A 'ping' is a basic network test that will send messages across a network to a computer and measure the time elapsed from sending to receiving the messages. It will record any packet loss and average trip times. The ping test is testing the UDP protocol of the TCP/IP stack. UDP compared to TCP does not re-transmit as when a package is lost or dropped, this can tell us something. A very small percentage of packet loss may not be something to worry about. Large amounts of packet loss could be a symptom of a hardware or network configuration issue.

How to execute a Ping Test

  1. Open the command prompt found using the Windows start button then select Run.
  2. Enter the word 'cmd' into the Run box and click OK.
  3. Note the date/time, workstation and server role along with IP's you are testing from and to.
  4. Type the command ping server -t -l 2000 where server is the IP or name of the server to test against.
  5. Let the test run for several minutes (or hours if you have time) or until a software event takes place such as System Five locking up. You will have to hit CTRL and C on the keyboard to stop the test.
  6. Note the date/time of test completion and collect the Ping statistics.
The -t tells ping to perform a continuous test to the server and the -l 2000 sets the packet size to 2000. Testing with a larger packet size puts more load on the test than the default 32 bytes. We have seen the 32 standard test pass and not show when there has been a transient network issue.

In a successful test:

  • The same number of packets received as has been sent.
  • There should be 0% or minimal packet loss. If there is sizable packet loss based on the time of the test then there could be a networking issue that needs further diagnosis.
  • The ping latency should also not have large differences in minimum and maximum times.
  • The ping test also measures time. Pinging a computer on the local network should show a response time less than 1 millisecond.
  • In the screen shot below this server is located on a fast internet connection and has an average ping time of 19 ms.

Increasing the buffer size of the ping test in the -l parameter will increase the load of the test. Using a continuous ping test with a larger packet size could help identify a network issue. Such as ping -t -l 20000

Possible causes of Request timed out

If you are seeing Request timed out messages this indicates packet loss. A small percentage of packet loss is typically not something to worry about. Ensure you are testing with a large enough packet size as a standard ping test may not show a network issue as 32 bytes is a tiny packet as seen below.

3/20/2020 12:30:37 PM - Reply from bytes=32 time=430ms TTL=43 3/20/2020 12:30:38 PM - Reply from bytes=32 time=470ms TTL=43 3/20/2020 12:30:39 PM - Reply from bytes=32 time=458ms TTL=43 3/20/2020 12:30:43 PM - Request timed out. 3/20/2020 12:30:45 PM - Reply from bytes=32 time=456ms TTL=43 3/20/2020 12:30:46 PM - Reply from bytes=32 time=498ms TTL=43
  1. The port on a switch (Try a different port or replace the switch)
  2. Unstable Switch or Power Supplies (Replace the switch)
  3. Routing tables (Incorrectly configured routers or switches)
  4. Network cables (Mice can chew on cables causing intermittent packet loss; replace with store-bought cables)
  5. Incorrect 10/100/1000 auto-detection of network speed on the server, workstation or switch (verify detection or manually set detection on the network card and switch)
  6. Failing network card that broadcasts and saturates the network with a packet storm for a duration of time. (Replace the network card with a different brand to ensure a different driver is being used)