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Path Analyzer Pro

Path Analyzer Pro Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the standard deviation measurement and why is it important?
Standard deviation is an important factor in telecommunications. Technically, it is a characterization of the aggregate random and deterministic (predictable) jitter. Jitter is essentially a variation in the communications signal. In this case, jitter is the variation in the total round trip time (latency) between the source and the destination of a probe. Understanding jitter is important because depending on the protocol or application being communicated, transporting data back and forth more slowly may actually be optimal compared to having some information arrive early and some late. This is especially important for such applications and voice over IP (VoIP). Therefore, a network with less jitter should be considered more stable/reliable than a network with more jitter. Or, to put it another way, the lower the jitter, the better.

Why does my trace fail on the first or second hop?
This is most often the result of a firewall and/or network address translator (NAT device) at your location. You can either adjust your firewall settings or change to UDP tracing (or try different types of TCP tracing using the options in our software). Some combination should trace without error. Remember, networks can be complicated, which is why our software exists. Using the available knobs and levers, you should be able to find out what's happening and get your packets to their destination.

Why, depending on my TCP tracing options, can't I get beyond my local network?
Path Analyzer Pro is capable of sending literally thousands of different variations of probes. Some of these probes, especially those manipulating TCP flags such as the "Adaptive" or "FINs only" modes, may be blocked by a close-proximity stateful firewall. If you can't get past the first few hops in your own network, your network is probably blocking the egress of these probes. Using the default TCP options should get your trace progressing nicely. You may also try enabling the "NAT-Friendly" option if you believe network address translation may be used inside your network. Local (host-based) firewalls could also be a problem and you may have to continue to change your probe options (or even try using UDP probes) to complete your trace.

Why does my trace to someone's e-mail address fail when I know they can receive e-mail?
If you can successfully trace to other destinations (using other protocols/ports), but you cannot trace to someone's e-mail address, your ISP is likely blocking direct communication to e-mail servers outside of their network. This is standard practice for many ISPs in their effort to curb the sending of unsolicited e-mail (spam). They are doing their part by forcing you to use only mail (relay) servers under their control. The simple work-around for this is to turn off the "Smart" automatic destination port setting and use another destination port such as TCP port 587 or TCP port 465 (other common ports used for e-mail submission).

My Advanced Probe Details and Advanced Tracing Details settings are grayed out, how do I set them?
These are powerful settings and they may have been disabled by default. To enable them, simply open the preferences pane, visit the General tab and UNclick the self-descriptive checkboxes that disable them.

My Geo tab is grayed out, how do I use the geolocation features?
This feature has the ability to slow down the program because it is computationally intense and therefore it may have been disabled by default on your platform. To enable the feature, simply open the preferences pane, visit the Geo tab and click to enable the geolocation features. The features will activate immediately, but you may need to re-run your current trace to get geographical results.

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Supported Platforms

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

Microsoft Windows 2003 Server

Microsoft Windows XP

Apple MacOS X 10.5-10.7

Universal Binary
Mac version requires Mac OS X v. 10.5 - 10.7.
Windows version requires Windows XP, Vista or Windows 2003 Server.

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