PING Checks

About Ping Checks

Ping is actually a utility used for testing to see if a node on a network is reachable. It's been around since 1983, and has become ubiquitous with the idea of checking to see if a host or device is up. A ping test consists of sending an ICMP echo request packet to a target and waiting for a response. Ping now means more than just the utility, it also can refer to any use of ICMP echo request packets used for the purpose of testing whether a remote host is up and how long it takes them to respond.

The term has become so widely used to just refer to checking whether a host is reachable that some services use the term when they aren't really talking about a test that uses ICMP packets. That makes it not a ping. In many cases it might not matter much, but if you are testing many network devices, or testing through firewalls and other security devices, it matters. NodePing uses the real thing.

When to use Ping Checks

You should use pings when you are checking availability of network devices like routers, and checking if a server is up independent of other services that are running on it. In some situations pings are preferable to HTTP checks because HTTP checks might appear in some statistics systems as hits on the web site.

Using Ping Checks

To set up a PING check,

  1. Select PING from the Check type drop down.
  2. Set how often you want the check to run on the Check Frequency field.
  3. Select PING from the Check type drop down.
  4. Enter the target you want to check. An IP address (v4 or v6) or a host name works fine here. Do not include the http:// or https:// like you would on an HTTP check.
  5. Choose from the dropdown which IP protocol you want to use, IPv4 or IPv6.
  6. Set a time out. 5 seconds is the maximum threshold and is a good choice for the majority of the uses.
  7. Set the Sensitivity. Unless you set your threshold fairly low, ping checks are less likely to have many issues with "flapping" so High is usually appropriate.
  8. Set the notifications for this check. More information about notifications.

Other considerations

If you set up a new PING check and it fails from the beginning, please contact your system administrator or hosting provider and ensure PING traffic is allowed to your host

If your host has both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, you'll need two separate PING checks - one for each.

The maximum threshold/timeout for PING checks is 5 seconds. Any threshold set above that will be ignored.

If you have any questions, get in touch at, or use our Contact form.