s a good way to quickly add targets and start tracing to them.
This lists the order of hops between you and your target. A circle denotes an active hop and is color-coded to show latency based on the Graph Color Legend. A graph icon shows which hops have a Timeline Graph open (more on that later).
- The number of packets sent during the current focus period.
- The IP address of the device at the hop.
- The name of the device at the hop. If this is blank, it means the router/server/hamster wheel doesn’t have a DNS name or doesn’t like the packet type currently being used.
- The average ping response time for the current focus period. This average ignores timeouts and lost packets.
- The fastest ping response time for your current focus period.
- The response time for the last packet sent. If you see “ERR,” the last packet sent was lost (poor little buddy).
- The percent of lost packets over the current focus period.
- A simplified set of data for the target of your trace. This shows the total time it takes to send a packet from your device to the target and back.
Before we dive head-first into troubleshooting, there are a few terms we’ll be throwing around quite a bit.
- A route is the path data takes from a device to its final destination.
- Each route is made up of a series of hops, which are discrete devices that pass data along as it travels to the final destination.
- Speaking of which, the final destination (or target) is the last hop in a route and corresponds to the server, webpage, or service you are attempting to connect to.
- A traceroute or trace is the act of mapping out a route through the use of specialized packets of data.
- Packets, as we mentioned above, are small, contained chunks of data used to transfer digital information. Breaking up large files into small packets makes the data easier to replace or reroute if something goes wrong.
- A ping is the layman’s term for an ICMP Echo Request packet used to test a network. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s what PingPlotter uses to map everything out.
- Latency is the round-trip travel time of one packet between you and a destination. High latency can make streaming videos stutter, webpages load slowly, and games laggy and unplayable.
- Packet loss is when a packet fails to complete its round-trip journey. Lost packets can cause disconnections and unresponsive services. It’s important to know PingPlotter is tracking the loss of its own packets, which often correlates to packet loss for the rest of your data.
Phew! Now, let’s take a look at that PingPlotter thing we keep talking about…
The road ahead
This new interface is just the beginning of what’s planned for the near future. Since we’ve had a tendency to keep our cards close to the chest, we wanted to give you some insight into what we’re actively developing, especially when it comes to the web.
Our primary goal is getting the web interface as close to one-to-one with the PingPlotter client as possible. One of the biggest draws of the web interface is the ease-of-access for remote deployments, as software clients can be a hassle to use when remoting in from off-site. One of the best ways to use PingPlotter is to deploy it remotely, and we want to make that experience the best there is.
We still have a little ways to go with web/client parity:
- First, there are settings. Currently, engine settings (such as packet types or NIC selection), need to be set client-side. We want to have the full breadth of system options available from the web, and we’re not too far from having it ready.
- Second, we’re hard at work incorporating another core feature: alerts. While we plan to have the full toolbox implemented, PingPlotter wouldn’t be PingPlotter without its robust alert system. Making sure alerts are functioning reliably is a top priority.
Outside of parity, we have a number of features we plan to implement in the near future:
- The biggest — and most requested feature by far — is read-only support. We’ve had almost daily requests for a read-only web interface, and it’s definitely in the works.
- This pairs with another critical component on our roadmap, which is multi-user login support. It’s hard to have a read-only interface without access restrictions, and you can’t restrict access if you can’t manage users. We’re going to have a lot to say about this one in 2020, so be sure to stay connected with us.
- Finally, there’s CloudConnect integration. This is a feature we originally had ready for release. However, a few finicky bugs and missing functionality kept it out of the current version. We think CloudConnect and the web interface make for some delicious peanut-butter-and-chocolate-level synergy, and we’re about 90% of the way toward completion.
We can’t give specifics on timeframes or timelines, but we think this glimpse into the future will help you get the most out of the web interface today while looking forward to what’s coming next.
