Pinging: What It Is, What It Does, And What It Tells Your Internet Service Providers About Your Data Centers

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If you are currently experiencing some issues with your internet or VoIP phone service, you should call your internet service provider. There may be a problem with your data centers or related equipment. The phone representatives are often trained to run some basic diagnostic tests, such as "pinging." If you have never heard of this term, the following information explains what pinging is, what it does and what it tells your internet service/phone provider about your data centers.

What Pinging Is

Pinging is the term used to describe a type of internet and phone test. While you are on the phone with the customer service representative, he or she will send out a signal to your data centers. This is often referred to as a "ping", because the signal enters your system and lightly "pings!" off of the internal control panels.

What It Does

Pinging operates as a simple diagnostic tool that will help the customer service representative determine if your data centers are experiencing signal problems. If the signal bounces back to the phone rep's computer, your data center and the nearby street box shows that these systems and equipment are functional. If it does not bounce back, there may be a systems error or problem located somewhere along the service line. Your data centers may require service and/or maintenance, or the box down the street may need to be examined. If the problems you are having occur very suddenly, the customer service representative may want to know if there is a major electrical storm in your area, if your office building's power is out, or if there has been a major accident nearby which could have effected the street service box, your office building itself or a telephone pole.

What It Tells Your Internet Service Providers about Your Data Centers

A ping test that gets past the street service box and connects to your data center but then does not return tells the customer service representative that something is wrong. It could be that there is a problem with your internet service, VoIP phone service (if applicable) and/or that the problem may be internal. A ping is supposed to make a complete circuit from the service rep's computer to the street box to your data centers and loop back around again to the rep's computer. When the on-screen graphic on the rep's screen does not complete, the service rep usually receives an error message. At this point, it is customary to set up a repair appointment to find the source of the problem in your data centers or the shared data centers in the building.