How To Fix Error Message Connection Error.Check Your Internet Connection Ping or Pong?

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Ping or Pong?

That’s right, you guessed it, let’s talk about the hit video game that took the world by storm almost 40 years ago in 1972.

No, wait, that’s not right. Where did my mind come from? I am wandering to? we’re actually here to talk about ping. which is actually younger than pong and was born in 1983 to help network administrators discover other devices that were connected to the network.

Anyway, now that my mind is on the road, I just wanted to give everyone a quick refresher on the importance of using ping when troubleshooting.

I’ll do my best to make this quick and easy today. I just want to cover the different responses as well as a few pinging strategies to help you troubleshoot.

The answers:

The responses are the most important thing to watch for when pinging, knowing what each one means will help you get on the right path to troubleshooting. Before we get into the details of this, we’ll give a top cover answered which you will usually see when you type ping:

  1. Reply from. This one is usually our friend. When you see a reply from the address you sent, it tells you that the communication is good. However, the response can be misleading, so always be sure to check with the client that they are receiving a response from the address they pinged. For example, if they entered “ping 4.2.2.2” make be sure to ask the customer if they are seeing a response from 4.2.2.2 and not some other number. What can happen with the response is that a different address can tell you that the address you want to reach is not available. So always remember to make sure the reply is coming from the address you entered.
  2. The request timed out. This usually means that the computer and router know where the address is, but just can’t get to it.
  3. Unknown host. It means the computer has no idea what or who you are trying to ping. this means you have to go a long way to start the network.
  4. The target network/host is unreachable. It means that the ping does not know how to reach its destination.
  5. Hardware error. It usually means your adapter is disabled or you unplugged the cable.

A few best case scenarios for when to ping:

  1. Ping to check the connection to the router. Ping 192.168.1.1
  2. Ping to check connections to other computers on the network (make sure firewalls are disabled though).
  3. Ping from the computer to the Internet by number. Use 4.2.2.2 or 8.8.8.8 to check if the router is online. (This is useful when the router’s status page shows an IP address from the ISP on the status page, but cannot view any websites).
  4. Ping your computer to yahoo.com to verify a full Internet connection. If you can ping yahoo.com and get responses, but the computer can’t browse, that tells you it’s a computer problem, not a router problem.

What does Ping really tell me?

Some common things that ping can tell you are:

  1. If you try to ping your router from a computer on the LAN and get the target host unreachable. This tells you that your computer is not getting an IP address from the router (from here you can examine the device’s IP settings and check connections).
  2. If you are able to ping the router but get destination host unreachable when you try to ping the internet, this could be telling you that your ISP is not giving your router an IP address. So you will be looking for internet connection issues.
  3. If you can ping the router and you can ping 4.2.2.2 but you get unknown host as a response when you try to ping yahoo.com which tells you that your router is getting an IP address it is connected to the internet but there is a problem with DNS (domain name server). Usually, releasing and renewing the computer’s IP address or setting the computer to a static DNS address will solve this problem.
  4. If you can ping the router, internet at 4.2.2.2 and yahoo.com successfully, but the computer can’t browse any websites. This may tell you that there is a problem with the browser. Maybe there is a proxy server enabled in the internet settings, or maybe there are some weird security settings that are causing problems on this computer. Or even worse, there could be a virus. From there, you can try a different browser on the computer or move to another computer to prove to the customer that it’s a computer problem.

The end:

There are many other things that ping can tell you, but I just wanted to share these best case scenarios to give everyone a quick refresher. Overall, Ping is a very useful tool that is often overlooked these days because people want to use the Windows GUI for troubleshooting.

While using the GUI seems less stressful, it can take more time and doesn’t really give you the feedback you need to really isolate the problem with the customer.

So I challenge each of you to open a DOS window and start pinging to try to isolate network and connectivity issues on a regular basis. Making ping part of your standard troubleshooting arsenal will greatly improve your success rate when working on connectivity issues for both wired and wireless computers.

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