What is Ping ?

What is Ping

Imagine that you are thriving in a game of Fortnite or PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds), and suddenly you experience Lag and your ping skyrockets.

Isn’t that feeling the worst of its kind? And yeah, especially if it’s the weekend 🙁

We all have had these ping issues in Fortnite and felt the urgent desire to throw our device out of the window.

But your device is probably not where the problem lies. 

Our eyes get stuck onto that corner of the screen but our computer network doesn’t want to cooperate.

In this post, I have described in detail “What is ping”, and provided a detailed explanation for everything associated with the term.

A low ping matters not only for responsive gameplay but also for all other activities on the internet. 

And guess what, I also have detailed the reasons for high ping and few tips on practical solutions to lower ping while gaming.

Pro Tip: Turn off your torrent while gaming, to reduce the lag.

A ton of valuable information coming your way 🙂

Let’s dive right in.

What is Ping ?

In our everyday life, we are often heard saying, “Hey Sumit, Ping me when you’re ready to go out”.

We are pretty correct when we talk in terms of ping as a message, usually a text.

But that’s not what Ping means technically.

Ping is a utility that is used to send a signal to test the reachability of a host over a network.

Ping is also referred to as a basic network signal that contains data packets to be sent to a destination.

You will often see ping as a part of the network administration software program.

A ping test is basically used to check –

  1. If a host/server exists over a network.
  2. How fast can the host respond to a signal.

The full form of PING is said to be “Packet InterNet Groper”.

Let us look into a brief story about its discovery.

When was ping developed ?

PING was first developed by Michael Muss, in the year 1983.

This utility came up as a tool to verify if a network packet could be delivered to an address on the internet without errors.

The idea was derived from the functioning of a SONAR : Technique for navigation and detection of objects underwater.

So, the duty of ping was to check if a small data packet is reachable, to further decide the efforts of trying to communicate with a host. 

If a host was detected, and it responded within a limited time, it meant that a working network connection had been established.

Nowadays, the ping utility has been incorporated into every OS with network support (Be it, Windows, MAC OS, LINUX/UNIX, or FreeBSD).

How does PING work?

The ping utility works without a network port, using the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) messages, which works over the IP Address (as prescribed by RFC 1122).

However, port 7 (both TCP and UDP) can be used instead of ICMP.

This network utility follows the below steps :

  1. An ECHO REQUEST message is sent to the host from your computer through a single packet of 32 bytes (WINDOWS), 56 bytes (LINUX and MAC OS) or 64 bytes(UNIX).
  1. The host responds with an ECHO REPLY message consisting of a single packet of the exact same payload as the request signal.
  1. The details generated from this round trip of the signal are recorded by the utility in case you require any of the information.

This complete process is referred to as pinging.

This is similar to Sumit messaging John and expecting a reply in return. This will help him know if John is available.

Ping is often used in gaming as a quantifiable value that can be calculated, let’s understand this part.

What is Latency (ping rate)?

Ping rate is the total time it takes for the pinging process to complete (Latency is the more technically correct term though).

It includes the time for :

  • The request signal being sent to the intenet.
  • The signal packet travelling through all those network connections and nodes to reach the destination server.
  • The reply message coming back to the user in a similar manner.

This means that the ping rate is measured with respect to the round-trip delay. It is calculated in ms (milliseconds).

All those gamers in the house, this is what fortnite and pubg shows you as ping.  

What is Ping Command and how to use it?

Ping Command is a simple tool embedded in the command line interfaces of almost all the operating systems.

You might be wondering, what is the use of ping command? 

This simple command can tell you a ton of information about the connection with a host.  

Want to know the best part ?

Its syntax includes just this for Windows and Mac OS:

Ping [host]

Here, [host] can take values of any IP Address or any domain name.

In case you were asking yourself, Domain name comes from the URL address of a website.

For example, in our URL, “https://www.technicalcounter.com/”, technicalcounter.com is the domain name.

By default, Windows Command Line runs this test 4 times continuously, and a UNIX system runs this test 5 times.

Also, if you want to find the IP Address of any website-name/server, use this Ip checker tool.

When you check ping for my website in the command prompt, the output is similar to :

Example of ping command using Command Prompt

You can perform the same check in MAC OS through the Terminal accessory.

Let’s understand everything appearing in the ping command example above.

  1. First things first, we used our domain name technicalcounter.com to check its ping.
  2. This command itself lends us the IP Address of the server where this website is hosted.
  3. It defines the size of the data signal as 32 bytes.
  4. It tries to communicate with my website four times.
  5. In some attempts, you may see ”Request Timed Out”, meaning the connection could not be established. We will look into the possible reasons later in this post.
  6. For the successful attempts, it tells us the time (ping rate) and TTL. TTL (time to live) is the maximum time that a request holds on before expiring.
  7. It reflects ping statistics for this run, including no. of packets received and lost, and the packet loss by percentage. Packet loss is just the number of packets lost out of the total no. of packets sent.
  8. At last, it tells the maximum, minimum and average ping rates using the information above.

