Looking for a quick way to test your network speed? Well you can always use a service like Speed Test. Your results are accurate.
However, more advanced users prefer Ping command.
Why use ping? Well, it’s fast, platform independent, it works even with a slow internet connection, and it can reveal useful information if you know how to use it properly.
What is the ping command?
Ping (short for Packet Internet groper) is a popular command-line tool for checking network-related problems. Every operating system has this built in. And basically, it tells you how long it takes for a “data packet” to travel from your computer to a server and back to your computer. The longer it takes, the slower your connection is.
How does it work?
Think of it as sonar. When you ping any server, it sends the echo request (ICMP) to the target. And based on the time it took and the amount of data that returned, you can test the reliability and speed of your connection.
This is how you use Ping
1. Open the command prompt.
If you are new to command prompt, first check out my post on different ways to open a command prompt. To open terminal on mac, type terminal in reflector, while Linux user can use shortcut ctrl + alt + T.
2. Once you see the cmd or terminal window, try the following command.
a. ping localhost
This will show the name of your computer and if your system can receive and send information. You will notice that the time required to send and receive data packets is less than 1 ms. This is because we are communicating with the same device.
This is rarely useful, but it is something you should know.
B. ping google.com
This is extremely useful and commonly used. If this command fails, that is, there is no response from the server. So it means the website is down or your internet connection is down.
Now why ping Google? Well, you can ping other websites as well, but since Google’s servers are extremely rare to be down or slow, pinging is the preferred way to test internet connectivity.
22.214.171.124 – Google.com IP address (ping is also useful to quickly find the IP address of any website)
Lost 0% – It means that the ping was successful and your Internet connection is active. No packages were lost.
Average time = 109 miles sec– if the average time is less than 100, the connection is successful and more than 1000 is very slow. However, this is a bit of a generalization. It may give you a good idea, but it is definitely not a holy grail.
Destination unreachable – It probably means that there is no path between your computer and the destination website. Problem with your network device or the Internet is not working with your ISP
Timeout – It means that no response was received for the given packet. Possibly a slow internet connection.
For more ping options, type ping and hit enter
If you want to ping the target continuously, use the time (-t) parameter. To escape the loop, use ctrl + c for both Mac and Windows.
Example ping google.com –t
If you want to send more or less than 4 requests, use -n followed by no from the count.
Example ping google.com –n 10
Windows sent four packets by default, while MAC sent unlimited packets. To stop them, use CTRL + C. Very useful.
If you want to send a data packet other than 32 bytes (default), use –l followed by byte numbers.
Example ping google.com –l 64
It is not necessary for all hosts to respond to your ping request. Sometimes pinging websites like MSN and Microsoft returns an error. Your internet connection is good though.
Apparently I was having some problem with my WiFi router and the ‘ping command’ was helpful. How? Well, it can tell you if your ISP’s internet connection is due to a malfunction of your router. For example
# 1 If your ISP has no internet connection, you will be able to ping your router, but any website.
# 2 If there is a problem with your router then you will not be able to ping any website or your router.
You can quickly check your internet connectivity on your Android using PingTool. This app not only allows you to ping a website but also do a port scan, look up whois and it has a WiFi scanner. Much better than the fastest Android app.
If you use the ping command a lot in Windows. Then instead of running it via cmd, use the run box instead of typing cmd / c ping google.com. Here / c will close the cmd once it’s done, but if you want to keep it open, use the / o parameter.
Now the advantage of running it from the run box is that it is much faster. Also, the run box remembers the history, so next time you want to run the command, press Win + R to open the run box, use up / down to bring up the ping command, and then hit enter.