a technical term
ping checks reachability
and provides results

Funny how technical words make it into day-to-day language:

"Can you ping Fred, and see if he is on for lunch tomorrow?"


ping is a computer network administration software utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. It measures the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer 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, although it is sometimes interpreted as a backronym to packet Internet groper.

Sample ping test

The following is the output of running ping on Linux for sending five probes to the target host

$ ping -c 5
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=56 time=11.632 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=11.726 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=56 time=10.683 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=56 time=9.674 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=56 time=11.127 ms

--- ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 9.674/10.968/11.726/0.748 ms