You probably know that you can use the PING command to find out if you have a connection to another system on their network, a system on the Internet (by IP address, for example), or if they can connect and resolve a friendly name with PING such as www.abc.com using DNS. When you use PING, the program returns the time it takes to connect to the target system over four evenly spaced attempts. This command has many options, and is a primary network administrator's tool.
The -t switch is particularly valuable for solving those pesky intermittent network problems that often crop up, anything from a faulty router to an intermittent ISP connection. The -t switch continues to PING another computer on a regular basis until you exit from the program by pressing the Ctrl+C keystroke. Through redirection either to a file or to print output, you can create a log that will tell you when a connection failed or became slow, when you got redirected, and more.
Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.
Managing networks effectively for best performance and lowest cost will be the subject of many sessions at our FREE upcoming Networking Decisions conference, to be held in Chicago October 16 - 18 in Chicago. Click here to register for the conference.