Path Analyzer Pro Premier 2.6

Dori Smith
21 October, 2007
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People who spend a lot of time working on networked computers can end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out what’s wrong with their network.
Mac OS X ships with Network Utility, which does a perfectly reasonable job of running traceroute, a Unix utility that shows every hop — each stop your data makes between computers on your network and across the internet — and how long it takes. Do you need anything more? If you want more detailed information, the answer is yes.

Path Analyzer Pro can show you your network data in a variety of ways: as a standard traceroute; as a chart showing latency (the time between each hop); as a summary of the route taken; as a log of every command sent; as statistics; and even as a geographical map showing the route your request took on its way to the server. You can trace IP addresses, URLs, and even e-mail addresses. The program also allows you to customise your traces in ways that only serious networking gurus might imagine. For example, along with a single trace, you can do continuous or timed traces, which lets you see more than just Network Utility’s single snapshot.

For a program that has so many options, there’s a dismaying lack of documentation on what many of these options do. The program does not come with a manual. Clicking on Help in the application brings up a web page with links to a few pages: a FAQ, installation instructions, a video demo, and a feature overview. If, for instance, you want to know which of the two geocoding data sources is preferable or what a candles type graph is, you’re on your own.

Australian Macworld’s buying advice.
Path Analyzer Pro is a good choice for networking geeks who want a visual tool that goes further than Terminal commands for analyzing traceroutes. But for the rest of us, Path Analyzer Pro’s potential remains out of reach without a guide to its power.

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