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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Ping Command

The command utility "ping" is one of the simplest, and most universally useful, utilities used in computer networking. It asks just one question.

Do I have connectivity to a given host?


It answers that question, and possibly one other.

What is the publicly known IP address for that host?


Depending upon whether you specify a host by name or by IP address (and either is useful), and whether that host actually does respond, you may get a series of responses.


You run Ping simply by opening a Command Window, and typing the command. You can:

  • Ping (hostname).
  • Ping (IP address).


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Ping host by name, host responds.

I enter
C:\>ping pchuck1


Pinging pchuck1 [192.168.100.100] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.100:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This tells me:

  • Host "pchuck1" is online and responding.
  • It's IP address is 192.168.100.100.


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Ping host by IP address, host responds.

I enter
C:\>ping 192.168.100.100


Pinging 192.168.100.100 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 192.168.100.100: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.100:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This tells me:

  • Host "192.168.100.100" is online and responding.


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Ping host by name, host does not respond.

I enter
C:\>ping pchuck8

(I only wish I had 8 computers).

Pinging pchuck8 [192.168.100.107] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.107:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This tells me:

  • Host "pchuck8" is not online, or is not responding.
  • It's thought to exist, and to have an IP address of 192.168.100.107.

Possible problems:


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Ping host by IP address, host does not respond.

I enter
C:\>ping 192.168.100.107

(I only wish I had 8 computers).

Pinging 192.168.100.107 with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.107:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

This tells me:

  • Host "192.168.100.107" is not online, or is not responding.

Possible problems:


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Ping host by name, host is unknown.

I enter
C:\>ping pchuck8

(I only wish I had 8 computers).

Ping request could not find host pchuck8. Please check the name and try again.

This tells me:

  • Host "pchuck8" is unknown.

Possible problems:


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