Where does the name Ping come from? Some claim that it's short for Packet Internet Groper. However, the author of this utility, which was written for BSD UNIX in 1983, says it was originally named after the sound a submarine's sonar system makes when it sends out pulses looking for objects in the sea .

To use the Ping command, open a Command Prompt window (Cmd. exe) and type the command ping target_name (where target_name is an IP address or the name of another host machine). The return output looks something like this:


Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=48 Reply from bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=48

Reply from bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=48 Reply from bytes=32 time=33ms TTL=48

Ping statistics for

Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss), Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

Minimum = 30ms, Maximum = 33ms, Average = 31ms

If all the packets you send come back properly in roughly the same time, your TCP/IP connection is fine and you can focus your troubleshooting efforts elsewhere . If some packets time out, a "Request timed out" message appears, indicating that your network connection is working but one or more hops between your computer and the target machine are experiencing problems. In that case, repeat the Ping test using the -n switch to send a larger number of packets; ping -n 30, for example, sends 30 packets to the computer or router at

A high rate of timeouts, also known as packet loss, usually means the problems are elsewhere on the network and not on the local machine. (To see the full assortment of switches available for the Ping command, type ping with no target specified.)

If every one of your packets return with the message "Request timed out," the problem might be the TCP/IP connection on your computer or a glitch with another computer on that network. To narrow down the problem, follow these steps, in order, stopping at any point where you encounter an error:

1. Ping your own machine using any of the following commands:

ping ::1 ping ping localhost

This standard IP address corresponds to your computer. (The first line is the IPv6 address for your own computer; the second line is the IPv4 address.) If you receive an error, TCP/IP is not configured properly on your system . For fix-it details, see "Repairing Your TCP/IP Configuration" on page 682.

2. Ping your computer's IP address .

3. Ping the IP address of another computer on your network

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