Simply browsing the web for an hour can expose your Mac to hundreds of routers and servers and you’re not likely to know where they are. Fortunately, for the curious, the Mac geek, and anyone interested in better internet or network performance, there is a Mac app that can display all the gory details.
For me, WhatRoute is more a curiosity than a network performance tracking too, but it performs the latter with speed and precision. Simply put, WhatRoute is a Mac app; a utility which diagnoses networks and combines the standard trace route function with a geo graph and other network tools.
For example, WhatRoute will tell you where your Mac hops, skips, and jumps to make a connection, listing all the hops and networks between the two, and displays all the details on a wonderfully detailed geographic map.
WhatRoute measures the round-trip time from your Mac to a router on the network, which is a good way to find network bottlenecks on a local area network. It also scans the network and gives you basic Ping, Whois, DNS, and LAN monitoring functionality.
If you’re into geeky network settings, configurations and preferences, WhatRoute satisfies.
I use WhatRoute to satisfy my curiosity about where all the websites I connect to really exist, why some are much faster than others, and to dink around using Ping, Query, Finger, and both Address Scan and Port Scan.
WhatRoute uses a map to create the geographical representation of the network and router connections.
The app is donationware, but otherwise free to use. I know a few of the techs in our company that keep WhatRoute handy, both for LAN access, as well as troubleshooting corporate connections to other offices. What if you want to track where an application on your Mac phones home? Again, you’ll be surprised to aghast and the activity applications make on your Mac and network. To find out where applications connect check out Little Snitch.