# APRS: WIDEn-N vs. TRACEn-N

The suggested APRS digipeater path is WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1 for the most use cases. According to the specs, this ensures two retransmissions by fill-in / regular digipeaters around the sender, without the digipeaters adding their own callsign to the path.

The TRACEn-N path, as opposed to that, is intended to let digipeaters insert their callsign when forwarding. However, despite the use of WIDEn-N, I see one or multiple digipeaters in the path of most packets.

Are there still valid use cases for TRACEn-N? Will a TRACEn-N packet have the same coverage as a WIDEn-N one?

Actually, current specifications encourage or require digipeaters to add their callsigns to the WIDEn-N path, since including callsigns greatly helps in finding and fixing all sorts of network issues (look for "traceable" in the page). WIDE1-1 is often replaced by the callsign of a dumb digipeater, WIDE2-1 is usually prepended by the callsign of a digipeater.
TRACEn-N is often useful for diagnostics. Many areas still have obsolete digipeaters in use, which don't add their own callsigns to the WIDEn-N path, and those digipeaters often do add their callsign to TRACEn-N paths. So someone might want to sometimes temporarily use TRACEn-N to see which digipeaters are retransmitting your packets. If all digipeaters in your area have already been upgraded to make WIDEn-N traceable, it should not make much difference at all.
Unless there is a digipeater which completely ignores TRACEn-N packets in your area (would be surprising), it should get the same coverage.