The Shareware Review People

WS_Ping & WS_Ping Pro

ping_logo.gif (2741 bytes)

Type of Program:Network Information & Ping Tools
Supported Platform: Win 3.x/9x/NT
Company Name: Ipswitch, INc.
Version: 96.10.11 (freeware) 2.1 (Pro)
Price: free/ $37.50
Installed size: 150K (freeware)400K (Pro)

16 Bit Freeware


32 Bit Pro Evaluation


A good ping client is a nice thing to have, even if you're not a network administrator or a remotely technical type. WS_Ping is an old standby among freeware pingers, but the newest version of WS_Ping Pro really rolls together all the facilities you're likely to need. And yes, even if you ARE a techie.

I'm talking to the non-net-manager types now: When was the last time you just wanted to find out who a number IP belonged to? ( You can't just enter an IP number on your browser address window unless you also have a live port number.) Or why you couldn't get through to a server you thought was so reliable? Or why it's taking so long to get connected?

The freeware WS_Ping gives you basic stuff, but the newest version of WS_Ping Pro adds these four great facilities: 1) HTML (great for web site troubleshooting for specified URLs); 2) Throughput (test data connections between your computer and a remote system); 3) Info (view summary information about a network host or device including the official hostname, IP address, and contact information from the Whois database); and 4) Time (query multiple time servers or to synchronize your local system clock).

Other facilities that are standard in both WS_Ping and Ping Pro are: Ping (which sends an ICMP echo equest to a remote host & waits for an echo reply to help confirm the "up" status of a server you're interested in; Traceroute (checks the actual route an IP follows to an Internet host, and how much time it takes to arrive), and Lookup (asks the Internet name servers for a name ID of the host or domain number you type in).

WS_Ping Pro adds these features to those mentioned for the freeware above: Finger, WhoIs, LDAP, Quote, SNMP, WinNet, and Scan IP tools. The WhoIs tool, like Finger, is an Internet directory service. Whois provides information about who owns an Internet host or domain and who you can contact regarding that host or domain. A Whois request displays a contact name, mailing address, telephone number, and network mailbox for all users and organizations who are registered with the Network Information Center (NIC) database. So, if you're looking for solid information about who you deal with in the Internet, WhoIs, LDAP, and SNMP are darned handy --you'll find the Pro version very valuable to you as a non-technical net user.

Net managers have a full complement of diagnostics in this latest Pro package, probably the most complete you're likely to find in a shareware offering. User interface is similar on both programs, providing the vanilla-flavored look reminiscent of the classic WS_FTP program also offered by Ipswitch. Not a lot of flash, but well-built, no window-dressing, and easy to use. Ipswitch has been in the net-tools business a long time, and these products reflect the company's understanding of what you really do need.

The evaluation version of WS_Ping Pro is completely functional, but time-limited for 30 days (extendable to 45, if you reinstall at 30) with a nag/countdown screen. See the product website for the latest ordering and download details.

User Friendly:
Cost: both versions
Ease of Installation:
Support: (no "official" support for freeware)
Reviewed by Bobbie Crowell

Pro - online orders, major credit cards

Registered WS_Ping ProPack Version 2.01 users are offered a free upgrade patch to Version 2.1 -- just download from the product website.

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