what does ping mean?

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sanny16

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Jan 1, 2013
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How does one define a good ping time and a bad ping time. How does it affect the internet speed and what does ping stand for?
 

riser

Illustrious
Moderator
Ping: old school term is Packet Internet Groping.

What is it? It is a small packet of information that is sent across a network, or internet, to a destination and a response (or lack there of) is returned.

When accessing the internet with a ping, it must go across multiple routers and/or DNS servers. The higher the ping, the more likely the ping is to travel either more hops (router to router) and/or over heavily congested communication lines.

In reference to gaming:
The higher your pig, the longest it takes for your game packets to get back to. In gaming, you're actually uploading far more than you're downloading during game play. The "world" of the game is already known to your computer, the variable being world changes (building being destroyed, or marks left over, etc which would be downloaded) and your game movements (uploading these movements). Ping is a quick reference for lag in a game. If you had a high ping against someone with a low ping, the difference is they receiving and updating game information quicker. While a game may play perfectly fine away from others (you're in your own world, not synchronizing with anyone else), when you encounter another person, both systems must synchronize. The person who is able to do that quicker will generally have the edge. This is why you hear people in a game at a key moment say they 'lagged.' What happened is the other person was updating their game movement (or commands) and you were trying to download theirs while uploading yours. If your ping is higher, it takes just a little bit longer. In the grand scheme, that can relate to a fraction of a second delay in a game at a key moment.

In larger games like an MMO, when everyone gets together it starts to lag because now you have dozens, if not more, all updating their movements together and that has to synchronized and sent out to everyone. Often, game collision is turned off in large scale games because think about it.. multiple objects trying to take over the same space will be a nightmare to figure out who wins.

So in the end, ping is a low level, small packet of information that can provide a quick snapshot of what's going on with your computer. If you're hosting a game server, your ping is generally 1-2ms. If you're playing on a server in SanFran while you live in Atlanta, data has more hops to go through and that will eventually cause some congestion and thereby slow down your data by a few milliseconds. If you played on a local server in Atlanta, your ping will likely be good because you have minimal networks to traverse for your data. The less your data has to travel over the internet (the internet is a bunch of inter-connected networks, thus the term "internet") the better your ping should be.
 
Ping is actually the slang name for an ICMP echo request. The idea is to send out a packet that requests a reply from the destination and monitor how much time in millisecond(ms) it take to return to the sender.

This does NOT effect speed, but can effect things like response time form sites and online games.

A bad ping to game on depends on the ping you are used to. On Leugue of Legends for example, I am happy with 200ms, while others are unhappy with 100ms.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Found this reference, BTW:

"Packet Inter-Networking Groper." PING Can be used as a command in MS-DOS. Early computer programmers used this acronym because of it's similarities to a SONAR ping. A computer ping will send a packet of data from one computer to another to measure the time it takes for information to be sent and received. Pinging a computer can also help diagnose problems within networked computer systems.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ping
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Check this link by the guy who actually "wrote" the original ping command for UNIX:

http://ftp.arl.army.mil/mike/ping.html

A quote from the link follows:

"From my point of view PING is not an acronym standing for Packet InterNet Grouper, it's a sonar analogy. However, I've heard second-hand that Dave Mills offered this expansion of the name, so perhaps we're both right. Sheesh, and I thought the government was bad about expanding acronyms! :) "

 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Ping times can be affected by everything between the 2 systems being "pinged". Traffic, congestion, available bandwidth, number of users, types of networking devices, number of hops, etc all can impact the times.
 

ex_bubblehead

Champion
Moderator

Not to mention that ICMP packets are usually given the lowest possible priority on most routers, if not turned off altogether. Ping times should never be used as an absolute.
 

riser

Illustrious
Moderator
Ping: old school term is Packet Internet Groping.

What is it? It is a small packet of information that is sent across a network, or internet, to a destination and a response (or lack there of) is returned.

When accessing the internet with a ping, it must go across multiple routers and/or DNS servers. The higher the ping, the more likely the ping is to travel either more hops (router to router) and/or over heavily congested communication lines.

In reference to gaming:
The higher your pig, the longest it takes for your game packets to get back to. In gaming, you're actually uploading far more than you're downloading during game play. The "world" of the game is already known to your computer, the variable being world changes (building being destroyed, or marks left over, etc which would be downloaded) and your game movements (uploading these movements). Ping is a quick reference for lag in a game. If you had a high ping against someone with a low ping, the difference is they receiving and updating game information quicker. While a game may play perfectly fine away from others (you're in your own world, not synchronizing with anyone else), when you encounter another person, both systems must synchronize. The person who is able to do that quicker will generally have the edge. This is why you hear people in a game at a key moment say they 'lagged.' What happened is the other person was updating their game movement (or commands) and you were trying to download theirs while uploading yours. If your ping is higher, it takes just a little bit longer. In the grand scheme, that can relate to a fraction of a second delay in a game at a key moment.

In larger games like an MMO, when everyone gets together it starts to lag because now you have dozens, if not more, all updating their movements together and that has to synchronized and sent out to everyone. Often, game collision is turned off in large scale games because think about it.. multiple objects trying to take over the same space will be a nightmare to figure out who wins.

So in the end, ping is a low level, small packet of information that can provide a quick snapshot of what's going on with your computer. If you're hosting a game server, your ping is generally 1-2ms. If you're playing on a server in SanFran while you live in Atlanta, data has more hops to go through and that will eventually cause some congestion and thereby slow down your data by a few milliseconds. If you played on a local server in Atlanta, your ping will likely be good because you have minimal networks to traverse for your data. The less your data has to travel over the internet (the internet is a bunch of inter-connected networks, thus the term "internet") the better your ping should be.
 
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