“Time To Live Exceeded”

“Time To Live Exceeded”

What Exactly Does The Error Mean?

When a packet is sent, it has a value applied to it called TTL (Time To Live). This value decreases in increments every time the packet ‘hops’ from one network location to another. When it reaches 0, it is automatically dropped, and the time to live exceeded error is returned.

What Could Be Causing It?

The most common cause of this error is a routing loop somewhere in the network, either as a result of misconfiguration or a temporary hiccup in the network’s infrastructure. This loop  This loop causes packets to be bounced back and forth until the TTL reaches zero.

What’s The Solution?

Depending on the root cause of the error, it may be suitable to simply wait and attempt to reach the server at a later time. In the meantime, there are a few steps you could potentially take to troubleshoot:

  • Run a traceroute to see where your packets are going while en route to their destination. If you see it bouncing between two different hops, there’s a good chance a segment is either missing or unreachable. Contact your host with your findings if you can’t make sense of them yourself.
  • Check to see if all network segments are properly configured, and that they’re up and running.
  • Make sure ipforwarding is turned on for all network segments, if possible.
  • Increase the TTL value of your destination (maximum 255), and see if this fixes the problem.
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