Windows Ping Feature
EB used to use Ping, but now she’s changed to Calloway. She just couldn’t get the distance out of her Pings as she does from her Calloways. As folks get older they lose some punch on their drives. Calloways aren’t cheap. EB took out a second mortgage to get them. Bad decision – now she has some fantastic golf clubs and can’t afford to pay the green fees. We’re going broke, and she’s out buying Calloways? Oh, woe is EB.
By now you know us. You know we’re not going to stick an article about golf clubs in this newsletter. It was just a little comic relief to ease your tired eyes and bring you back so you can focus on this eclectic and sometimes bizarre computer newsletter. You won’t find stuff like this in PC Magazine … or PC World!
Every version of Windows has had a program built in that allows you to Ping any Web site by its common name – like Microsoft.com – and resolve it to its numerical IP address.
So what does a Ping program do? “Ping is a program that sends a series of packets over a network or the Internet to a specific computer in order to generate a response from that computer. The other computer responds with an acknowledgment that it received the packets. Ping was created to verify whether a specific computer on a network or the Internet exists and is connected.”
Well, why would you need to do this? You wouldn’t need to but you might want to. Besides you might be learning something new. You might want to ping a Web site if you can’t open it in your browser to see if perhaps the site is down. You might want to see what its IP address is. You might want to see where its server is located.
Yes, as with most computer things, there are other ways to find out stuff. You could find out where a company is located by looking on a domain registrar’s site. But sometimes this information is not available to everyone; some companies pay to have some of their information hidden unless someone has a valid reason for seeking it. Using the IP address of the server you can tell where the server is located. You could use a site that provides an NSLookup (Name Server lookup) like http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php – to find the location of the server from its IP address.
Ping is a networking tool that’s been part of Windows for a long time and it’s still part of Windows. We just wanted you to know its there and help you learn to use another tool you may not have known Windows had.
Below is screen shot of the Windows Ping Program – this was taken running Windows Vista, but if you have Windows XP you can access Ping the same way. Notice below we pinged two popular sites: Bing and Google. The round-trip time for “ping packets” sent from my computer to these servers on the Internet are shown in milliseconds. From my computer Bing is slower than Google by about 10ms. Not enough difference for a human like me to notice. The ping program also shows the number of packets of information sent and the packets returned. If all the packets returned are equal to the number of packets sent, this means no data is being lost, and that’s a good thing.
If you want to run the ping program in your version of Windows do this: Click Start, Run, and type “CMD” without the quotes. At the cursor, type “ping: google.com” (without the quotes – and leave a space after the colon). Press Enter. That’s all there is to it. You can ping any site by using its common name. So ping: thundercloud.net, ping: notoverthehill.com, ping: twitter.com, and so on.
Some sites like Microsoft.com and MSN.com won’t respond to ping packets as a security measure. So while most sites will respond to your ping, not all sites will.
Ping the day away, Calloway.