The Internet Control Message Protocol, or ICMP, has an entirely different function than TCP and UDP. Unlike these types, ICMP is not a traditional data packet protocol. ICMP is a special type of packet used for inter-device communication, carrying everything from redirect instructions to timestamps for synchronization between devices.
What ICMP is probably best known for, however, is echo requests. This is pretty much what it sounds like. One device sends out an ICMP packet to another, telling the recipient to send a reply confirming it received the request. The recipient then responds with a new ICMP packet, the echo reply, confirming the request.
If you haven’t guessed, ICMP is the primary packet type used by software like PingPlotter. ICMP is built specifically for testing networks with minimal overhead. In almost every situation, you want to begin your network testing with ICMP, as it gives a good baseline to begin troubleshooting. If you feel like a route is ignoring ICMP traffic, it then makes sense to continue testing with a different packet type. Otherwise, ICMP is often more than enough to find and fix a network issue.
How many licenses do I need until I qualify for volume pricing? How much do I save?
To qualify you need 2 licenses of PingPlotter Professional. The savings start at $10 off and can go up to over $1000. For more details about volume pricing, check out our volume pricing schedule.
Is it just a one time purchase to get PingPlotter?
Perpetual licenses are a one time purchase and include a year of maintenance. Subscription licenses are monthly purchases, and you can cancel anytime. You have the option (and is recommended) to purchase additional maintenance after one year. Maintenance includes priority support and inclusive upgrades. Learn more about our maintenance here.
Version 5 Manual
Network problems can often happen when you’re not watching for them. The timeline graph feature in PingPlotter gives us a quick way to look over a visual representation of our trace data. This makes spotting problems (or potential problems) much, much easier.
By default, PingPlotter will automatically trace the last hop (the host you’re tracing to) on a timeline graph.
In PingPlotter Standard and Pro you can also display a timeline graph for any of the other hops in a route by either double clicking on that hop, or right clicking and selecting “Show this timeline graph.” You can also turn off any graph by these same mechanisms.
The amount of data displayed on the graph can be changed, too — just right click anywhere on the graph and select the amount of time you’d like to display (this will affect all timeline graphs and is saved when you shut down PingPlotter).
Scenario: External customer has problems using your network resources.
A customer (not inside your network) has problems losing connecting to services inside your network. In this scenario, you are acting as a service provider for some network service. This might be provided via HTTP, or possibly through something like Citrix or Windows Terminal services.
Your customer (possibly employees of your company, or maybe subscribers of your service if you’re an ASP-based service) is complaining of frequent disconnects, and possibly slow performance sometimes. How do you troubleshoot this kind of a problem? Where is the problem; at the entry point to your network, in the customer network, or possibly in one of the providers in between?
Windows Agent Revision History
Windows Agent, Latest release: 18.104.22.168, December 7th, 2015
This release is compatible with PingPlotter Pro version 3.10p and newer. The latest version is recommended, though, and has some reliability improvements when used with the remote agent.
Changes since 0.8.2.18
- Lots of engine changes, too many to list.
- IPv6 packet support.
- To use UDP packets, you’ll need a firewall rule set up. The easiest way to do this is to install PingPlotter 4.11.0 or newer on the agent machine, too.
- Version 22.214.171.124 had a bug when pinging final destination only. If you’re experiencing that, please download a 126.96.36.199
Release: 0.8.2.18, October 12th, 2007
Changes since 0.8.1.16
- Improved trace queuing which should improve performance.
- Fixed a problem where «StartingHop» parameter wasn’t always respected when configured to only ping the final destination. This is great if you want to ping a bunch of targets, rather than tracing them.
- Interhop delay wasn’t being respected.. Fixed.
- Added a basic status page to see the agent is up to. This is really for troubleshooting, but it can be accessed through http://localhost:7465/Status (if the agent is on localhost, that is — if it’s someplace else, change the address).
- Misc engine changes brought over from the Pro changes. Mostly minor with respect to the agent.
- Added a bunch of debugging code. Also added support for «simulation» (internal use only) to try and help troubleshoot problems.
