The internet is regarded as a basic human right in some countries, but in others, you just have to be grateful if you have a stable connection. You need a fast and stable internet connection if you’re trying to watch Netflix or play an online game. With most other things, a spotty connection now and then doesn’t impede work.
If you’re having trouble downloading large files, Skyping, or binging on Netflix, you might want to check if your internet connection is stable. A simple speed test won’t do in this case. It only gives you a snapshot of your connection at a given moment. To monitor internet connection stability, you need to check something called the ‘ping’ over an extended period of time.
The good news is, you don’t need a third-party app to monitor internet connection stability. All you need is the Command Prompt and the right command.
Monitor Internet Connection Stability
You don’t need administrative rights to monitor internet connection stability. Open the Command Prompt and enter the following command.
ping -t 188.8.131.52
This command pings the Google DNS server. If you want to ping a different server, perhaps one that you’re trying to connect to, replace 184.108.40.206 with the address for the server you want to connect to.
Once you hit enter, your system will start to ping the server at regular intervals. It will tell you how quickly it was able to get a response from the server. You’ll get a fresh response every second. Allow it to run for an extended period of time.
You will get a ‘Request timed out’ message in the command prompt if the server is unreachable. If your internet dies, you will get a ‘General failure’ message in Command Prompt.
If you don’t get either of these messages, look closely at the ‘Time’ values you get. This tells you how quickly you got a response from the server. If you notice a significant variation in this time, your connection or the server might be experiencing problems.
To differentiate if it’s the server or your connection that’s acting up, ping Google’s DNS server. It’s highly unlikely to experience connectivity issues. Any drastic differences in the ping time will be attributed to your connection’s instability.
Tap Ctrl+C to stop pinging the server. You will get a summary report at the end. Check how much variation there is between the maximum and minimum round trip times. Also, check how much packet loss you have. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any packet loss.
Ping vs. Connection Speed
You might wonder if your internet speed can affect ping time. The answer is no. Your internet speed and ping are two different things. Download speed is how fast data travels, whereas ping is the response time. You can have the fastest connection in the world, but if the ping is low due to an unstable server, the connection won’t benefit you much. If you’re connecting through a VPN, it might affect the ping rate. Make sure you’re connecting to a fast VPN to get better ping rates.