How to Use the Ping Command to Troubleshoot Network Issues:
The ping command is one of the most useful network diagnostics Tools at your disposal. This is useful for detecting problems on both your local network and the wider Internet. Let us see what the ping command does and how to use it.
What does it mean to ping something?
To “ping” something on a network means that you send an Internet packet to a destination computer or other network device, asking for a response. That device then sends a packet back to you.
When the packet comes back (if it returns it, that is) you can learn all kinds of interesting things about the network between you and the destination.
Usually, we just want to know how long the reply takes. So when someone mentions the “ping” of a website (for example), it is usually expressed in milliseconds, with normally a lower number being better.
What is Internet Packet?
To better understand ping, you need to know a little bit about the packet you are sending as “ping” to the target computer or network device.
What are the basic units of packets? modern internet. When you send data to someone, like a photo, it breaks down into smaller pieces. Each packet is marked with a source and destination address and then sent over the Internet. These packets pass through to many other computers, such as web servers and Internet routers. The packets continue to pass until they reach the target system.
what can you use ping for
The ping command has two primary uses:
- To check if your connection to the remote computer works at all.
- To check how healthy that connection is.
Even if your ping reaches its destination and you get a reply, the ping response will tell you how long it took for a packet to come back and how many packets were lost. You can use the ping command to diagnose if the connection is too slow or unreliable.
What Kinds of Things Can You Ping?
- In theory, you can do a . can ping anything with ip address.
- You can ping devices on your LAN to make sure they are connected properly.
- You can also ping websites to see if you can access them.
How to Use Ping on Windows
Ping is easy to use. you run it from command prompt or powershell, but we are using command prompt in this example:
- open to start menusearch for command prompt, and select it.
- Type ping and then enter either ip address of device or Site URL You want to ping.
We’ve used Google.com as an example below.
Once started, ping will send four packets of data.
A message for any packet that says “The request timed out” means that your computer did not receive a reply from the target. If some packets are lost, there is a problem with some of the routing paths between your computer and the target.
Useful Ping Command Modifiers for Windows
There are some command switches you can use with the ping command. The switches are additional options for customizing how the ping command works. If you want to see the full list of options, all you have to do is type ping / help at the command prompt and press recorded. You’ll see a full list as well as syntax and usage.
Below is a list of some command switches that are useful for most of the users:
- /t: Ping the target continuously for as long as you want. press Ctrl + Break To stop the process and view the current statistics. To quit, press Ctrl + C.
- /a: Resolve the hostname to an IP address. This is useful if you have an IP address and want to know the web address associated with the specific server you are pinging.
- /n x: Replace “X” with the number of pings you want to send. The default is four. But if you want to better analyze the number of packets lost, send more pings to get a more accurate idea of how many packets are lost on average.
- /w x: Replace “X” with the number of milliseconds you want to wait before declaring the timeout. By default, this value is 4000ms. If you think a connection is working but isn’t waiting long enough for a ping reply, you can raise X to see if you’re right.
- /l x: Replace “X” with the value in bytes to increase the size of each ping. By default this value is 32, but you can increase it to 65527. Useful to see if it is the packet size that is causing problems on your network. A 32-byte ping will work with the default setting, but packets will be lost if something large happens.
How to Use Ping on macOS
For Mac users, you have to use Terminal. Previous versions of macOS included Network Utility, a graphical utility that you could use to run network commands such as ping.
However, the latest versions have removed that utility in favor of Terminal. It’s not as intuitive to use, but it’s still fairly straightforward. First, open Terminal by opening Spotlight (Order + space bar) and typing terminal.
To start ping, simply type the command as shown in Windows: ping then the IP address or URL of the website, ie ping www.google.com.
The main difference between using ping on Windows and Mac is that on macOS it keeps running until you close it manually. To stop pinging the device or URL, press Ctrl + C. This will bring you back to the main prompt.
To see a list of all the parameters you can use to ping on macOS, you can type man ping Get more help pages. There are a lot of Switches, so take your time playing around with the different options.
To exit the man page, you just need to press Why key on your keyboard. This will skip the man page and take you back to the prompt.
The ping command is very versatile and is often the fastest way to find out where on the network the problem lies. We strongly recommend that you check out Best Windows Command Line Network Commands For required network diagnostic commands.