Diagnose Dataflow Issues: The Ping Test

Some time yesterday evening, the ADSL connection at home started playing up. Usually, our connection is quite solid save for a few hiccups back in the TPG network so my first thought was that this was just another one of those hiccups. However, this was not the case in this instance.

Anyway, there are some tests you can employ to verify whether or not there is a problem with your connection to the internet. One such test is the ping test.

To run a ping test in Windows you can do the following:

  1. Press Window + R,
  2. Type in “cmd” and press Enter to bring up a command prompt,
  3. Type in “ping <address> -t” where <address> is a web address like google.com.au or an IP address like (which is the BigPond primary DNS),
  4. End the test by pressing Ctrl + C.
Running a Ping Test

Running a Ping Test

As you can see, we have received replies for all of the requests sent (twelve in this instance before I stopped the test) however for a broadband connection I would have expected responses under 100 milliseconds. Otherwise, your ping test might look like this:

Suboptimal Ping Test Results

Suboptimal Ping Test Results

As you can see, there are three timeouts on screen and in the summary results at the bottom there were a total of 225 timeouts out of 2226 requests made (approximately 9% packet loss). This also highlights a potential issue with your connection but not the root cause (but we will find that out in due course).

Tomorrow, I will look at another test you can use to help diagnose dataflow problems and work towards finding out the potential cause(s).

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  1. […] January 2010 Don't cross the data streams – it would be bad… « Diagnose Dataflow Issues: The Ping Test […]

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