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How to Use the Ping Command to Test Your Network

The ping command sends packets of data to a specific IP address on a network, and then lets you know how long it took to transmit that data and get a response. It’s a handy tool that you can use to quickly test various points of your network. Here’s how to use it.

Ping comes from a term used in sonar technology that sends out pulses of sound, and then listens for the echo to return. On a computer network, a ping tool is built into most operating systems that works in much the same way. You issue the ping command along with a specific URL or IP address. Your computer sends several packets of information out to that device, and then waits for a response. When it gets the response, the ping tool shows you how long each packet took to make the round trip—or tells you there was no reply.

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