Towards the end of the traceroute, you will get an idea (depending on the DNS) of which companies are responsible for the IP service. If you already know about traceroute, you can learn more about the enhanced traceroute that we are using for this web page by reading the FAQ.
Press the back button on your browser to do it again, or if you're an exceptionally lazy person and want to waste resources, click here to go back to the Opus One traceroute page. Confused? Go to the Opus One home page to erase this vile techno geek stuff and find a consultant who can explain it to you.
Traceroute is a long-established tool which attempts to establish the path between two systems by sending out consecutive UDP packets with ever-increasing TTLs (time-to-live values). As each router processes any IP packet, it decrements the TTL. When the TTL reaches zero, it sends back a "TTL exceeded" message (in a different IP protocol, called ICMP) to the originater. Traceroute uses outgoing UDP packets and returning ICMP messages to detect the routers which a packet passes through as it passes across the Internet.
The outgoing packets from traceroute are sent towards the destination using UDP and very high port numbers, typically in the range of 32,768 and higher. This is because no one runs UDP services up there, so when the packet finally reaches the destination, traceroute can tell that it got to the end (because the ICMP changes from "TTL exceeded" to "port unreachable").
If you have never studied TCP/IP, this explanation may be too complex for you. That's OK. There is an outstanding explanation of Traceroute written by the (late, great) W. Richard Stevens in his TCP/IP Illustrated (volume 1). If you are serious about understanding TCP/IP, this is a book you need to buy. I strongly recommend that you get a copy. Amazon.COM has it, of course, and possibly your local bookstore. (click here for a direct Amazon.COM link.)
If you feel the need to have a simpler explanation of Traceroute so that you understand it, you might try and type in "traceroute" to your favorite search engine and see what pops up.