How to Ping Your ISP

By Jason Whitaker

When diagnosing Internet connectivity issues, identify whether or not there are slow response times or packet loss between your computer and your Internet Service Provider's servers. To test the connection to your Internet Service Provider, perform a PING (Packets Internet Groper), a utility that sends small data packets to a remote server to test response times and any packet loss that occurs during the transfer of data.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator privileges on your PC
  • Windows operating system
  • Internet service providers domain name or IP address

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button on the bottom left-hand side of your computer monitor.For Windows versions 2000, NT and XP, click on the "Run" button, then type the word "CMD" and press enter.For Windows versions Vista and newer, type the word "CMD" in the search bar and press enter.

Step 2

Type in the word "ping" in the Command Prompt window. Add a space, and type in your Internet Service Provider's domain name or IP address without the "http://" prefix. Press enter.

Step 3

Analyze the four attempts to PING the remote server. Look at the bottom of the results and you will find a summary displaying the number of packets sent, the number of packets received back, and those lost during the test.Remember to check the packet round trip times as well. Look at the minimum, maximum and average times in milliseconds for any anomalies.

Tips & Warnings

  • To perform a more thorough PING, add the characters "-t" after the word "ping". This will allow the test to run indefinitely until you close the Command Prompt window.