What is MTR and is it useful? A review of the MTR Network Monitoring tool

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Ping and Traceroute are two very common metrics used in order to determine how well a computer network is working. Back in the day, you had to look for separate tools for measuring your servers ping and traceroute, which wasn’t that convenient at all.

Meanwhile, a new tool for such measuring was invented called MTR. In my opinion, it is an invaluable tool for monitoring servers over time. So, in order to encourage more people to use this diagnostic tool, I’ve written this short article which will give you a basic understanding of what MTR is and why you should use it.

What is MTR and how does it work?

MTR is a tool which combines the previously separate server monitor measures of Ping and Tracerout, the data precision of the former with the fast analytical approach of the latter to be exact.

The main thing which differentiates MTR from other server measuring methods is its ability to record server jitter and packet loss as well. So as a result, the tool also has the valuable ability to record how much time it takes to make a transfer and the number of packets that are being lost in transit.

While using MTR, you are able to view live performance data of your network and have it displayed conveniently on an onscreen table. The table itself shows how much information is lost when a transaction has happened between the sender and the receiver and server latency.

Why is MTR a great tool to use?

There are many reasons why I would recommend using MTR on pretty much a regular basis. 

Firstly, it combines the measure of Ping and Traceroute together, which is simply a matter of convenience as you have the capabilities of 2-in-1.

Moreover, MTR is better than just Traceroute as you get a continuous flow of new information about your servers. With Traceroute for example,  your feed was limited to what you had updated manually, and you didn’t have the ability to see performance changes right there, live.

The MTR won’t stop measuring data, until you tell it to stop doing so. Being able to monitor everything live is an ability I can’t stop emphasizing enough. No more headaches when trying to troubleshoot, since you’ll see everything immediately.

How to install MTR on a Windows platform

MTR is available on many computing platforms including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Since it’s the most commonly used platform with the most simple MTR installation process, I will talk only about Windows.

The steps are really simple:

  1. Download WinMTR
  2. Perform a scan of your servers
  3. Receive a report of data.

Of course, this is just me oversimplifying the whole process quite a bit. You can always learn to perform MTR windows test from real professionals, which would be far more valuable for anyone ready to employ the tool in their everyday lives, than doing so from a random guy.

Anyway, hosting is indeed an industry which MTR usage should be standard in my opinion, as server monitoring is one of the top priorities here.

All in all

I’ve given some of my thoughts on why I think MTR should be used by many people. It’s a great way of measuring important server data and combining the previous measure of Ping and Traceroute. 

It should make monitoring much easier for the upcoming future.