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What Is a Computer Ping Test?


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Question: What Is a Computer Ping Test?
In computer networking, ping is a specific method for sending messages from one computer to another. But what exactly is a ping test?
Answer: A ping test determines whether your computer can communicate with another computer over the network. Then, if network communication is established, ping tests also determine the connection latency (technical term for delay) between the two computers.

You can use a ping test to troubleshoot connectivity problems with your home network. Ping tests are also commonly used to measure the delay ("lag") with online gaming services or other Internet servers.

Microsoft Windows contains a built-in ping utility for running ping tests. Alternative utilities are also freely available as Web downloads. To execute a ping test, you simply identify the Web site or other remote server / computer by its name or IP address. The result of a ping test includes confirmation that connection was successful, along with a series of numbers that represent the communication delay in milliseconds (ms).

The results of a ping test vary depending on the quality of the Internet / network connection. A good broadband Internet connection (wired or wireless) typically results in ping test latency of less than 100 ms, often less than 30 ms. A satellite Internet connection normally suffers from latency above 500 ms.

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