What is a Ping? How do I Ping something?

A ping is one of the most basic forms of communication computers have. Pings are
designed to contact another computer and measure how long it takes for that computer's
response to reach you. It's also a very simple way to determine if you have an internet
connection. To ping something, first you will need access to a command prompt. For older
computer users, this will resemble DOS. It's also just a box on your screen with a black
background and text.

To ping in Windows, go to Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt. Then
type "ping google.com" and press Enter.

In Mac OS X, go to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal. Then type "ping -c 4 google.com"
and press Enter.

In either of these cases, you are looking for replies. If you get a reply, you have a working
internet connection. There are more advanced uses for pings, such as determining latency,
but those are beyond the scope of this document. Additionally, instead of simply
"google.com", you can contact anything else on the internet. One thing that is frequently
overlooked is that you may ping by IP address. In this example, instead of "google.com",
you could type in "66.249.90.104", the IP address for one of google's servers. If you
receive replies when pinging by IP rather than typing in the website address (DNS), this will
generally indicate that your DNS configuration is incorrect, or the DNS server is
unresponsive.