What is Ping? What is Latency? How To Test In Internet & Networking?
What Is Ping?
The ping command is the most widely used of all network utilities. It’s a tool that is used to test issues such as network connectivity and name resolution. For example, let’s go ahead and ping a host IP address. So, at a command prompt, you would type ‘ping.’ Space than the IP address, then press enter. Now it’s going to send out 4 data packets to the destination IP address we chose. Then the destination will send the data packets back to us as a reply. And, these replies are called echo reply request. And, these replies will inform us about what’s happening with the destination host we pinged.
For example, if we received a reply, then that means that there is general network connectivity between us and the destination, but if we did not get a reply, then that means, that is no reply from a host and it could mean that there is no network connectivity between us. But, if we pinged a host and we got a message that says “request timed out,” then that could mean, that the host is down or that it’s blocking all ping requests. Or in another scenario, after pinging, if we get a message that says “destination host unreachable,” then that message is coming from the router and it means that a route to the destination cannot be found. The ping command cal also is used to test name resolution.
For example, before we use the ping command, with an IP address, but we can also use it with a domain name. For example, we could type ‘ping’ and then the domain name “google.com”. So, by paying the domain name, if we get the same successful result as typed in the IP address, then this would indicate that name resolution by DNS is working fine. But, let’s just suppose that the domain name ping failed, then the next step will be typing. Instead, so, if by typing in the IP address, if the ping command was successful, this time, that we now know that we are having a problem with DNS. The ping command can also be combined with other subcommands call switches.
Switches are used to alter the parameters up until the ping utility. You can view a full list at the switches, space forward slashes and then a question mark. Our next utility is called TRACERT, which stands for traceroute. This utility is used to see the exact path. The data packet is taking on its way to the destination. So, for example, let’s go ahead and trace from our computer to another computer. So, at a command prompt, we would type “tracert” space.
And, the IP address and press enter. Now the data packet will find its way to the destination. And each time it reaches a router on its path, it will report back information about the router. Such as the IP address and the time it took between each hop. So the TRACERT utility is a great tool that can be used to pinpoint where the problem lies on a network if a data packet cannot reach the destination.
So, for example, if we try to ping a destination and the pain command failed, we can use the TRACERT utility to find out where the data packet is failing along its path. So, let’s go ahead and traceroute this IP again and let’s suppose this time there was a problem. So, let’s type in TRACERT and the IP address. And, as a data packet goes along its path, it will tell us at which area the problem lies. And, the data packet stops in here. So, the TRACERT utility has isolated that the problem is somewhere between these two routers.
What Is Latency?
These days we have become habitual of instant gratification. Whether it’s ordering at a drive-through, looking up incredibly important information on the connected computer in your pocket. Or, gaming with someone on the other side of the planet. We expect lots of things to happen instantaneously. But, as much as our technology has advanced. We are still fighting the dreaded problem of latency and No I am not talking about your repressed Freudian desires. What I mean by latency is the gap in time between some kind of input like a key presser turning your head in a VR headset and the system spitting out the appropriate response.
And, this latency affects the way that you use tons of things in the real world. But, why don’t electricity and radio waves travel super fast? Well, yes they do radio waves travel at the speed of light. While electricity travelling through wires can go up to nearly the speed of light. But, the issue is not with how quickly a signal goes from A to B instead of latency is caused by processing times and since any kind of input to a computer has to be processed everything has at least some amount of latency. This can be very noticeable in situations where a slow hard drive caused doing something simple like finding a picture on your computer to be agonizingly slow or when a webpage is designed poorly. And, you cannot click on anything for a few seconds while it finishes rendering.
You have also probably noticed latency. Well if you have ever watched an interview via a satellite on a news channel. Where the subject takes a few seconds to start responding to the reporter’s questions, often, these kinds of latency won’t completely screw up what you are trying to do. Waiting an extra 15 seconds to look at that TPS report, probably will not ruin your day. But, latency can be an absolute killer in other situations. If you enjoy playing games online, network latency is caused by processing at each point in the network can cause weird laggy behaviour that can result in catastrophic in-game mishaps or even getting kicked off the game server completely.
You can learn more about latency and games up here and believe it or not the consequences of high latency can be even worse than getting fragged in CS Go. With car manufacturers increasingly installing backup cameras and some cars even completely ditching mirrors in favour of cameras such as this BMW. This BMW i8m we are checking out last year and wearing a lavalier microphone on me. That will give you guys an exact idea of how much delay, there is between something happening and what’s on the screen. Low latency is a must. So, that drivers can react to hazards in time, even half a second delay could lead to a tragic accident. So, how do you cut down on latency?
Other than just having a faster computer. Well in computing, context a common tactic is to use wires, where possible, instead of going wireless, a good example of this is how current VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC rive rely on weird connections to a PC. Although these wires are cumbersome wireless tech, typically has greater latency due to more complicated processing which could mean disorienting or nauseating display lag. When you are in a virtual world, this is sometimes called a motion to photon latency. And, if you are gaming online and you have a choice of servers. Pick the one geographically closest to you. Although electrical signals travel insanely quickly. The latency of a few hundred milliseconds can still be an issue when you are connecting to a faraway server.
And, that’s enough to wreck your gaming experience. In most cases, there’s also software and even special network adapters that push through data packets from your game before others. So, they won’t be stuck waiting around for other applications on your system. Some routers can even be configured to push packets to your system first to reduce latency if a few people on your network are rudely deciding that now is the time that they have to watch that episode on Netflix now, of course, you are never going to get rid of latency completely. There’s even a brain latency. Since your brain needs time to make sense of whatever the heck you are looking at the goal is to get it down to an acceptable level. That won’t leave your frustrated or with a lawsuit on your hands.
How To Test Ping & Latency In Internet & Networking?
Ping is a method of measuring latency or the time it takes to send and receive a packet of data between two devices such as computers on a network. A simple analogy would be to pretend that the two computers are – two people X and Y would be the amount of time it takes X to say something to Jane and receive a response the lower the ping time or latency between X and Y. The more effective they can communicate as ping times increase the time intervals between sending and receiving messages will continue to increase.
Until the delays are so long that their communication stops making sense altogether low ping times are extremely important in scenarios where the timely delivery of information is more important than the quantity of information that can be delivered in an online game. Where two players are competing against each other for example, the game data things like player models, maps, textures are stored on the individual PC.
Or, the console of each competitor to play against each other. The only information that needs to be transferred back and forth between the players is simple stuff like the location, bullet trajectory and updates that are being made to objects on the map such as building that have been damaged or destroyed in contrast to applications like games surfaces like Netflix are not very dependent on how long ping times in these cases, bandwidth or the raw amount of data that can be delivered per second is more important to the quality of the experience.
The reason for this is that the data is only being sent, one way and large buffers or chunks of the movie that are pre-downloaded on the fly can mask many issues that would be caused by an inconsistent or not very low latency connection. So, in short, you can think of ping like the WhatsApp or twitter of network communication compact communication and coordination between devices in real-time.
Concluding that Latency is a super important concept to understand for some people. For others, it barely matters at all. So, which one are you? Latency is the time it takes for data to travel from one place to another for example if I click the play button on the Netflix, how long does it take to play? That’s latency, it’s all about tiny pieces of information sent back and forth really, quickly. Now, latency is not the same thing as download speed that’s the number you usually see. And, download speed is all about how fast you can receive large amounts of data. So, back to our Netflix example, if one press that plays button, the latency determines how long it takes before I start to see that buffering wheel. Download speed determines how long that buffering will stay there as it loads my show. So, should you care about latency? Maybe!