What is the ping command and how do I use it? (Windows)

What is the ping command and how do I use it? (Windows)

What is Ping?

Ping is a tool that sends test packets through the network to a destination of your choice and measures the response time.

When do I use it?

You can use ping to:

  1. Test if your website, or web server is reachable

  2. Test the internet connection latency

  3. Check if you are experiencing lag or packet loss

How do I use it?

This article will show you how to ping on Windows. Click here if you want to know how to use the ping command on a Mac.

  1. Use your search to find your Command Prompt – just type ‘cmd’ and then open the app.

  2. Type ping, followed by a domain name or IP address like so:

    ping ninefortwo.be

    ping 185.18.9.249

  3. Windows will stop your test after the 4th attempt

How to read ping results?

Each line has several components with the following meaning:

  • PING ninefortwo.be (185.18.9.249): 56 data bytes – If you ping a domain name, before the test, the tool will identify that domain name’s IP address.

  • time=43.488 ms – This is the amount of time it took for 1 test packet to be sent from your device, reach the destination and reach you back.

  • 64 bytes – this is the size of the test packet

  • ttl=54 – this is your test’s ‘time to live’. The TTL defines for how long the packet will travel before it dies

  • 8 packets transmitted, 8 packets received, 0.0% packet loss – The amount of sent and received packets, and % packet loss.

Successful test: You are looking at consistent low response time – the time values are close. The amount of transmitted and received packages match and there is no packet loss. (It is not uncommon for the first ping attempt to fail - it is not an indication of a problem.)

There is an issue: Highly fluctuating time values, timeouts and more than the occasional packet loss.

Unfortunately, the ping command only tells you there are issues along the way. It does not tell you whether the issues are with your router, your internet service provider or your hosting. To further troubleshoot, you need to use the tool tracert (for Windows) or traceroute (for Mac).

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