A+ Certification / Beginners


One of the most popular TCP/IP utilities is the ping.exe utility. Ping stands for Packet Internet Groper and is used to test whether your computer can communicate with a remote network device. If the ping test is successful, you get a ping response from the remote device; if it is not successful, the response will time out. The general syntax for using the ping utility is ping <IP address>, the IP address being the IP address of the network device you are testing.

When troubleshooting TCP/IP communication problems, it is important to understand the steps to find exactly where the problem occurs. Is the problem in the computer you are using, in the computer you are trying to connect to, or in the default gateway?

Table below lists the order in which to ping each network device when trying to figure out at what stage the TCP/IP communication is failing.

Troubleshooting Network Connectivity
Address to PingDescription IP address is referred to as the loopback address. It always tests your own workstation's TCP/IP software to ensure that it has loaded.
IP address of your computerAfter you get a response from loopback, ping the IP address that has been physically assigned to your network card. To find out what IP address is assigned to your network card, use ipconfig.exe.
IP address of default gatewayIf you get a response from your network card's IP address, ping the IP address of the default gateway. If you don't know the IP address of your default gateway, then run ipconfig.exe to view the address of the default gateway. Remember that the default gateway is the router, which is responsible for passing information on to other networks. If you are having trouble communicating with the router, you can't communicate with any devices off the network.
IP address of remote computerAfter verifying that the default gateway is not the problem, if you know the IP address of the computer you wish to talk to (and chances are you don't because you are not the person who assigns the address to that computer), you can try pinging it. If you get a timeout at this step, you know that the computer you are trying to communicate with is the problem.

When you're troubleshooting a system that doesn't have Internet access, use the ipconfig utility to view the default gateway of the system; then ping the default gateway.

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