Here is how you can “Ping” a PC or a website

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Most of us have probably heard the word “ping” at least once in our lives. The word isn’t relatively common but you are still likely to hear it now and then when your internet connection is being discussed. Basically, ping is an application like any other applications on Windows and is an integral part of it as well. It is found commonly on laptops and desktops as well.

Smartphones weren’t left behind too, as this simple application found its way on to them too through an application on respective stores on Android or iOS. Moreover, if you happen to be an occasional speed tester, then you probably already know about the term. This is because services which offer network speed testing, use ping as a measure of internet stability as well. This because a good download or an upload speed doesn’t necessarily mean that your connection is stable.

The ping relies on the TCP/IP, which is a form of Internet Protocol. Through this service, messages or data is sent from the test client to a remote target to test to see if there is a connection. The target doesn’t necessarily have to be a computer; It can be anything on the internet which has an IP address associated with it, usually a website. Not only does Ping tell you if there is a connection between client and target, but can also serve as a measure of internet stability.

Responsive IP Address Pinging.

Since the mainstream uses Windows, this tutorial also goes about on using Ping on the Microsoft’s Platform. Though, similar steps are also for alternative ping applications.

Starting Ping

There is native support for Ping as well on all three major platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and unsurprisingly Linux. This through their respective command line interfaces. If you want to ping a computer, you would probably need an IP address or its name. In case you want to ping a computer by using an IP address, the steps are fairly simple:

  1. First of all, open a shell prompt such as command prompt on Windows or MS-DOS prompt.
  2. Just type in ping in the window that appears and press spacebar followed by the IP Address you want to ping.
  3. Simply press

What the results of a ping mean?

The results would be like this as shown in the picture above:

Bytes: The default size for each ping message is 32 bytes.

Reply from: You can change the setting if you want to, but in Windows, 4 messages are sent in a series to the target. For each message, there is also a confirmation message which is then output on the screen.

Time: This means the time taken in milliseconds for the message to be sent, and a confirmation message to be received.

Time-To-Live (TTL): This value is always between 1 and 128 only. If you want to know the number of different networks the ping messages had to go through, this tells you just that. If the value is 128 this would mean that the device exists on the local network, with 0 other networks.

In case you want to test your network continuously, you can ping infinitely until you want to stop. For this, you would have to type ping-t instead of ping. In case you want to stop, just press Ctrl+C.

Unresponsive IP Address Pinging

It isn’t necessary that there would always be a response to pinging. There can be several reasons for doing so.

  • You might have entered an invalid or wrong IP address
  • The target IP address isn’t connected to any network device.
  • The host system might not be functional
  • There might be network congestion not allowing the networks to communicate

A sample of such is shown in the image below:

Intermittent Ping Responses

It is possible that the response rate for the ping might not be 0 percent or 100 percent; It can be a value in between. The most likely reason for this could be when the target system is going to shut down, or booting.

Pinging Computer or Website by Name

You can also ping a computer or a website by using its name instead of IP address. In case you are pinging a website, it is better to do so by name since there are more chances of incorrect entries when using IP Addresses.

Responsive Website Pinging

To ping a website by name just type in ping and followed by a spacebar, also type the website name starting with www. and ending with .com, for example to ping Facebook just type the following in command prompt:

ping www.facebook.com

Since such large companies have a lot of data centers around the world, there are many possible IP addresses, and all of these can be relayed back to the host system too.

Unresponsive Website Pinging

It is possible that not every site allows you to ping it. This can be due to network security reasons. The results are varied all across, but usually, the Destination Net Unreachable is the more common one. If the sites do report back the IP addresses, they aren’t of the site itself, but rather its DNS Servers’.

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