The word ‘ping’ comes from the sonar: that’s what operators hear when it returns a signal. And that is also the word to describe a process that we can use to see whether another machine on the network is up and running or, whether we are connected to that machine through a network at all, so we can work together. For the uninitiated: sonar (SOund NAvigation and Ranging) is equipment that sends sound signals to detect other objects.
The beautiful thing is – when using a ‘ping’ command on the web – you don’t have to have an IP address, the site’s name will suffice. In any case, ‘ping’ is a useful tool with many other diagnostic options, too.
To find out why, for example, a web site doesn’t respond fast enough (or at all) after we pinged and the result seemed satisfactory, we can use a trace route command. It checks the signal’s path through the Internet and can tell us what is wrong and where.