Definition of ping in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Ping (in computer networking)?

Stands for Packet Internet Groper, a TCP/IP utility that verifies the integrity of a network connection with a host on a TCP/IP network. The ping command is one of the first commands to use to troubleshoot communication problems on a TCP/IP network.

How It Works

At the command prompt, type ping followed by either the IP address or the fully qualified domain name (if the Domain Name System is implemented) of the host for which you want to test networking connectivity. One or multiple Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo packets are sent to the host, and if connectivity is working, an equal number of echo replies are received. The replies show the packet size in bytes, response time in milliseconds, and Time to Live (TTL) of the echo reply. The TTL is decremented for each hop along the way and indicates the number of routers (hops) passed through along the network path.

The usual procedure for using ping to troubleshoot a TCP/IP network follows:

  • Verify that TCP/IP is installed and running by pinging the local loopback address using ping
  • Ping your own IP address and host name.
  • Ping the IP address of the default gateway for your local network.
  • Ping the IP address of a host on a remote network.

If these steps produce the expected results, TCP/IP is installed and running on your network.


For advanced syntax features, simply type ping instead of ping /?.

If you can ping a host’s IP address but not its fully qualified domain name (FQDN), you probably have a name resolution problem. Check your Domain Name System (DNS) configuration and make sure that the DNS server is running, or check your Hosts file if it is implemented.