How to read and understand ping results

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How to Understand Ping Results

The images below are an example of the sort of results that you will receive when you ping an IP address.

Pinging to an IP address that responds
Ping-command-success

Example of Ping to IP address 192.168.1.1

Pinging an IP and getting Time out
Ping-Failure

Example of a failed Ping to IP address 192.168.0.99

Ping Results Explained:

  • Reply from: By default, windows will send four ping messages (one on each line) and then shows you the outcome of each of the four messages.
  • Bytes: Each ping message request is 32 bytes in size. This is a default setting.
  • Time: This shows the round trip amount of time in milliseconds (8ms = 0.008seconds). Round trip is the time from when the ping message was sent and how long it took before the reply came back.
  • TTL (Time-to-Live):  The TTL value represents the maximum number of IP routers that the packet can go through before being thrown away. Currently each router that the packet travels/hops through will decrement the TTL field by exactly one. Windows default TTL is 64 therefore if you ping a device on your local home wireless/network then the ping will not cross any routers and the TTL should remain at the default.  As you can see from the google.com ping example (above) the TTL went down to 52 so the packet had to hop across a few routers before it got to google.com.
  • Request Timeout: The destination IP/hostname or website did not respond. The could be due to a number of  reasons such as;  the device does not exist, is not powered on or is configure not to reply to ping requests.  You can create a rule in windows firewall to stop you PC/Laptop from replying to Pings. Some websites or online resources do this via a commercial firewall so that hacker cannot target their systems. If a device does not respond to ping then a hack may pressure that the IP address / hostname they are pinging does not exist and they may move on till they find something that does so that they can then start targeting attacks to that IP address.

 

FAQ: Common Ping error messages

What does Ping Error “TTL Expired in Transit” mean?

TTL expired in transit” is related to the TTL value as explained in the above section. This value is lowered by one every time the ping packet pass through a router. When it final decrements to zero, you will receive this error. This is prevent the packet looping around forever.

This ping error indicates that there may be a routing issue on the network. Different Operating System have a different TTL start timer.

What does Ping error “Destination Host Unreachable” mean?

The cause of the Destination Host Unreachable could be either of two faults;
1. Either your PC does not have a route to the destination that you are trying to ping or
2. A remote router has reported that it does not have a route to the destination you are pinging.

If the error messages just says “Destination Host Unreachable” then there is no route from your PC so the packet was not sent.

If the message is “Reply From < IP address >: Destination Host Unreachable,” then the routing issue is at the router, whose address is indicated by the “< IP address >” field.


Destination Host Unreachable error message:
C:> ping -t 192.168.2.15
Pinging 192.168.2.15 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.2.254: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 192.168.2.254: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 192.168.2.254: Destination host unreachable.
Reply from 192.168.2.254: Destination host unreachable.
Ping statistics for 192.168.2.10:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss)

Why do I get “Request Timed Out” error?

Request timed out means that the IP address you’re ping is either down or unreachable.

If the destination IP you’re pinging is definitely not down then it could be something as simple as a firewall enabled on the destination or the destination’s network perimeter that is dropping ping packets.

Ping “Request Timed Out” error message:
C:\>ping Server1
Pinging Server1 [192.168.1.65] with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Ping statistics for 192.168.1.65:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

Ping error “Unknown Host”

The ping error is reporting that it cannot resolve the IP address for the host that you are pinging. (e.g google.com) Check that you have DNS servers in your IP address configuration and check that you can ping the DNS server.

If your connectivity to the DNS server is fine, there may be an issue on the DNS server or the device is simply not on the network or registered in DNS.

Ping transmit failed general failure error

Ping transmit failed general failure error is usually related to a physical problem on the PC/Laptop’s network card or wireless adapter.

Make sure you have the latest driver or if you have updated then it may be an issue on the new driver. Also check that your device has an IP address.

Ping:transmit failed. General failure error message:
Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Ping:transmit failed. General failure.
Ping:transmit failed. General failure.
ping:transmit failed. General failure.
ping:transmit failed. General failure.

What is a good ping test result?

Any ping test result under 20ms is considered to be very good. Anything over 100ms may result in noticeable lag.

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