Network Verification: Pinging

A basic test that you can perform to ensure that your network is functioning is to use the ping command from a command prompt to make sure that the computers on the network can contact each other. The ping command simply sends a packet to another computer and requests that the second computer send a packet back in reply.

If the reply packet is received, ping displays a message indicating how long it took to hear from the other computer. If the reply packet isn’t received, ping displays an error message indicating that the computer couldn’t be reached.

You should try several ping tests. First, you can make sure that TCP/IP is up and running by having the computer try to ping itself. Open a command prompt and type ping 127.0.0.1. (127.0.0.1 is the standard loop-back address that a computer can use to refer to itself.) If you prefer, you can type ping localhost instead.

Next, have the computer ping itself by using the IP address displayed by the ipconfig command. For example, if Ipconfig says the computer’s IP address is 192.168.0.100, type ping 192.168.0.100 at the command prompt.

Now try to ping your servers. You’ll have to run ipconfig at each of the servers to determine their IP addresses. Or, you can just ping the computer’s name.

A final test is to make sure that you can ping the workstation from other computers on the network. You don’t have to try to ping every computer from every other computer on the network unless you’ve determined that you have a connectivity problem that you need to pinpoint.

However, you should try to ping each workstation from each of the servers, just to make sure the servers can see the workstations. Make a list of the IP addresses of the workstations as you test them and then take that list to the servers and ping each IP address on the list.