Step up from Windows' pathping.exe and tracert.exe utilities with Visualware's VisualRoute Personal Edition 8.0, which lets you investigate and assess router hops. When you enter a destination by DNS name or IP address, Visual Route draws each router hop, showing you the path the packets are traveling. VisualRoute draws the path on a map of the world, which you can click to zoom in all the way to the city level.

The world map is neat, but most of the really useful data is in a table below the map. You can use this data to identify where Internet latency might be causing problems or quickly determine the source of a malicious attack. For each hop, the table shows the IP address, node name, location, time zone, latency, response time, and hosting network. You can drill down to obtain WHOIS information about an intermediate host or network or to get the ZIP code for a specific location.

Unfortunately, the printed reports don't fit on standard letter-size paper, so you must export the data to another program before printing. You can export the output as a text, JPEG, or HTML file. Layout preferences (e.g., starting position on the map) let you customize the GUI. Advanced features include DNS-lookup caching.

VisualRoute expands on simple Windows tools to provide a surprising amount of value and versatility. It will make a great addition to your network toolkit.

VisualRoute Personal Edition 8.0
Contact: Visualware * 703-802-9006 or 866-847-9273
Web: http://www.visualware.com
Price: Starts at $49.95 for one user license
Summary
Pros: Attractive, intuitive GUI lets you quickly assess the latency and location of network hops and provides quick drilldown access to WHOIS data
Cons: Default layout doesn't print on standard letter-size paper, so you must export the data to another program before printing
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommendation:
A great addition to your network toolkit because it provides faster access to reconnaissance data than PathPing or Trace Route.