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2011-11-15

A+: PING

Ping is another networking command, and simply shows if you can connect to a specified address (wither a numeric address such as 8.8.8.8, an open Google DNS server, or www.google.com), as well how long (in thousandths of a second, or milliseconds) it takes for a signal to go through the internet to a specified address and back again.

It uses ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) and shows any loss of data packets (which in general mean a serious problem), as well as the quickest, slowest, and mean average times for a round-trip.

Some servers and networks won't reply to a ping for security purposes, and ping can be abused to flood a targeted machine or network with so many pings it can't do anything else (a Denial-Of-Service Attack).

The term can also be used to mean any connection test not using ICMP, and video game servers often send a similar test using UDP (the Universal Datagram Protocol) to test the quality of an internet connection to a gaming console.

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