Let's play a little Trace Route with Vonage, Skype sites! Guess who wins!

Please understand I am not talking about Vonage or Skype calls. That's for another conversation.

Please understand I am not talking about Vonage or Skype calls. That's for another conversation.

What we are going to do here is employ a new Web-based Visual Trace Route tool run by a site called YouGetSignal.com.

Based in the Los Angeles area, YouGetSignal takes your site page request, and then mashes it up with Google Maps to show you how many hops the request took before it reaches the site you have selected.

Not only how many hops, but what hops. These intermediary hops can also unmask various hosting services these sites use.

Not only how many hops, and what hops, but how fast it takes. In theory, at least, that would have an influence on how fast the page loads that you are requesting.

OK, let's fire this one up.

Vonage, you go first:

vonageyougetsignal.jpg

OK, Vonage, what took you so long? More than 36 seconds and nine hops! Well, at least we know they use Level 3.

Skype comes next.

Testing now, BRB...

He's b-a-a-c-c-k.

skypeyougetsignal.jpg

Twelve hops yes, but only in two seconds.

"And your point is, Russ?"

My point is that although these results can vary from attempt to attempt, this little drill we've just done is:

A way to tell what routing services various websites use;

How many hops your packets travel; AND arguably most of all, a

Fun distraction for a rainy, cold Tuesday afternoon.

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