Web Site Traceroute Experiment

In better understanding how our devices are connected to the internet, I will share the traceroutes that I have performed on some of the websites that I regularly visit. The sites are as follows:

  • amazon.com
  • theguardian.com
  • yellowtrace.com.au

While these websites aren’t necessarily the website I visit the most, they are websites I visit frequently and represent a broad geographic spread around the world. The traceroutes I am comparing begin from my home wifi connection and my cell phone connection.

Traceroute maps provided by https://stefansundin.github.io/traceroute-mapper/

Overall, I split my internet usage between AT&T and Verizon. Verizon is my home ISP while AT&T is my cellular provider. The first surprising observation is that none of the websites are hosted overseas. While I know that theguardian.com (instead of theguardian.co.uk) is the US version of the news site, I was surprised to learn that even yellowtrace.com.au is hosted from within the US.

My main providers appear to AT&T and Verizon for obvious reasons. Additionally I’ve noticed that something called Alter.net has popped up a couple of times with Amazon and Level 3 for the Guardian.

The other surprising observation is that all of my data, regardless of whether I’m connecting through my cellular connection or my home wifi or through my school’s internet connection, is being routed through someplace near Wichita, Kansas. After looking up the IP address that was being located there, I found that Google appears to be routing a great deal of traffic through this link, and it also appears that traffic is jumping between multiple nodes all within this same location. What is the significance of Cheney Reservoir in Kansas? Clearly, the link makes little sense when considering the physical geography.

UPDATE:

I did a little more snooping around to see what’s the secret behind Cheney Reservoir and wrote my findings here.

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