(Something for the geeks)

What is a Ping and why is it important to you?

Sending a ping is a way of testing your connection speed. It helps us to troubleshoot speed issues on your internet line – and that’s why it’s important for you to understand what pings are all about.

A ping is the reaction time of your connection – how fast you receive a response, once you send a request.  A fast ping means a super responsive connection. The measurement used for pings are Milliseconds (MS)*.

It works in a similar way to a sonar echo-location.

Think of your ping as a dolphin, sending sonar signals out hundreds of yards away to detect the size, shape, distance and speed of objects.

In the same way, your ping sends a small packet of information containing “echo-requests” to a specific device/PC’s (IP address), which then sends an “echo-reply” responding to each of the “Echo-requests” in return.

Pings help us check if the PC is connected to a network, and it determines any delays between two PC’s/devices. This is how it assists with troubleshooting, by confirming connectivity as well as its response times.

Making sense yet?

Ping Categories

  • Less than 50ms (excellent)
  • Less than 100ms (good)
  • 150ms (causes connectivity issues)
  • 150ms or more (not so good)

It’s safe to assume online gamers to be pretty familiar with pings. Gamers appreciate pings between 20ms – 100ms.

Basic Ping Troubleshooting

In case of a poor ping result, you can try the following steps and test again to help you figure out what the issue is.

  1. Move closer to the router
  2. Close all background apps/websites and programs (Task manager will help with this)
  3. Reduce the number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi network
  4. Use local servers
  5. Connect PC via Ethernet cable to the router

You have probably run a ping test with the tech squad already – now you know why!

For a first go at an informed attempt with pings visit speedtest.net – this page will run a ping test for your connection, and with what you now know – you will be able to understand what the ping results mean to you.

In our next “Something for the geeks” blog we will chat about connection speeds, how to test them and how to improve them.

Now…. Ping and be merry Webafrican!