Checking your "Ping" time on FICS
(or anywhere else for that matter)


Ping stands for ‘packet Internet groper’. Much like a submarine’s sonar system, Ping is a function used to test the reachability of destinations or hosts by sending them an ICMP echo request and waiting for an echo reply. Therefore, one may “Ping” a host to see if it is available. Not only does Ping determine if a host is available or ‘online’, but it also returns the amount of time the packet took to get to its destination host and return to the origin (round trip).

The round-trip time between an echo request and an echo reply allows you to determine the speed of a network connection between two distinct hosts. If a Ping echo reply is not received in a certain amount of time, the Ping is said to be ‘timed out.’


Here's how you do it:

While connected to the Internet via dialup or in a networked environment, simply open a DOS window, and at the DOS prompt type "ping" and the Internet address you wish to check. That's it. For example, after opening a DOS window, type:


The ping program will then send by default four of the above mentioned echo requests and will time each one.

For convenience, you should create a tiny batch file and create a shortcut to it.
This way, all you have to do is click on the icon to ping yourself.

Here is one way to do this:

  • 1) Open your favorite text editor and create a text file with just one line in it:
    ping Save the file as pingfics.bat (or whatever) anywhere you wish on your hard drive.

  • 2) right-click anywhere on your desktop and select NEW...

...and then SHORTCUT

  • 4) Type where it says "Command line:"

Once this is done, click on the Next button at the bottom of this window.

  • 5) Give this shortcut a name. (Ping FICS is what mine is called. )

Once this is done, click on the "Finish" button.

  • 6) Right-click on the DOS icon that was created and select PROPERTIES. Select the Program tab and then in the third box labeled Batch file:, type in the name and path of the text batch file you created in step #1.

Once this is done, click on the OK button.

That should be it! Those steps worked for me here at with
my system anyway. Actually, I created my shortcut simply by
modifying an existing one. While putting this page together, I
decided to create one from scratch, since no one else out there
will have a copy of the shortcut I created this from.

The one I modified actually now looks like this:

Notice the Cmd line: and the Working: fields are different than the one I just stepped you through. Both shortcuts with my setup work fine but I can't guarantee that for everyone.

Depending upon your system configuration, you might need
to simply put the
c:\ping.bat command in the CMD Line Window,
instead of in the Batch File Window, as I've shown above.

Upon clicking your new shortcut,
a little DOS window should appear which will then ping FICS.
You should then see something like:

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=255ms TIL=51
Reply from bytes=32 time=257ms TIL=51
Reply from bytes=32 time=261ms TIL=51
Reply from bytes=32 time=296ms TIL=51

Hopefully your times will be as low, or lower, than these.

Once finished, be sure to type EXIT to close the DOS window.

Note you can use other parameters with the ping command. After experimenting on which ones you're interested in, simply add those to your pingfics.bat batch file.

Happy pinging everyone!

- Ed