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How to use Ping. You can use the Ping command to perform several useful Internet network diagnostic tests, such as the following:
• Access. You can use Ping to see if you can reach another computer. If you can't ping a site at all, but you can ping other sites, then it's a pretty good sign that your Internet network is fine and that site is down. On the other hand, if you can't ping any site, then likely your entire network connection is down -- try rebooting.
• Time & distance. You can use the Ping command to determine how long it takes to bounce a packet off of another site, which tells you its Internet distance in network terms. For example, a website hosted on your neighbor's computer next door with a different Internet service provider might go through more routers and be farther away in network distance than a site on the other side of the ocean with a direct connection to the Internet backbone.

If a site seems slow, you can compare ping distances to other Internet sites to determine whether it is the site, the network, or your system that is slow. You can also compare ping times to get an idea of which sites have the fastest network access and would be most efficient for downloading, chat, and other applications.
• Domain IP address. You can use the Ping command to probe either a domain name or an IP address. If you ping a domain name, it helpfully displays the corresponding IP address in the response.

[TechRepublic Website]