Release: 0.8.1.16, April 25th, 2006
Changes since 0.8.0.51
- New Icon / Tray Icon
- New Exception handler to better trap errors. Errors are written to «bugreport.txt» at present, in your agent install directory.
- Maximum thread count can now be changed for better support for more concurrent targets.
- When capacity is reached, the agent now errors back to PingPlotter Pro with a 503 error, which tells PingPlotter Pro to try again shortly and not to count that request as a sample.
- Agent can now trace using UDP, ICMP Raw Sockets and TCP. These are enabled by adding ?PacketType=UDP, ?PacketType=ICMPRaw or ?PacketType=UDP to the URL in the PingPlotter named configuration.
Unix Agent, Latest release: 0.5, July 8th, 2014
If your current agent is working, there is no need to update.
Changes in V0.5 since V0.4
- Added support for PacketType and TCPPort parameters for php script only.
- perl script is still V0.4
Changes in V0.4 since V0.3
- Added php version of agent.
- Minor documentation changes.
Changes since V0.2
- Added a command line for RHEL 3, 4, Gentoo, several others.
- Changed check for no IP address passed in.
- Added link to documentation page.
Getting Started Guide
How PingPlotter Works
Now that PingPlotter is installed and running, all your network problems are fixed and you solved world peace and everyone gets a free puppy!
Err…not quite. Networks are complex things. When you connect to something on the internet (like a website, streaming service, or game server), you might imagine a bunch of zeros and ones going from your device to the destination. If so, you’re right!
Well, sort of.
In truth, small chunks of data (called packets) ‘hop’ from one device to the next on an Indiana Jones-style flight path toward your target. At any point along the journey, your data could get held up or just plain lost, causing a myriad of symptoms we simply refer to as “suck.”
The problem is, you can’t normally see what your data’s doing. It just heads out of your device and then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This is what makes network issues so frustrating. Is it your router? Your internet provider? A service outage? It’s hard to know what’s up.
That’s where PingPlotter comes in. PingPlotter sends out small ping packets to map and monitor every hop between you and your desired destination. Now you can see exactly where and how things are getting hung up. By using what PingPlotter finds in combination with some network know-how (we’ll help with that part, too), you can find the real problem and fix it for good.
I’m sure there’s more to PingPlotter than that!
If you’d like to know EXACTLY how PingPlotter functions, we have a full-bodied explanation for your reading pleasure. It’s pretty cool!
Reading the Trace Graph
The Trace Graph gives you a bird’s-eye view of your collected PingPlotter data. As the data collects, you can begin looking at the Data Table and Latency Graph to find patterns of high latency and packet loss.
On the Latency Graph, the average latency of each hop is shown as a red circle. The range of latency values for each hop in your current focus period is shown as a horizontal gray bar. If the high end of your latency range is dipping into the red, you should give the offending hops a closer look.
The percentage of lost packets over the current focus period is indicated by a horizontal red bar. When you see a red bar, it means, at some point during testing, PingPlotter was unable to reach that hop. If PingPlotter’s packets couldn’t make it, there’s a good chance your other ones couldn’t, either. It’s often a good idea to inspect hops with packet loss.
If you’re using PingPlotter for long-term monitoring, you may sometimes run across a situation where your network was effected by something you know about (power outage, big file download, that time you threw your router out the window, etc). You may also run into situations that you don’t control, but know the cause of (or can speculate on). Being able to take notes about these situations and tie it to your data can prove to be very, very helpful.
To create a note, all you need to do is right click on a timeline graph (at a point you want to create a note), and select the “Create Comment” option. A prompt will appear asking you to create your comment, and then PingPlotter will draw a red triangle on the lower edge of the timeline graph. If you float your mouse over the triangle you can see the note:
Right clicking on the comment triangle will also allow you to edit or delete it.
