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What is the purpose of the TTL in the IP header? How can this be used by a utility such as trace or . . . . .

What is the purpose of the TTL in the IP header? How can this be used by a utility such as trace or tracert to trace a communications path through the network?

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    TTL (Time To Live) says how many "hops" a packet is allowed to take before reaching a destination --how many network routers it can go through, for example. It is used to make sure that packets don't spend an infinity of time in the network trying to reach a destination that might be unreachable. I would think that by sending a packet to a certain address and setting TTL to 1, then trying again with TTL set to 2, and so on, you could check how many hops are necessary before you reach your destination (for example, if you don't get the expected answer from the target computer until you send a packet with TTL=6, you know you have 6 hops between your computer and the target one

    Source(s): tcpipguide.com
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