The most commonly used network tool is the ping utility. This utility is used to provide a basic connectivity test between the requesting host and a destination host. This is done by using the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) which has the ability to send an echo packet to a destination host and a mechanism to listen for a response from this host. Simply stated, if the requesting host receives a response from the destination host, this host is reachable.
This utility is commonly used to provide a basic picture of where a specific networking problem may exist. For example, if an Internet connection is down at an office, the ping utility can be used to figure out whether the problem exists within the office or within the network of the Internet provider.