There is a simple, free app that comes with every operating system and can be installed on mobile devices called Ping. It measures the round-trip time for messages (i.e. packets) sent from the originating host (your PC device) to a destination computer (or website) that are echoed back to the source. The name comes from active sonar terminology that sends a pulse of sound and listens for the echo to detect objects under water.
Ping reports errors, packet loss, and a statistical summary of the results, typically including the minimum, maximum, the mean round-trip times, and standard deviation of the mean.
I’m going to show you how to use ping to quickly ascertain precisely where the issue is when you experience problems with your Internet.
Scenario: the family is happily doing their thing on the Internet (playing games, watching videos, schoolwork, etc) and all of a sudden everyone starts complaining at you (you being the chosen Network Administrator of your home (a thankless job – welcome to my world!)) to fix the Internet! So you do the standard ‘reboot’ routine and you keep at it (getting more frustrated by the minute) until service returns to normal, but you never really know what you did to fix it, and you never really knew what the problem was.
Not knowing is frustrating. I’m going to show you how to never be frustrated again because you will know precisely where the issue is and what to do about it. It costs you nothing but a few minutes to learn how to use ping.
What you will need: ping.exe. This tool is free, and is built into every PC operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux), but will need to be installed on mobile devices (search for ‘ping’ in the app store).
NOTE: ping is launched differently on each device but it works exactly the same.
- Open a Command Prompt window by holding the windows key + R to open a Run box, then type CMD and hit enter (this is one multiple ways to open it):
2. We want to open 3 of these windows, so repeat the process two more times, and then…
3. In one Command Prompt type ‘ping 192.168.10.1 -t‘
4. In the second Command Prompt type ‘ping 22.214.171.124 -t‘
5. In the third Command Prompt window type ‘ping info.com -t‘
NOTE: On Windows you need to enter -t to make the ping persistent. If you don’t use -t you will only get 4 ping replies which is fine for quick diagnostics, but we want to leave ping running. It uses minuscule resources, and I always have a ping running, always. One all other systems you do not need to use a -t.
NOTE: In the pics replace ebay.com with info.com.
You should now have the following:
That’s it. Just leave these running, and FYI this is what you want to see – steady replies with low time.
NOTE: I always have a ping running, usually to 126.96.36.199 and info.com. Looking at these pings over time you will learn at what speeds your Internet usually operates at, and thus be able to quickly ascertain when any anomaly arises. When someone complains about slow Internet – check the ping windows.
Now we just need to decipher the information. What are these 3 pings telling us?
- Ping 192.168.10.1
- Kibosh Router status
- Ping info.com
- Kibosh filtering service status
- Ping 188.8.131.52
- Internet service provider status
- Ping time = how long our ping packets are taking to hit our target and return to us.
- Ping Request timed out = dropped packet (packets that don’t make it to our target).
- Our ping to 192.168.10.1 is telling us the Kibosh router is working fine. A 1 ms time is exactly what you want to see.
- Our ping to info.com is telling us something is causing high latency because any time over 120 ms will cause Internet browsing / access issues. The time in the Example 2 image is what you want to see.
- Our ping to 184.108.40.206 is telling us that the slowness we see in the info.com ping is not a Kibosh related issue, but is being caused by either 1) our ISP is having issues, or 2) someone on the network is downloading a large file. Those are the only two possible issues.
- If you are using a Kibosh router you can quickly ascertain if the slowness is being caused by a device on your network by going to http://192.168.10.1 > Status > B/W Distribution.
So, based on Example 3 image the Internet slowness you are experiencing is caused by either:
- Your Internet service provider
- Reboot the ISP modem/router
- Someone is downloading a large file.
While troubleshooting keep watching the ping times until they return to normal.
- If however the ping to 220.127.116.11 was steady, but the ping to info.com was choppy then the issue would be with Kibosh.
- If the ping to 192.168.10.1 was choppy, then the issue is Kibosh router related.