Ping

Ping is a packet of data intended to check the route to and availability of another TCP/IP address. It does not always work on the Internet because many security administrators disallow ping in their firewalls (a good idea because ping can be used to create a rudimentary Denial-of-Service attack).

Ping is the nickname given to sound wave transmittal/reflection in Active SONAR. Software Ping performs a similar function, transmitting a packet to and receiving information from a target. The original code was written by the late Mike Muuss in 1983. He won the 1993 Lifetime Achievement Award from University of California at Berkeley.

Here is a windows ping of the servers at yahoo.com

C:\>ping yahoo.com

Pinging yahoo.com [66.218.71.198] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 66.218.71.198: bytes=32 time=120ms TTL=246
Reply from 66.218.71.198: bytes=32 time=100ms TTL=246
Reply from 66.218.71.198: bytes=32 time=130ms TTL=246
Reply from 66.218.71.198: bytes=32 time=101ms TTL=246

Ping statistics for 66.218.71.198:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 100ms, Maximum = 130ms, Average = 112ms

Analysis of the ping response:

Pinging yahoo.com [66.218.71.198] with 32 bytes of data:

Resolves the address (tests to make sure the DNS works from your computer)

Reply from 66.218.71.198: bytes=32 time=120ms TTL=246

Shows the reply from your ping'ed internet address, including the time in milliseconds and the Time to Live. Time to live is (in this example) a default value that tells the ping packet to expire if it does not reach the target in 246 hops. It is a value passed in the header of all IP (Internet Protocol) packets and was originally used to measure time.

Ping statistics for 66.218.71.198:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 100ms, Maximum = 130ms, Average = 112ms

At the end of each ping is a statistics summary that can be used to determine if a problem exists. Even if ping returns a true (the TCP/IP address and the route to the address is valid from the originator), there may be a problem with the route. Look for a wide range of times between the three values (minimum, maximum, average) in the last line to determine if further investigation is needed.


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