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Chapter 16. Internet Diagnosis Tools > Tips from the Windows Pros: Pinging with...

Tips from the Windows Pros: Pinging with Larger Packets

While I was finishing this chapter, it appeared that my LAN's Internet connection had just stopped working. After a closer look, I saw that only downstream communication was affected, meaning my browser could contact Web sites, but information from the Web wasn't reaching my computer.

Therefore, I first tried pinging my ISP at the gateway address of my DSL modem. It worked just fine. In fact, I could ping any site in the entire Internet but could not view a single Web page. Data travels both ways. I called my Internet service provider and found out that pings from its network into my LAN work, too. The guy I spoke to suggested that I must have a software problem. However, that didn't make sense, especially because everything was working earlier that same day. Then I had a hunch. Ping, by default, sends very small packets: 32 bytes each, plus a few bytes of IP packet packaging. Requests for Web pages are very small, too (maybe 100 bytes). However, responses from Web servers are big and come in the largest packets possible—about 1500 bytes each. This meant the problem might not be the direction the data was taking. Instead, it could be the size of the data that was causing the problem.


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