Track your web traffic around the world with Open Visual Traceroute
Open Visual Traceroute is a Java-based, cross-platform networking toolkit which displays the path of your web traffic on 3D world map.
Despite the “Traceroute” name, that’s not all. Bonus features include a Whois tool, and a WinPcap-powered packet sniffer which shows exactly what your traffic contains.
Once you’ve got Java installed, setup is easy. The program runs on Windows, Linux and Mac, and although our test PC didn’t have the required WinPcap library, the setup program installed this itself.
Basic traceroute tasks are just as straightforward. Type a host or IP address in the box, hit Enter and Open Visual Traceroute sends packets to the host and detects every server on the route.
The results are displayed on a 3D map in close to real time. A flag shows your location and others appear for every other server along the way, with the world map rotating to keep the destination in view.
Once the traceroute is complete, you can browse the map just like Google Earth: click and drag to rotate your virtual world, or spin the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
If you’re more interested in the actual data, no problem, a table displays the main details: host name, town/ country/ latitude/ longitude, latency, DNS lookup time and distance from the previous node.
Export options include taking a screenshot, copying data to the clipboard and saving it as a CSV file.
Bonus features start with a couple of Whois options. If you’ve run a Traceroute, a Whois button next to every host tells you more about it. Or you can use the program in Whois mode, just type a host name and see the location of that server, and its Whois details, right away.
There’s also a WinPcap-powered packet sniffer (Open Visual Traceroute installs WinPcap if you don’t have it already). Turn this on, captured packets are displayed on the map, and again the table holds all the raw details you need.
Open Visual Traceroute isn’t something we’d use for serious low-level analysis, but it’s still a likeable mix of stylish visuals and useful Traceroute/ Whois data.
Open Visual Traceroute is an open source application for Windows XP and later, Linux and Mac.