A. In general TCP/IP packets will not always take the same route to a destination, however the start of the journey is likely to be the same, i.e. to your gateway, to the firewall etc. The command to use is tracert and the syntax is as follows
c:\tracert <host name or IP address>,e.g.
Tracing route to news.savilltech.com \[22.214.171.124\]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
1 <10 ms <10 ms <10 ms 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52.1 is the gateway
2 <10 ms 10ms <10 ms 184.108.40.206
3 30 ms 10 ms 10 ms news.savilltech.com \[220.127.116.11\]
The first column is the hop count, the next 3 columns show the time taken for the cumulative round-trip times (in milliseconds), the 4th column is the hostname if the IP address was resolved, and the last column is the IP address of the host. It is really like a street map telling each turn to take. An important thing to note is to look for looping routes, so host a goes to b then c then back to a, as this indicates a problem usually.
Tracert will not always work with some FireWalls for hosts outside the FireWall.