How do I check if a port is consistently alive? For example, I could use

ping -t > results.txt

This will ping continuously so that I could monitor it.
Is there an equivalent tool or command that I could use for this?

Currently I use telnet but sometimes the host disconnects it. I need a Windows solution.

  • Is it a specific port you need to check e.g. port 80 for http or port 21 for ftp, or is it a specific IP address you need to check i.e. to test if the host is reachable. The latter is what your above example is doing. – Chris Feb 8 '11 at 13:16
  • i'm wanting to check a specific port if it is open. – grassbl8d Feb 8 '11 at 13:29
  • Since "standard" ping uses ICMP messages, and when talking about ports you probably think about TCP/IP, you have a mismatch there that you can not close (ICMP and IP are very different protocols). ping is the wrong tool for monitoring, you should use something that generates the kind of traffic you need for the specific service. Example: to monitor a website you send an HTTP query, etc. – Patrick Mevzek May 16 '18 at 22:52

You could use netcat if there is a Windows version - on Linux I use:

nc -z <host> <port>

This returns 0 if the port is open. Run this in a loop for make it continuous.

If Powershell is available, see https://web.archive.org/web/20111102182913/http://poshcode.org/85 for an example.

  • 2
    ping every second a host on a port and return 0 if successfully so, 1 else: while (:); do nc -z HOSTNAME_HERE PORT_HERE; echo $?; sleep 1; done – sjas Jun 8 '15 at 14:59
  • link doesnt work anymore – Clinton Ward Aug 11 '19 at 11:32
  • @ClintonWard Updated with an archived link :) – Andrew Aug 12 '19 at 12:28

Or use nmap from http://nmap.org , there is a windows version available.

nmap -p port host

or, for hosts not responding to ICMP requests,

nmap -P0 -p port host


You could use nping from nmap like:

C:\>nping --tcp -p 80

where -p specifies the port to scan (here: 80). Furthermore you can use -H for hiding sent packets, in favor of showing only replies.


telnet <host> <port> will check remote <host> for a TCP listener on <port>.


If you want to go with stock command line utils, then TELNET will connect to a port for you. On the flip side, if there is service responding, then TELNET may 'hang' while waiting for you to supply the escape command sequence.

If you're open to installing new command line utils, then PaPing works as you want. It's cross platform, and there is a Windows installer available.

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