Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Ping may refer to any of the following:

Diagram example of ping

1. Ping is a utility first developed by Michael Muss in 1983 that is used to verify whether or not a network data packet is capable of being distributed to an address without errors. The ping utility is commonly used to check for network errors.

The image is an example of what happens when a ping is sent. The user would first start by using the ping command to ping the IP address Next, the request is sent over the network hub and router, in this example, to the other computer with this IP address. Once successfully received, the computer replies to the ping with a pong response. The time between these two transmissions is calculated to generate an average response or latency time.

Windows command line ping results

In the example above, we access the Windows command line to use the ping command. Then we ping "" and get four responses from the server. In the above example, each reply has the size of the packet (bytes), the time it took in ms, and the TTL.

If the ping does not reach its destination due to an error or because it is being blocked, the sending computer encounters a request timed out error or shows no received packets.

The ping command output can also be directed to a file instead of the command prompt window. Working with the example ping command above, we could use the following command.

ping > ping.txt

The command above will output the results of pinging to a file named ping.txt. The file will be created in the directory where the ping command was executed. In the first example above, the directory is c:\cgi-bin\update and this is where the ping.txt file will be created. To change the directory where the output file is created, we can enter a different directory in the ping command itself, as in the example below.

ping > c:\output\ping.txt

The example command above creates the ping.txt file in the c:\output directory, instead of in the c:\cgi-bin\update directory.

What is ping short for?

Ping is not an acronym or short for anything. It is sometimes thought of as the backronym packet Internet groper. The word "ping" comes from the sound sonar generates when it detects objects under water.

2. In computer gaming, a ping, also known as a high ping or low ping, is a measurement of how fast of a connection to the game server the player has. For example, a player with a low 50 ms ping is going to have a better gaming experience than a player with a 250 ms ping.


To help with server response times, some game servers may only accept users who have a low ping.

Echo, Game terms, HELO, ICMP, Latency, LPB, Network terms, Ping of death, Ping pong