Pro Tip : Packet size in ping utility is limited to maximum 65,527 or 65,535 bytes at a time.

What ping is good ?

For online battleground games, since they run in real-time, lower ping is very crucial to avoid any lag. 

Ping of around 30-50 ms is considered to be a good one for gaming.

High ping in PUBG is equal to Bad luck in life. Click To Tweet

For internet surfing, browsing, or video playing too, low ping is important. 

Anything around 100 ms to 300 ms will work fine.

Above 500 ms ping is bad for each and every online activity.

What are Ping Command switches/variables ?

Ping Command variables add more customizations to the testing abilities..

For example, 

Using the count/number switch, you can change the number of echo requests to be sent.

Simple syntax for this will be:

Ping [-n count] [IP address or domain name]

For 10 echo requests to be sent, we will write this:

Ping -n 10 technicalcounter.com

This works like an extended ping command.

Apart from this, there are many more command variables that you can use with ping.

A simple trick to find all switches (for any platform) along with their usage syntax is to type the following in command prompt:

Ping -?

This will lend you a list of switches with their description and usage.

Variables for Ping Command

Read more about command switches for PING.

Pro Tip : Using Ip Address in the ping command syntax will not tell you the domain name associated with it, as in the reverse case.

A simple hack to be noted :

If you want to direct the ping response output to a text file for further reference, you can do so using the following syntax:

Ping technicalcounter.com > ping.txt

Here, technicalcounter.com can be replaced by any domain name/ IP address.

Also, “ping.txt” is the file name I have used, you can write the file name of your choice.

One more hack ! ( I have a lot more 🙂 )

You can change the location of this text file, by changing the saving directory.

Ping technicalcounter.com > C:\Response-output\output.txt

This will replace the default Directory ( mentioned at the top of command prompt ).

Pro Tip : In the above hack, make sure that the directory that you mention exists at that location.

By now, you would have understood what does ping mean. Let’s get to the next part.

How to perform the PING Test ?

Besides the command prompt utility, there are a lot of online tools that help you find ping issues, ping rate and also offer possible solutions.

You can very well perform a simple ping test using command line, as described above.

But if you want a nice user interface with quick customization options, we recommend speedtest.net.

This speed test offers you to select a server to ping to, a range of user settings and check your global internet index (global ping test).

Watch this tutorial video on how to use speedtest.net:

Credits – Kooler’s Mobile Youtube Channel

For website owners, we recommend keycdn tools.

Troubleshooting with ping

You might be wondering, why do we need a ping test? Let me answer this.

The information that you see as the result of the ping command execution can be very helpful for your internet access.

Trust me, ping test can solve all sorts of network and internet problems.

Successful ping reply means that the server and the network connection is working fine.

The ping rate gives you an idea if you need to think about upgrading your server.

Ping test failure ie. “Request Timed Out”  ( or other error messages) may happen due to the following reasons:

  1. Network Congestion : This may lead to your server not responding to some of the requests if the connections are overloaded on your network. Check again after some time.
  2. The IP Address that you entered is wrong. Check the IP address of a destination using this Ip checker tool
  3. The domain name you entered does not even exist. Check its URL Address.
  4. Your computer may not have proper Internet protocol selected (causes general failure). Select TCP/IPv4 or TCP/IPv6 from your device admin settings.
  5. A failed response indicates that your internet connection is broken. Try with a different Internet Service Provider.
  6. The server may be overloaded with requests. As a website owner like me, you need to change or upgrade your server so that it can handle the load.
  7. A firewall may be acting on the host side and blocking your requests.

This list of reasons will help you to find the ping issues and fix them as soon as possible.

Now, you may ask the question:

Why is my PING high ?

Your ping may be high because of the following reasons:

  1. Internet service provider (ISP): Probably, the speeds promised by your ISP are not being delivered at the stake of their infrastructure.
  2. Geographical Distance: This refers to the physical distance between the user and the host. As simple as that, it takes longer for a signal to reach from Australia to the US, than from Australia to India because of the longer distance required to travel.
  3. Weak Internet Connection: Weak signal strengths can increase your ping because of network congestion or router locations.
  4. Firewall Configuration: If the host has stronger firewall protection, your ping requests need to pass through more number of security checks and this process swallows up time.

Pro Tip : Higher ping is a nightmare for website owners too. It slows down the first step of site loading, ie. DNS Name Resolution (Domain Name System), and thus adds up to the overall site loading time.

How to lower ping ?

This is a million-dollar question!

In life, let your ego be as low as you would wish your ping to be. Click To Tweet

I have some practical tips for you, but first, conduct a ping test and find out where the real problem lies, by reading why is my ping high.

Now that you know all this, let’s proceed to remove the ping issues.

