Have you ever been in a situation to have some networking or internet connectivity problems? Have you checked your router LED lights and connections and everything seemed normal? Well, when we have to deal with network problems we can say that the PING command is a very useful tool. Sometimes the reasons for networking problems can’t be easily discovered. Here the ping command can point us to the right direction and help us resolve the problem much faster. For example, with the ping command we can do the following:
- Test the connectivity between the router and the PC (ping the router default IP address)
- Verify connectivity to the Internet (ping a website)
- Verify the network activity
When we perform this action, our PC sends packets to the router, and the router sends replies. By doing this we can make sure that the connection between them is fine. However, in this article we are going to tell you more about the so called “continuous ping”, and just to make thing clear we will use 192.168.1.1 as an example, because many router brands like Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link and so on, use it as their default router IP.
Ping 192.168.1.1 or Ping 192.168.1.1 – t
Ping 192.168.1.1 can be referred to as a ping. During this process 4 packets of data are being sent. In most cases it isn’t enough to determine whether there is a problem or not, so we would probably have to repeat the ping command several times. That is why the following is ideal for us.
Ping 192.168.1.1 -t is called a continuous ping. During this process the -t switch will initiate the so called “continuous ping” which will go on until the user interrupts it. Basically packets of data are being sent continuously. In order to stop the pinging the user has to press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Break (Pause) on the keyboard to receive a summary of all the pings, both sent and received. The only difference is that pressing Ctrl + C will stop the ping completely, while Ctrl + Break will give us the summary until that moment and then continue.
Continuous Ping Uses
When we perform a continuous ping, in this case by using the command “ping 192.168.1.1 -t” we can see the number or percentage of lost packets, and also notice the consistency of the response time. Additionally, if we want to check whether we have a stable connection this is the right option. Getting a Reply from continuously indicates a stable connection. On the other hand, getting too much Request timed out will indicate an unstable connection.
Also if you suspect that you have wiring and cabling problems, the command “ping 192.168.1.1 -t” will let you notice the moments when the problems occur.
If we do a continuous ping to our device such as printer or server, we can check if they are active.
How to perform a continuous ping
We have already mentioned that in this article we are going to use router with a default IP 192.168.1.1. In case you have checked your router IP address and it is 192.168.2.1 or 192.168.0.1 just use that IP in the command.
We will describe the process step by step in Windows 7. The steps are the same except of the first step where we have to start up the Command prompt.
1. Click the start button.
2. In the Search box type CMD and the command prompt will open.
3. In the Command prompt window type
ping 192.168.1.1 -t
(make sure to add a blank space before -t)
4. Press the Enter button on the keyboard and the continuous ping will begin.
5. When you are ready to stop, press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Break (Pause) on your keyboard.
Watch this video to learn how to find the router IP and how to ping your router.
6. Analyze the ping results.
Ping responses overview
Reply from – This response, along with 0% loss, indicates a stable connection.
Request Timed Out – This response is generally received when the pinged destination/host is not working.
Destination Network or Host unreachable – If there is a problem in the communication between the router and the PC you can get this response. Basically, this means the router didn’t give the PC an IP address. In this case, check the following:
- Check the IP address of your router by using the IPCONFIG command in the Command prompt. Your computer IP is the IPv4 IP address. The router address is the Default gateway.
- Check the PC-router connections. See if the LED lights are working and ping the router.
- Verify the connection to the Internet by pinging a website (for example, ping www.yahoo.com)
Unknown Host – This response indicates that the IP you want to ping can’t be recognized by your PC or that there are some DNS issues (your PC isn’t getting a valid IP). In the first case, it is generally recommended to check that you have typed the IP correctly. In the second case you will have to release and renew the computer IP address. To release an IP address open the Command prompt and type “ipconfig /release” an press the Enter button on your keyboard. After that in the Command prompt type “ipconfig /renew” to obtain a new IP.
Hardware Error – When you get this response check if the router is plugged in and if all the cables are firmly connected.
Analyzing the ping results
Analyzing the ping summary can tell us what the problem can be. However, we have to take care of several different types of data:
Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1:
Here we can see the number of packets – sent, received and lost. Ideally the numbers of sent and received packets should be equal and the number of lost packets equal to 0%.
Please not that the duration of the pinging can result in dropping one or more packets, but if the number is still at 0%, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you have received a 100% loss, check your router’s IP address. Additionally, you can, check if everything is properly connected. Check if your firewall is blocking the pings. Restart your router and try again. Ping from another PC, or connect and ping another router. This will help in narrowing the problem identification.
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds
Here we can apply the rule “the lower, the better“. In case these numbers are higher it indicates a network problem.
As you can see from the details given above, the continuous ping command, in this case “ping 192.168.1.1 -t” is valuable in the terms of detecting the possible networking problem cause. Since it doesn’t take anything except a little of our time when we perform it, it is certainly worth trying it whenever we have some problems.