Articles‎ > ‎Troubleshooting‎ > ‎

Windows Network Troubleshooting Utilities (Updated)

Below is a list of some command line network utilities that come with Windows that you can use for troubleshooting some basic network problems. The problem with these utilities is that they're not very intuitive until you learn to understand what you're looking at.

The primary use of them is to find out if different parts of your computer's network subsystems are working properly. For example if you're able to PING a remote computer, then you know that your computer is able to talk to it and that it's able to talk back to you. The IPCONFIG command is handy for finding out information about your computer's TCP/IP information, such as your IP address.

In order to access these utilities you must use the MS-DOS command prompt. To access the command prompt, from the Run... command under the Start menu, type CMD and press Enter. To exit the command prompt, close the window or type EXIT and press enter.

PING [hostname]

Example : ping

Preforms a basic network test to check  communication with a remote device. 

TRACERT [hostname]

Example: traceroute

Shows the path and the number of routers (aka 'network hops') that the data passes through to arrive to the destination, if a connection is broken, this will show where it could be happening.


Example : ifconfig

Shows the basic TCP/IP network configuration for the computer, such as the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway.

NSLOOKUP [hostname]

Example: nslookup

Displays the remote IP address assigned to a domain name based on the DNS information. This is a good test to make sure that the DNS connection is working properly.

Below is an example of the output:

Non-authoritative answer:



NETSTAT [options]

Example: netstat -nt

Displays the current TCP/IP based connections established on the computer. This is handy to see the remote TCP/IP connections the system is using. 

TELNET [hostname] [port]

Example: telnet 80

Provides a simple terminal session with another computer to perform different tasks, such as remote device administration or running text based applications. This utility can also be used for doing basic troubleshooting on HTTP, SMTP, and other text based  services.

ARP [options]

Example: arp -a

Shows and manages the local computer's address translation tables

NBTSTAT [options]

Example: nbtstat -n

Shows protocol statistics for NBT (NetBIOS over TCP/IP) connections.

NETSH [options]

Example: netsh interface show interface

Manages local or remote network configurations.

NET [options]

Example: net view

Displays or configures advanced network and system settings.

NLTEST [options]

Example: nltest /query

Tests the secure channels between a Windows computer in a domain and domain controllers.

PATHPING [hostname]

Example: pathping

Functions similarly to TRACERT command but also reports information about network latency and loss at each router.

GETMAC [options]

Example: getmac

Displays the MAC addresses for the NIC(s) attached to the computer.


Example: hostname

Shows the network name of the local computer.

ROUTE [options]

Example: route print

Displays and manages the local computers network routing tables.

There are several more network utilities that are available, but these are the ones that you will use the most.