What does Ping mean???

p4ult

Active Member
Sorry if this is a silly question, but what does ping relate to when doing speed tests?
I have done a search and it seems the lower the better, but how does this affect download speeds?
Mine seems to be around 100-170, will this be slowing me down,? can/do I need to change this, if so how?

Sorry for all the newbee questions

Thanks
Paul
 

Beaker

Novice Member
The time indicates the lag of the network, not necessarily the speed of it. It is the time taken for the packet to reach the destination and return. The more network interfaces that it has to travel through the slowere the trip will be. On windows using tracert ip address can show the number of hops and the latency between each.
 

Rygar

Novice Member
It's basically the round trip time in milliseconds to send a small amount of data from your computer to another computer & back to yours.

So pinging another computer in your home network will be much quicker than pinging a computer in Australia. While physical distance to travel is one factor, much more important is how many "hops" the data has to make i.e how many servers, switches etc it has to negotiate on it's round trip.

Ping has little to do with download speed. It is important for time sensitive applications like gaming & VoIP (internet telephone calls) where real time interaction is needed in order to work properly.

Ping can be affected by many different factors including ISP peering arrangements & network capacity (some ISPs give much faster pings than others) & where the server you are pinging is etc...it's not a set figure.

I have a hunch you used speedtest.net to find out your ping....if so ignore it as it's not a true ping test.

To get a rough idea comparable to others ping bbc.co.uk from a command prompt within windows. Here is mine on a flakey interleaved line from the north of Scotland via Entanet...

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ping bbc.co.uk

Pinging bbc.co.uk [212.58.224.131] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 212.58.224.131: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=119
Reply from 212.58.224.131: bytes=32 time=44ms TTL=119
Reply from 212.58.224.131: bytes=32 time=44ms TTL=119
Reply from 212.58.224.131: bytes=32 time=54ms TTL=119

Ping statistics for 212.58.224.131:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 44ms, Maximum = 70ms, Average = 53ms
 

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