  1. While gaming, select the game servers nearest to your location.
  2. Turn off background applications as they may be consuming the valuable bandwidth.
  3. Turn off application updates.
  4. Restart the router and check again.
  5. Switch to a 5 GHz network.
  6. Try to use ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.
  7. Make sure your PC and router are not overheating.
  8. Check if other devices are also using your connection.
  9. Make sure your PC is dust-free.
  10. Move the router to an open spot like a window.
  11. If all this doesn’t work, simply change your service provider, and jump to a better network.

Moreover, there are many software services that help you solve your ping issues by enhancing your network and internet connection.

Here is a free tool to help you lower your ping.

How to safeguard your server from Ping utility security threats ?

Yes, you heard it right.

This simple ping utility in command prompt ( Terminal in MAC OS ) can expose you to potential security issues.

Because of its accessibility, anyone can ping your servers in a series of connections called the ping flood.

What is ping storm?

A ping storm is a process in which a flood of packets are sent to a server to check if it can handle the load of requests.

But this thing is easily exploited by hackers by sending tons of requests through suspicious networks.

This number of ICMP echo requests uses up all the bandwidth.

It resorts to an attempt to bring down the site so that other internet users can’t access the destination host.

It classifies as a simple denial-of-service attack (DoS Attack).

What is Ping of Death Attack?

Ping of death is a DoS attack to crash, destabilize or freeze the targeted computer by sending data packets larger than the maximum packet size allowed (65,535 bytes).

Explaining Ping of Death Attack

This attack is possible because some TCP/IP systems were never designed to handle requests with packets larger than this allowed size.

This makes these systems vulnerable to malicious ping programs.

A simple solution to this problem would be to secure the host by attempting to drop such packets before they reach the destination.

I will recommend you to check out Cloudflare’s DDoS Attack solution if you need a professional service to secure your site or server.

All these security threats are the reason that companies tend to block such ping services using firewall.

Firewall Blocking Ping Requests

It’s time to mention another hack 🙂

If you try to ping microsoft.com, you will see something like:

Ping command Firewall blocked

This 100% packet loss is not actually a packet loss for data transfer, it’s just that they might have blocked any ping.

Though you will see amazon.com respond to your ping commands, they too might have blocked ping services through untrusted networks.

Pro Tip : If you try to ping google.com, you will get a pseudo-format of IP Address and no TTL.

We have arranged s special Q&A section to answer some queries related to this topic.

Q&A

Q.1 Is zero ping possible ?

Ans. You might be thinking that if we have so many problems from high ping, why don’t we aim for Zero Ping.

Let me tell you this, we did.

Pinging localhost for zero ping

Through the “ping localhost” command, we are trying to communicate with our computer itself.

For every attempt, the ping is essentially shown as <1 ms, but the end results showcase 0 ms.

This brings us to the question, can you have 0 ping?

Yes, but thats the scenario only for self-communication, which is not at all relevant for ping.

In reality, for two computers to connect with each other, the data packet to travel through a network, it all requires at least some milliseconds.

So, zero ping would be possible only when a user sends a signal and the host already knows it, which is not possible yet.

So, zero ping is impossible practically…

Q.2 Despite good internet speed, why is ping high?

Ans. This is possible very often.

However, there is no simple solution to this, you need to configure your internet with your ISP.

Several gaming optimization services are also available.

That being said, there are a couple of things you can do :

  1. Check if your PC drivers are updated.
  2. Connect to the right server while gaming. (Server that is responsive as well as nearby you).

Q.3 What is ping enhancer?

Ans. Ping enhancers are software services that try to lower your ping by reducing the distance between you and the server.

This distance is usually measured in terms of “hops” which means the number of network nodes and hardware the data packet needs to pass.

These programs offer a shorter route in terms of nodes as well as geographical distance by enabling a direct establishment and thus they may help you a bit in lowering ping.

Q.4 What is ping Spoofing?

Ans. Did you know, you can even fake ping lag?

Ping Spoofing is the act of simulating high ping fluctuations to fake yourself as lagging. It changes the packets that are sent.

This activity can lead to gaming servers banning you from their platform because it manipulates the information being sent.

Q.5 Can I intentionally increase my ping?

Ans. Yes, this is also possible. Go through the following steps:

  1. Open the Command prompt (Terminal in MAC OS)
  2. Type the following command and then press enter:
Ping 127.0.0.1 -t
  1. To stop this pinging, press Ctrl+C or +C.

This command will continuously ping your own computer until you stop it with the third step.

This will create extra packet load on your connection and thus your ping will increase.

Pro Tip : you can also use “localhost” in place of the ip address.

Conclusion:

I hope that you understood what does ping in pubg mean.

If you enjoyed learning all this interesting stuff, do share with your friends.

Also, give us feedback in the comments below, we are actually hungry for that.

After that you can return to fortnite for crashing another game 😉


Show Some LOVE :)

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *