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I'd like to learn why traceroute sends three packets per hop by default. (Nothing important, I'm just curious).

Edit: packages != packets

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First, they're called "packets", not "packages".

Multiple packets result in more information. Soft failure, asymmetric routing, and other network weirdness can't be seen with a single packet. With 2 packets, which result do you believe? With 3 packets, ...

OTOH, programmer picked a default.

  • Yes, I realised that after posting the question. Sending more than a single packet is of course also useful for making sure the round trip times are realistic. – rkhff Jun 8 '16 at 15:23
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Another reason for why traceroute sends three probes by default is to provide more detailed results for round-trip time (RTT) by showing the RTT of each of the three probe.

You can modify the number of probes using the --queries / -q flag

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