Ping is a basic Internet program that allows a user to verify that a particular IP address exists and can accept requests.

Ping is used diagnostically to ensure that a host computer the user is trying to reach is actually operating. Ping works by sending an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request to a specified interface on the network and waiting for a reply. Ping can be used for troubleshooting to test connectivity and determine response time.

As a verb, ping means "to get the attention of" or "to check for the presence of" another party online. The computer acronym (for Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper) was contrived to match the submariners' term for the sound of a returned sonar pulse.

Tip: To find out the dot address (such as for a given domain name, Windows users can go to their command prompt screen (start/run/cmd) and enter ping xxxxx.yyy (where xxxxx is the second-level domain name like "whatis" and yyy is the top-level domain name like "com").



Getting started with ping
To explore how ping is used in the enterprise, here are additional resources:
Permitting Ping: ICMP Exceptions: Ping is a crucial security tool for any network admin. Read Mark Minasi's thoughts on ping in this excerpt from his book, "Mastering Windows Server 2003 Upgrade Edition for SP1 and R2."
Using ping command for troubleshooting Windows network connectivity: Using ping command for troubleshooting networks will narrow down the causes of your Windows PC connectivity problems from the command line (CL) prompt window. The introduction to this TCP/IP diagnostic utility will give you an understanding and syntax of how ping works, plus what it means when your ping request times out or reaches a network host.
What Ping doesn't tell you: Ping distinguishes certain states of network functionality that are the cornerstones of everyday network troubleshooting. Learn how to gain greater insight into your network.
This was last updated in February 2009

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