How to Check Your Network with Ping

By Mark L. Chambers

After you have at least two computers on a wired or wireless network, test whether they’re talking to each other over the network by pinging them. Essentially, pinging another computer is like yelling, “Are you there?” across a crevasse.

To ping another computer on the same network from any Mac running Mavericks, follow these steps:

  1. Click within the Spotlight search box on the Finder menu bar and type Network Utility.

  2. Click the Network Utility application entry in the Spotlight search results.

  3. Click the Ping tab; see the upcoming figure.

  4. In the Enter the Network Address to Ping text field, enter the IP address of the computer that you want to ping.

    • If you’re pinging another Mac running OS X, you can get the IP address of that machine by simply displaying its Network pane within System Preferences, which always displays the IP address.

    • If you’re trying to ping a PC running Windows and you don’t know the IP address of that machine, follow these steps:

      1. Click Start, right-click Network (Vista and Windows 7), and then choose Properties.

      2. From the Network Connections window, right-click your Local Area Network connection icon and then choose Status.

      3. Click the Support tab. The IP address of that PC is proudly displayed.

  5. Select the Send Only x Pings radio button and enter 2 in the text field.

  6. Click the Ping button.

    • Yay!: If everything is working, you should see results similar to those shown in the figure, in which a Windows server is being pinged at the IP address 192.168.0.102, across a wired Ethernet network.

    • Nay: If you don’t get a successful ping, check your cable connections, power cords, and OS X settings. Folks using a wireless connection might have to move closer to the network base station to connect successfully, especially through walls.

      The results of a ping.

      The results of a ping.