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When do you use "Ping"

By bchessell ·
I've found myself a new job supporting the hospitality industry with Internet connectivity support. My boss, an intelegent and hightech kind of guy, keeps bugging me whenever he catches me suggesting that a guest enter "ping" into a CMD screen to test an Internet connection. I only use it when all other methods of connection have failed, but all the settings have already been checked OR when I'm already in the DOS screen having used "ipconfig" to get an ip address which he insists I do. While taking MCSE courses in 2003 I found myself one of the most succesful trouble shooters and I relied on "ping" as my basic tool of "connect". Anybody got a logical argument NOT to throw this tool out of the tool bag?

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Ping is very useful

by ZombieBot In reply to When do you use "Ping"

Hi, whenever I suspect there may be some kind of network connectivity issue then ping is one of the first tools I reach for. As well as checking that the pc's network card is ok (ping it also lets me know whether the problem is a DNS problem (ie I can ping a remote server by IP address but not by name). From these initial and very quick ping tests I can then go on to further diagnose the problem depending on my ping results.

So in summary - I can think of no reason not to use the ping tool. It has no effect on your network connection settings and is a very useful diagnostic aid.

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depends on the real purpose

by bob_steel In reply to When do you use "Ping"

As the average Jo doesn't go anywhere near an xterm I'd have to agree with your Boss to a degree.

Asking a user to do something 'technical' makes them feel as if they're part of the process and makes them feel some extra confidence in the guidance they're receiving - "this guy must know what he's doing because he knows stuff I dont."

I have had a couple of techs who love to feel important and this is a fairly normal way of making this so. Is the right thing being done for the wrong reason?

Unfortunately it also opens up a huge can of spaghetti if you don't know this person can type correctly and it probably means you have to share some onformation with the user they probably shouldn't have.
And there's the certain possibility that whether or not you can ping another machine doesn't actually tell you much anyway.

You should already know the IP address of the user's machine anyway - so why not ping it yourself from the gateway or proxy ?

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using ping

by billfwilkie In reply to depends on the real purpo ...

I support many customers who are some distance away and are not technical at all.
Usually they are getting ready to open there busines to customers and dont have a lot of time to mess around.
Ping allows me to quickly determine if the problem is hardware or software.
First I get them to open a command windows then ipconfig to find the ip settings for there system. (I can not possibly keep track of hundreds of customers each with there individual systems). Then I talk them through pinging the other terminals in there system. If no ping then problem is usually a loose patch cable. If ping other terms but not internet then try pinging DNS and go on from there.
With modern quality hardware there is very rairly a actual hardware failure.
90+% of the time is is a patch cable issue or
someone has knocked the power cable loose from the hub or router.

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There are TONS of reasons to use ping!

by cleverlyc In reply to When do you use "Ping"

It does check the most basic connectivity available. Does your TCP/IP work properly? will at least tell you if packets are processing in and out correctly. Can they ping their default gateway? Someone suggested pinging to the system instead of FROM the system, that won't always help. If someone can ping their def gateway, but not beyond it, they likely have an incorrectly set DG. That would keep you from pinging them from anywhere but on their local network. It can also help resolve DNS issues. Can I ping No...but I can ping, that is likely a DNS onfiguration issue. I have found numerous times, that an employee will have had a hard-coded address, not DHCP. But when they switched to the DHCP network, they neglected to select the "Pull DNS servers from DHCP" option, and can no longer resolve names. But they can ping all they want. There is also the network connectivity ping can check, is the path droping packets? What percentage are being dropped? How about PATHPING, where the system tests the connectivity and responsiveness of every system on the route between the systems. Anyone who tells you ping is not useful, doesn't know how useful it is. I could not do my job without ping, and I don't see how anyone else could, or could be expected to.

Working in the hospitality industry, your boss my want it to be less invasive or bothersome for the user, and that's a valid point, but if you're already to the ipcnfig stage, ping certainly won't hurt.

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Ping is useful but...

by bob_steel In reply to There are TONS of reasons ...

...I'd argue that it's often used as the wrong tool for the job. Tapping your central heating boiler with a hammer will tell you that it's there and not fallen off the wall, but that's not the right tool for the job.

Why ping a nameserver when dig or nslookup will not only tell you whether it's there - but also tell you whether or not it works and what it knows - regardless of whether RTCP is firewalled or broken?

Why use ping to test name resolution? Maybe host is a far better option - and still only 4 chars to type.

Ping is a very useful tool, but using exactly the right tool for the job is the trademark of a great craftsman .

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Hosiptality industry and ping VS ipconfig

by sbacheler In reply to When do you use "Ping"

I too am in a company that supports Guest Internet for the hospitality industry. I have found that since all the guests are acquiring an IP address via DHCP, that the ipconfig is the main Command Prompt tool that I use to ensure that they have a valid address. many times I find that they have a static IP on their interface because they bring their laptop to the hotel from work or from their home network and, of course, it is configured with a static IP. The ipconfig will show me this instantly.
Just this past Monday, I had a GM that was not able to get online (limited or no connectivity) and performing the ipconfig showed that they had a static (incorrect) gateway address.
Now I do use ping quite often when I find that one of our networks is down, such as the server or the ISP.
So it does depend on just what you need to check as to which one is needed.

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by pastrie In reply to When do you use "Ping"

I am new to the net so can someone tell me when do I ping.

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by Nimmo In reply to When do you use "Ping"

The use of the ping command is to test connectivity.

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