A simple way to test your Internet connection is to ping Google.com: the Ping network command is built into all versions of Windows.
This command tests whether you can access a particular website, it also measures the round-trip time to receive a response from that website.
Ping is an ideal way to check if your actual internet connection is faulty: if you’re having trouble browsing the web, it may be a problem with your web browser, not your broadband connection…
When reporting a bug to your broadband provider, you might be asked to ping Google to test if you have internet access, so it’s helpful to know how to do this.
The Ping command is executed from
a Command Prompt window – to open it: XP – Click ‘Start’ and then ‘Run’ and type CMD in the
‘Open:’ text box and then press ‘OK’ to open a Command Prompt window.
Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista: Click the Start button (not needed in W10) and type CMD in the ‘Search’ text box and then click on the cmd desktop program/application.exe or ‘Command Prompt’ at the top of the search results to open a Command Prompt window.
- Type ping www.google.com then press Enter to ping Google (you can ping any other website in the same way). Note that you can use www.google.com or
After a few moments, you should see some responses, similar to this
What do the ping test results mean?
The ping command sends 4 small ‘packets’ of data to Google: each packet asks Google to send it back if it received it correctly. We can see from our example that all 4 requests reached Google successfully because we got 4 responses, so we know that our internet connection is working.
This is summarized at the bottom of the results: 4 packets sent, 4 received, 0 lost (0% lost), i.e. no packets lost in transit.
The test also shows how long it took for each packet to reach Google and get a response. The value ‘time=’ next to each answer is measured in ms (milliseconds) and lower numbers are better (faster).
This is summarized at the bottom of the results: Minimum = 23ms, Maximum = 24ms, Average = 23ms
The “round trip” response time is often called “delay” and is particularly important for players (when super-fast responses can be beneficial).
A time of 20 ms to 60 ms is very fast (good broadband), more than 250 ms is slow (
typical of satellite Internet) and more than 1000 ms is very slow, not suitable for gaming, but common with slow mobile broadband.
Ping Google.com continuously
Instead of pinging only once (which sends 4 requests to the website), You can run a continuous ping by simply adding a space followed by -t at the end of the original
- type ping www.google.com -t and then press Enter
This command will send continuous ping requests (not just 4), so you should receive a steady stream of responses scrolling down the window; this is very useful for testing if your Internet connection is intermittently faulty:
Keep an eye out for error messages and also check that the ‘time’ in ms stays fairly consistent (you should if your internet connection is good).
- Press CTRL and C when you want to stop continuous
pings Tip: It’s not pleasant to constantly ping a website for hours, as it consumes a small portion of the website’s resources. We use Google in our examples because they’re so big that your pings won’t matter, but they could on a small website.
test error messages Because 4 requests are sent to the website, you
may see these error messages repeated up to 4 times, once for each request.
- Request timeout”: Your network/internet connection is faulty or the website you pinged is having problems
Try pinging some other sites to test if the problem is on that website specific or on your network/Internet connection.
- “The ping request could not find the host www.google.com… etc”: your network/internet connection is faulty or you have pinged
an incorrect website name or there is a DNS fault (see next section below)
Check spelling or try another website, e.g. ping www.yahoo.com
It is also possible to ping an IP address, instead of a website name: This is a good way to rule out a DNS (Domain Name System) flaw.
Choose any of Google’s public DNS servers: 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124, as they are more likely to be constantly available. In the Command Prompt window:
Type ping 126.96.36.199 and then
- press Enter to ping the public DNS server
If you still receive an error, then there is no DNS fault and you do not have access to the Internet, most likely, your network/Internet connection is faulty. Try resetting Windows Internet settings to fix any network configuration errors.
Ping is a
useful first step in fixing potential ‘Internet’ problems: if you receive error-free responses from a variety of websites, then you know your internet connection is working fine.
If so, any problems with web browsing are more likely to be due to a faulty web browser (try a different one) or perhaps a firewall issue (disable it temporarily).