What does it mean to ping a computer IP address or a website, how to ping and how to read the response results
This is the most effective method for network administrators to know if a computer is online within a networkand it’s also a useful command to know right away whether a website is online or offline. Pinging a network address (which can be an IP address or a website address) therefore means making a call by sending him a message and waiting for his response.
In addition to checking whether a computer or site is online or not, the ping command can also be used to check the speed of your network connection (or rather the latencies in communication) between the system and the target website or computer.
Let’s find out together how to Ping from the PC, what it is for and in which scenarios it is best to use it, especially when we notice connection problems with the home network or the office network.
READ ALSO -> Faster connection and reduce network latency and ping (connection time)
1) What is ping
From a technical point of view, Ping is sending an ICMP packet to the recipient and then waits to receive another ICMP packet in response, which stands for Internet Control Message Protocol and is the protocol used in networks to transmit control information, messages and malfunctions between the various components of a computer network.
In the practical field, You can ping a computer using the Windows DOS command promptI know of any other shell (for example Terminal on MAC or Bash on Linux) simply writing:
ping indirizzo IP
or using the command:
For example, you can ping the router to see if the computer is correctly connected to the network by writing:
or alternatively test the network connection by launching a ping to Google:
It pays to learn how to ping to Googleso as to be able to understand if the connection problem concerns the modem, the connection itself or some of its parameters (for example in DNS server).
2) How to interpret the Ping command
The response to the Ping displays various information describing the connection: the number of packets sent and receivedtheir dimension in bytesil tempo total elapsed between sending each packet and receiving the response, the average of the times and the percentage of responses obtained.
A standard ping sent from a Windows system will send a 32-byte message to the target system or website, sending this message in four parts. On Linux, the Ping is sent as a constant, continuous message instead.
To send a constant and continuous ping on Windows, you should use the following command:
ping -t indirizzo
Each response represents a message that is received by the recipient. The response you get from Ping is made up of some basic information:
- Duration: Shows how long it takes to send a message to the target and get a response.
Having a low ping means a very fast response time, which is a great thing when connecting to a gaming server, for example.
- TTL o Time to live: represents the number of networks crossed by the message to reach the recipient. The number indicated, however, is not a count of hops, but “the number of network hops the packet can make before it is destroyed.”
Always in the response to the Ping you get the Ping statistics which tell us how many packets were transmitted, how many were received and how many were lost. Usually if a network address responds and is online, the transmitted packets are always all received, while if it is an offline address, the packets are all lost.
In case some packets were received and others lost means that the connection is having problems; we can also lose all the packets, thus receiving a confirmation that the connection is not active (we are not connected to the mobile operator or we cannot access the Internet even if connected).
In general, there should be little difference between minimum, maximum and average, otherwise it means that the connection between you and the website or computer is not stable.
3) Ping requests blocked
Some websites block ping requestsso if you try to ping the address of these websites, the response message will be something like “Network destination unreachable” and there is no way to ping it.
Per see if a site is reachable however there are other ways. The same thing can happen to a networked computer that has an active firewall blocks ping for security reasons.
In all other cases, when a Ping request fails, it means that the website address or IP address to which you are sending the request is incorrect, or that either the computer sending the ping or the recipient who should receive it.
Ping is one of the most useful tools when you need it resolve network connection problems and also for check the stability and quality of an Internet connection.
Even though the command has been present practically since the origin of the first interconnected networks, it is still very useful for understanding why the Internet does not work correctly.
If, however, we wanted to find out how to reduce the ping of the connection (i.e. the time it takes, in milliseconds, for a packet to pass from our PC to the chosen server) we advise you to read the guides on Network Packet Loss, Latency and Jitter: How to Check and Fix come on how to reduce ping (and avoid lag) to play online on PC and console.
If instead we wanted to block ping to our network or to our local PC we can read our article on how to hide your PC online from hackers by blocking ping.