What is Ping?

Ping is a term that’s thrown around all over the place. That being said, the root of what a ping actually is remains the same throughout most of them. In basic terms, it is a utility used to test the reliability of a connection between two points on the Web. Ping is often used during gaming, Internet, and local network troubleshooting, and various other connection tests to determine the root of a problem. There are several applications in which we use ping today. Here are some of them.

Internet Connectivity

Windows, OS X, and Linux users all have access to a very easy and simple method of testing an Internet connection. By opening Terminal (Command Line or “CMD” on Windows), you can simply type ping www.google.com to test your ability to reach Google. This can be a helpful way of determining whether or not a problem pulling up Google (or any other page) is caused by a general lack of ability to connect to the Web, or something more localized to the browser you’re using. If you receive all of your packets back, but the delay time is considerably high (1,000 or more milliseconds), you may be experiencing problems between your local network and the site’s server. The best way to test this is by sending a ping to another site that you know isn’t hosted by the same company.

Network Troubleshooting

You can also ping an IP address to test your connection with a specific computer or device. By sending a ping request to, you are able to test whether or not your computer’s networking hardware and software is functioning properly. This is typically one of the first steps taken during Internet and local network connection troubleshooting. If you don’t receive any packets, or only some of the packets, sent using the ping command to that address, you may have something wrong with your networking hardware, drivers, or some other software configuration. If you receive the ping back from your networking equipment’s loopback, you can also send ping commands to the other computers in your network directly to their IP address, which will usually start with 192.168.


If you play online games, you’ve probably noticed a ping reading on you and the folks you are playing with. This reading lets you know how long it takes each person’s commands to be sent to the server and received back at home. In short, the larger your ping, the more lag you’ll notice during gameplay. Some servers (especially on FPS games) will enact a policy that automatically kicks you out if your ping exceeds acceptable limits. Ideally, you want your ping to be less than 100 milliseconds.

By using this simple tool, you can better understand and resolve a large variety of different connectivity issues that may occur. You can even avoid potentially unpleasant experience in otherwise fun games.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.