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Troubleshooting: Why Ping When You Can CryPing?

As a network analyst, you probably use ping every day in your work. The utility is an essential part of the network troubleshooting toolbox. We ping to:

  • check if a device is up or reachable
  • resolve a host name
  • determine if there is a latency issue
  • identify packet loss
  • test IP Time To Live values
  • validate if certain packet sizes are able to traverse your network

Because the protocol used by ping, ICMP, can be exploited by hackers, network administrators in the past few years began blocking or rerouting ICMP traffic.This diminishes ping's effectiveness.

I'm often asked what I use as an ICMP ping replacement. I always point people to CryPing, a free command-line, portable tool that can ping using ICMP, but has a host of additional features. You can perform TCP port checks, test HTTP, POP, SMTP and even NNTP.

In this video, I use Wireshark to demonstrate how CryPing works.

I like to use CryPing to compare response times for TCP 80 port check, HTTP, and ICMP pings.