How to run a ping test

A ping test uses your internet connection to send out some packets of data to a specific address. These packets are then sent back to your computer. The test records the amount the time it took for the packets to reach the address, and whether or not any packets were lost in the process.

If you have trouble following these steps, you may with to try running a ping test using the PingPlotter app.

Common addresses to ping

Address to ping What is it? Why ping it?
iinet.net.au iiNet’s web address To check that DNS is working on your computer
203.0.178.191 One of iiNet’s DNS servers To check that TCP/IP settings are working on your computer
127.0.0.1 A loopback test to your own computer To check that there’s no issue with your computer’s network adapter or connection settings

Select your operating system:

Ping test in Windows 10

  1. Click the Search icon (magnifying glass) in the bottom left-hand corner and type "cmd" into the search bar. 
    Windows 10 ping test 1
  2. Select the Command Prompt app - it will be at the top of the list of search results as the best match. 
    Windows 10 ping test 2
  3. A black box with a flashing cursor will open; this is the Command Prompt. Type “ping” and then hit the Space bar on your keyboard.  
    Windows 10 ping test 3
  4. Type in the address you’d like to ping and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. Wait for the ping results.
  5. To copy-paste results, right-click in the black window and select Mark. A highlighter cursor will show up on the text.
  6. Use the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard, move the cursor to the beginning of the text you wish to select.
  7. Hold down the Shift key and use the down/right arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight the entire block of text you wish to copy, then simply press the Enter key. Please note that the usual CTRL+C shortcut will not successfully copy the text; you must use the Enter key while the text is highlighted.
  8. The text is now copied. Open Word, Notepad or any other text editor or email program and use CTRL+V to paste the copied text.  
    Copy text in Command Prompt

Ping test in Windows 7

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking the orb in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Type “cmd” in the search bar at the bottom of the menu.
  3. Click cmd found in the search results for Programs. 
    Windows 7 ping test 1
  4. A black box with a flashing cursor will open; this is the Command Prompt. Type “ping” and then hit the Space bar on your keyboard.  
    Windows 7 ping test 2
  5. Type in the address you’d like to ping and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. Wait for the ping results.
  6. To copy-paste results, right-click in the black window and select Mark. A highlighter cursor will show up on the text.
  7. Use the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard, move the cursor to the beginning of the text you wish to select.
  8. Hold down the Shift key and use the down/right arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight the entire block of text you wish to copy, then simply press the Enter key. Please note that the usual CTRL+C shortcut will not successfully copy the text; you must use the Enter key while the text is highlighted.
  9. The text is now copied. Open Word, Notepad or any other text editor or email program and use CTRL+V to paste the copied text.  
    Copy text in Command Prompt

Ping test in Mac OS X

  1. On the home screen, open the Spotlight search tool and type “network utility” in the search bar. Double click the Network Utility app to open it.
    You can also find this app at /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications.
    Mac ping test 1
  2. Select the Ping tab and then type the address you’d like to ping in the text box. Click Ping and wait for the ping results.
    Mac ping test 2
  3. To copy-paste results, simply click and drag the cursor to select the text you'd like to copy.
  4. Either right-click on the highlighted text and select Copy, or use the COMMAND+C shortcut on your keyboard to copy your text.
  5. The text is now copied. Open TextEdit or any other text editor or email program and use COMMAND+V to paste the copied text.

Understanding ping test results

Ping test results look similar in both Windows and Mac OS.

  1. First you’ll see the replies for each packet sent in the ping test. A Windows ping test will typically send 4 packets; a Mac OS ping test may send more.  
    Ping test results example 1
  2. You’ll then see the statistics returns from the ping test. These results can be useful in advanced troubleshooting for latency issues, but the fact that the ping test returned results means that your computer is able to connect to that address.  
    Ping test results example 2

If a ping test fails, you see error warnings similar to one of the following instead of the ping test results shown above:

  • Request timed out
  • Destination host unreachable
  • Transmit failed, error code #

If a ping test fails, you may need to troubleshoot your internet connection.

With certain browsing issues, you may be able to ping a DNS server, but not a web address. If this is the case, you should try manually setting your DNS server.