When you save data as an image from PingPlotter, your comments will get attached to the image (along with the times they happened). If you’re sending a image to a network provider, this can be especially valuable — as it helps explain the events on the data that you’re sending to them:
PingPlotter for Mac downloads in a .zip file. After downloading and extracting the file, a prompt will come up asking if you want to move the program to the application folder (which we recommend doing). Once the file is extracted to the application folder (or any other location you may have chosen to keep it), it will automatically launch — and you’re all set from there.
Uninstalling is a fairly straight forward process; simply move the application from wherever you’re keeping it (application folder, or elsewhere), and move it to the recycle bin. The program does store its configuration files and data in a separate location, though. To find these files, open a new Finder window, click on the «Go» option in the menu, and choose the «Go to Folder» option. From there, enter «~/Library/Application Support/PingPlotter» (minus the quotes) if running as an application, or «/Library/Application Support/PingPlotter» (without the quotes) if running as a service, which will direct you to the directory where PingPlotter stores all of its info (and you can move all of this to the recycle bin as well).
- When setting up an alert for a specific target, PingPlotter will now automatically select the final hop as the default
- On summary screens, sorting preferences are now stored in the browser and won’t reset automatically
- The Packet Loss % label on Timeline Graphs is now red, matching the packet loss color on the graph itself
- Updated the Timeline Graph icon indicator to something less confusing (as it was being mistaken for a WiFi indicator — definitely our B)
- The Agent details panel buttons no longer truncate text when unnecessary
- Fixed a bug that kept users from importing workspaces with history data
- Sidekick now has the correct license information displayed on your account page
- (Windows) Expired Sidekick builds now receive proper messaging about license expiration
Oh crap! It’s hop one! I broke it!
If the network trouble seems to be originating from your end, there’s good news and bad news.
Bad news first: The ball’s in your court. You’re going to need to dig a bit deeper and figure out what’s causing the problem.
The good news? The ball’s in your court! Since the problem’s happening within your sphere of influence, you will hopefully be able to take care of it right away.
To figure out the cause of the network issue, you need to start looking closely at the symptoms of the problem and the patterns you see in PingPlotter’s data. We’ve collected a list of the usual suspects here, complete with graphs to help compare your data. Once you find a cause that matches, you’ll be all set to put this problem to bed!
A PingPlotter image (the combination of graphs you see on a target screen) should be your go-to first report. These images has been used by many, many thousands of people to communicate their problems to their provider.
If the image you see doesn’t seem compelling, or doesn’t capture the right picture, you may need to adjust your view. You can drag the time graph back, and focus is on a period that shows the problem. Depending on the problem, you might want to widen your view a bit to show periods of OK along with the periods of problem. Maybe 12 hours if your problem period is 6 hours, or 2 hours if it’s 45 minutes. Right-click on the time graph to pick the appropriate time, then drag back and forth.
Once you have the time graph focused on the period you want, turn on the appropriate hop graphs. Hops that have latency or packet loss that isn’t represented in the final destination (a topic we cover in more detail here) shouldn’t be highlighted, while ones near the origin should be.
Once you’ve got that view, you can get the upper statistics to show the part you find important. You can leave it at «auto», which will have the upper and lower graph show the same time frame. Or you can switch the upper graph to a time period less than the lower graphs. If your lower graph is focused on 12 hours, you can set the upper one to 6 hours, and then double-click on the time graph to move the focus period. This will let you pick the statistics that show your problem and will also show the lead-in and exit to the problem.
Now span a picture via Edit -> Copy as image or via File -> Save as Image
This concept is more succinctly covered in our video tutorial.
There are ways to export, too, but the analysis tools coupled with the image creation tool really create a powerful case.
There are a few ways get a picture of your PingPlotter graph(s). The quick way is to select the “Edit” -> “Copy as image option” (which will copy the graph you’re viewing to your clipboard). The column and graph sizing will match up exactly to what you see on your screen — so make sure everything you want to show is explained. Another method is the “File” -> “Save Image…” option.