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How to Ping a Website or IP Address

The Ping command allows you to test connectivity between your computer and another network node. This node can be another PC, a Server or even a website. The results that you get from Ping will help to highlight any issues you may be suffering.

In windows to open a command prompt click start and type CMD, this should narrow the list of programs to include an item called “Command Prompt”, if you click it a black window will open as below.

How to Ping a website or IP Address Command Prompt Image

Click into the window and type the following then hit return

          ping bbc.co.uk

You should see something like the following:

How to Ping a website or IP Address Command Prompt Ping Image

The first line you see after you hit return informs you it is pinging bbc.co.uk, the numbers after this are the IP address that bbc.co.uk has currently resolved to and it lets you know it is going to run the test with 32 bytes of data.

The next four lines show there was a reply from the IP address. This is good, the bbc.co.uk website is currently up, running and responding. Each line also shows how many bytes were sent, the time in milli-seconds it took for the 32 bytes of data to get to bbc.co.uk and back again. The last bit of info is the TTL, this represents the number of jumps between network equipment that took place during the ping. The lower the number the more routers the ping went through.

Below this is the summary which shows how many packets were sent, received and lost. 0% loss is best and means the connection between your computer and the bbc.co.uk is good and you have nothing to worry about. It also gives you round trip statistics in milli-seconds.

Some further examples are below.

How to Ping a website or IP Address IP address not responded Image

Here the device at IP address 192.168.1.23 has not responded. 4 Packets were sent and none returned, from this we can see there is no device at that IP address capable of communication or some other device i.e. a firewall is getting in the way.

This is useful for troubleshooting for example connections to printers and other network equipment, and also a very simple test to confirm your PC is indeed connected to a network.

Some commonly used switches

ping [-t] [-a] [-n count] [-4] [-6] target [/?]

-t = Using this option will ping the target until you force it to stop using Ctrl-C.

-a = This ping command option will resolve, if possible, the hostname of an IP address target.

-n count = This option sets the number of ICMP Echo Request messages to send. If you execute the ping command without this option, four requests will be sent.

-4 = This forces the ping command to use IPv4 only but is only necessary if target is a hostname and not an IP address.

-6 = This forces the ping command to use IPv6 only but as with the -4 option, is only necessary when pinging a hostname.

target = This is the destination you wish to ping, either an IP address or a hostname.

/? = Use the help switch with the ping command to show detailed help about the command's several options.

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