PIng command and its use

I've always thought that the ping command was a good tool to check your connection between one site to another.  We were having trouble with email today, so I starting ping the smtp server on our ISP site.  It was coming back with time= greather that 2000 never below 100.  I was told by the ISP that this did not always represent a problem with them, but it could also mean that users were using up our bandwidth with streaming or something that was data intensive.  I had a hard time believing that.  Can someone let me know if this is true?
MomForLifeAsked:
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Mal OsborneConnect With a Mentor Alpha GeekCommented:
Yep, a 2000Ms ping time could be explained by heaps of users sucking bandwidth. It is also maybe enough to cause connectivity problems.

Next step, for me would be top grab a FREE trial version of Pingplotter, run it for a few days, and get a better picture of what is happening. This is kinda like ping on steroids.

If the ISPs assertion is correct, then you should see low ping times at 3:00AM (assuming all your users are at home asleep). Packet loss is also worth considering. I usually set Pingplotter to send 1400Byte packets every 5 seconds, and investigate if I see any 10 minute period with more than 10% loss.
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savoneCommented:
Ping times are representative of the time it takes a ICMP packet to get to the host and back.  The problem could lie anywhere in between including on the system you are pinging from.

So yes, this COULD be true.
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MomForLifeAuthor Commented:
Ok.  I guess it makes sense.  However, everyone has powered off their computers.  The only computer running is our domain server and the pings are still coming back somewhat high. Greater > 100 but below 2000.
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savoneCommented:
try pinging other nodes.  See what the ping times are.

It can be anywhere in the loop.  It could be a problem on the backbone, your ISP, the provider the ISP is using etc.
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MomForLifeAuthor Commented:
I ping my server and up to the router and everthing is fine.  I can even ping an address on my computer example google.com and the numbers are ok, but when i log in remotely to the server and do a ping from the server computer the numbers are bigger.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Several things.  Ping/ICMP is always a low priority service, just about everything comes first.  And some servers turn off Ping completely.  Even when Ping is working properly, that does not mean that other services and protocols like SMTP and HTTP are working.  I've seen Ping work when everything else was down.
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Ian ArakelNetwork Lead: Data and SecurityCommented:
Hi there,

Kindly confirm the source from and the destination to which the ping is initiated.
The below statements contradict your first post:


I ping my server and up to the router and everthing is fine
 --->Which server is this?
I can even ping an address on my computer example google.com and the numbers are ok                        
--->From where is the ping initiated?
but when i log in remotely to the server and do a ping from the server computer the numbers are bigger
--->Which server are you logging into?
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Carlos IjalbaSenior SysadminCommented:
To test a SMTP server the best test would be to issue an email by hand, using SMTP commands, and then try to monitor the response time maybe with a test email sent from a smtp command.

Also try to use netcat instead of ping, and check reponse times from the SMTP ports on the server.
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MomForLifeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyone's input
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