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Definition: ping

(1) See also PNG, ping service, blog ping and iTunes Ping.

(2) A signal from an airplane's black box. See pinger.

(3) (Packet INternet Groper) An Internet utility used to determine whether a particular IP address is reachable online by sending out a packet and waiting for a response. Ping is used to test and debug a network as well as see if a user or server is online.

Are You There?
"Can you ping the server?" means typing ping xx.xx.xx.xx at the command line. The xx's are the four numbers in the dotted decimal IP address used to identify IP clients and servers. If the request times out, the address cannot be reached. A ping utility also typically supports DNS name resolution, and the domain name may be used. For example, ping www.computerlanguage.com would yield the same results as typing in the correct numeric address. See IP address, ICMP and DNS.

Ping Me!
The term was coined when submarines first used sonar to detect enemy ships. A pinging sound was heard in the headset when a signal reflected back from an object in the water.

Ping is geekspeak for "call" or "get in touch." "Ping me at home" means "call me at home." It is also used to mean sending or transmitting a short burst of data; for example, "the GPS transmitter pings the satellite every few seconds."