What is Ping?

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Packet Internet Groper, usually licensed as PING, is a diagnostic tool that tests the connectivity between two nodes or devices in a network. PING checks whether a network data package can be distributed to an address without errors. It also includes the network accessibility or a specific IP address and is used to determine and ensure that a host computer is trying to reach a user actually works. PING is mainly used to resolve internet connections. It is also used by websites hosted on WordPress to inform the search engines of an update. In a nutshell, PING is often used to check the errors that the network has and it also simply means “to get the attention of” or “to check for the presence of”.

What is Ping: Functionality

PING offers two primary objectives: to check if the host is available and to measure how long the response will last. PING command is one of the most used of the different command line interfaces. PING consists of a single package that presents an echo request. If the host is available, it will respond with one package. The time measurement for PING is quantified in milliseconds, this refers to the time that the package arrives at the host and the response goes back to the sender.

In addition, PING uses the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). ICMP compensates for gaps in the IP protocol by reporting an error. This is necessary for the system because the IP protocol has no method of error messages. This reports errors and expects higher layers of the OSI architecture model to be able to process and correct the errors. This PING program works as a sonar echo location that sends small packets of information containing ICMP ECHO_REQUEST to a particular computer and then returns an ECHO_REPLY.

Below are the steps of what usually happens when a user pings a machine.

  1. An ICMP echo request message is sent from the source to the destination.
  2. The PING program will set a sequence identifier to be incremented with each of the echo request messages.
  3. PING inserts the sending time in the data section of the message.
  4. It sends an ICMP echo-reply message back to the source if the host lives and responds.
  5. The time of arrival of the reply message is noted via PING, it uses the sending time in the message section and calculates the return time.
  6. It increases the sequence identifier and sends a new echo request message. This applies to the number of PING requests set by the user or the program to be terminated.

A round trip is calculated by noting the local time of the source node when the IP data gram leaves the source node, and then it is subtracted from the time the echo reply arrives. The PING tool displays various error messages when a tour is not successfully completed, such as the following:

Unknown host

This determines the IP address or host names that do not exist on the network or whether the host name of the destination cannot be resolved.

Destination host unreachable

This determines whether the destination node is down or does not work on the network. This may be due to the lack of a local or remote route for the destination host.

TTL has passed in transit

This indicates the maximum time that an IP packet can live over the network before it is thrown away if it does not reach its destination.

Request timeout

This determines when the PING command is disabled because there was no response from the host. This also determines that no echo response messages have been received due to network traffic, address resolution protocol (ARP) failure, packet filtering request, or a router error.

Internet network diagnostic tests

PING commands can be used to perform various useful diagnostic tests of the internet network, such as the following:

Domain IP Address

PING can be used to gauge a domain name or an IP address. A corresponding IP address is displayed in the response.

Time and distance

PING command can be used to determine how long it takes to bounce a package from another site that tells the user the internet distance in terms of the network.


PING can be used to check if the user can reach another computer device. If a user cannot PING at all, but can PING to other sites, that is an indication that the internet network is working, but the site is down. However, if a user cannot really PING on a site, it indicates that the entire network connection has been lost due to a bad connection.

The following points are considered a good ping response time:

  • & lt; 30 ms – excellent ping and ideal for online gaming.
  • 30 to 50 ms – average ping and still good for online gaming.
  • 50 to 100 ms – slightly slow ping time and this affects online gaming.
  • 100 to 500 ms – slow ping and has only a minimal effect on surfing the web, but causes a noticeable delay in online gaming.
  • 500 ms – pings of half a second or more will add a noticeable delay to all requests.

The PING utility output varies depending on the operating system. However, almost all PING outputs indicate the following:

  • Destination IP address
  • ICMP sequence number
  • Time to live (TTL)
  • Tour time
  • Load capacity
  • The number of packages that are lost during shipment.

Most ping programs send multiple pings and give an average of the pings at the end.


In 1983, Mike Muuss created the PING tool. It has around a thousand lines of code and has become the standard tool for various network applications and operating systems. This tool was inspired by a comment from David Mills about the use of ICMP echo packages for IP network diagnosis and measurements. Mike Muus came up with this tool name based on the sound the sonar makes, because the methodology is comparable to the sonar echolocation.

What Ping is: Common Issues

There are several things that concern many users. If the destination host is unreachable, the user must modify the local route table or enable the node. If the host is unknown, the user must verify the name and availability of the DNS servers (domain name system). If the TTL has expired during transport, the user must increase the TTL value using the PING switch. If the request is time-out, the user must extend the waiting time using the PING. Moreover, the security risk is also a concern, to solve this there are several systems that make it possible to disable the answer, despite the fact that there is a mandate to always send a response. So, now you finally know what PING means, how it works and what it is used for.

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