What is Ping?
In computing, the term ping refers to a type of message or a utility tool that serves to check the response time from one internet user to another. Ping measures the accrued response time from sending the message, to the message reaching the system it was intended for, and back.
The method of pinging was developed by Johns Hopkins University alum Mike Muuss in 1983, originally intended to troubleshoot problems with an IP (Internet Protocol) network. The term ‘ping’ was borrowed from the same term used in sonar technology. Active sonar is used to specify the location or distance of objects from a specific location, through the bouncing off of signals. In computing, ping operates on the same principle.
The most common type of pinging is through the sending out of an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packet, enabling a user to send out a test message which can identify whether an IP network is responsive or not. In this sense, a ping is very useful in identifying if IP certain networks actually exist and can accept requests.
Once a command is executed for a ping, a transmission report is generated by the computer typically indicating the IP address of the computer being pinged, minimum time, average time and maximum time (in milliseconds), including anomalies in signal or data packets lost.
There are also websites dedicated to pinging, helping users check how fast their own connection is. Pinging is also useful for chatting or emailing, for users to figure out whether there is a lag time in the sending of messages or if the party they’re conversing with has simply left the room.