What Happens When You Ping Someone?

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Ping is efficacy that is used for verifying if a network data packet has the ability to be distributed to an address without any kind of errors. Ping was introduced by Michael Muss in 1983. This is used to understand and check for any kind of network errors. This was initially created as a technique used to troubleshoot issues in an IP address.
Ping isn’t an acronym or short for anything, though it can be considered as a Packet Internet Groper. This term has been used for more than 30 years now. This term ‘ping’ was established by the ping sound that a sonar makes when it spots an object underwater. Ping is used to test your network command and any errors in it.
Ping measures the amount of time for messages that are sent from the destination of your network, known as the host, to the destination, which is then resonated back to the source. The first version that was released as a public domain software while all the ensuing versions were given a license under the BSD license. The first ping was included in 4.3 BSD.
ICMP is an Internet Control Message Protocol – Ping operates by sending these ICMP requests to the target, which is also known as the destination and waits for a reply from them. It indicates the amount of time ICMP took from the host network to the target or destination network.
(Internet Control Message Protocol) ICMP payload is a payload used for distinct types of answers. It can be an uninformed length, left to implementation details. On a note, the packet that includes the IP and ICMP pointers is said to be necessarily less than the maximum number of transmission units of the network or can either be the risk being scrappy or fragmented.

How Does Ping Work?

Ping works similarly to the sonar technology mentioned above. When a sonar detects an object underwater it makes a sound and listens for an echo in reoccurrence. A ping works similarly in a computer network. All you do is issue the ping command with a URL or website address. The computer then sends a number of packets of information out to the device and then it takes a little time for the response to come back. Whenever the response is achieved, it displays the amount of time each packet took to make the entire 360-degree trip.
Command-line options of the ping efficacy and the output generated is differentiated between several implementations done on it. There are many options that could be availed. These options include

  • The size of the payload – payload includes a timestamp which determines the time of diffusion and gives a sequence number. The payload may also include a magic packet in favor of the Wake-on-LAN
  • The number of tests
  • The limits for the number of network hops
  • The time or interval between the requests made
  • The time which the response took to come back

Ping is actually as simple as it sounds. Ping helps you identify if your computer is capable of reaching to any other device, these devices can either be your router or your native network. It can even be any maneuver on the internet. Ping can help you determine the issues with your network problem, it tells us whether you are having an issue with your network or if it’s someone else’s. The time that it shows you of how much time your packet takes to return can really help you identify id you are having a slow connection or if you have a packet loss.
Ping doesn’t belong to the type of operating system you are using. You can use this on any macOS, Linux or any Windows version. Any type of operating system will not affect how ping is being used.

How to Use Ping?

In order to understand the process of how ping works. It can be used on Windows Command Prompt as well as Windows PowerShell, the Terminal app on macOS or even Linux distro. No matter what the window, ping works exactly the same everywhere.
Considering a Windows Command Prompt and how ping works on it, here are some of the processed steps to understand how you can use ping.

  1. Press Windows+R.
  2. In the RUN window, type ‘cmd’ in the search bar and hit enter.
  3. At the prompt, type ‘ping’ with the IP address or URL that you desire to ping. Hit enter. Considering you get a normal response, it will show you the URL you are pinging along with the size of the packets being sent. Next, you’ll see the replies from every single packet along with the time (in milliseconds) that it took in order to create the response.
    At the bottom, there will be a summary that will tell you the number of packets that were sent and received. It will also display the average, minimum and maximum time for response.
  4. Next, we will be pinging out local networks router with the help of its IP address. Considering we get a normal response from it, the display would show it. On the other hand, if you don’t get any response, the screen will display and notify you of that too.

The above process is to make the audience understand how to use ping at its most basic. There are obviously more advanced options to it, you can make it switch behaviors as well. For instance, you can make it continuously ping any destination and it will do it unless you stop the command yourself. You can also notify it of the number of times you want it to be pinged and how often should it ping a particular address. There are many options to ping but don’t worry above these advanced switches right now.
In order to understand the advanced options, all you have to do it type” ping /?” in the command prompt and a list will be right in front of you. You can easily understand the advanced features from there.

Features of a Ping.

Now that you are aware of how to do it, let us learn about the characteristics of ping. This is the list of interesting features that you can avail of from ping.

  1. You can check if you can reach an internet destination by putting in the URL or IP address in the command prompt. If you get a successful response, you’ll know that every device between you and the destination is working perfectly.
  2. You can easily ping a URL in order to resolve its IP address. If you want to get the IP address of a URL, you can just ping the URL and it’ll give you the IP address. The current IP address you are working with is shown on the top right of your screen.
  3. Ping the router to check if you are able to reach it. If it doesn’t ping successfully, what you do next is to ping your own local router. If you get a successful response from it, you will understand that your router is working perfectly and the issue exists somewhere which is out of your control.
  4. You can ping your loopback address as well ( Imagine a situation where you aren’t able to ping your router but your router is turned on and appears to be working fine, you can try something else – try pinging your loopback address. Loopback address will always be, whilst pinging it, if it’s successful you’ll understand if the network adapter available on your computer is working properly.

Another thing to keep in mind is the possibility that you might not always get a response when pinging your own local router. This is because of the built-in firewalls on these devices which stop the pinging requests. In order to get over this issue, you need to turn off the setting known as allow pings through the firewalls. Without turning off the setting, you can’t ping your local router due to security issues so remember to turn it off.
In the network ping, ping is a measurement of the latency of the network and its connection to the server, this is measured in milliseconds. There are two types of pings, low ping, and high ping.
Low ping indicates low latency which shows a good connection which results in responsiveness.
High ping indicates high latency which shows a congested and bad connection and issues with the server. This results in lagging and poor receptiveness.


There are two types of approaches to ping. Outside-In Approach and Inside-Out Approach. What is mentioned above is Outside-In Approach. Outside-In approach is where you ping the destination that is far away from you and then ping the one which are the local devices. Inside-out approach refers to the approach where one pings the local destination before pinging the destination which is far away. People usually prefer the Outside-In approach more than the other.

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