Just a quick sanity check here.

Can you ping a specific port of a machine, and if so, can you provide an example?

I'm looking for something like ping ip address portNum.


18 Answers 18


You can't ping ports, as Ping is using ICMP which is an internet layer protocol that doesn't have ports. Ports belong to the transport layer protocols like TCP and UDP.

However, you could use nmap to see whether ports are open or not

nmap -p 80 example.com

Edit: As flokra mentioned, nmap is more than just a ping-for-ports-thingy. It's the security auditers and hackers best friend and comes with tons of cool options. Check the doc for all possible flags.

  • 19
    You might want to add -PN to skip the host discovery nmap usually does before testing the given port.
    – flokra
    Commented Oct 8, 2009 at 10:06
  • 31
    To save some people some trouble: nmap /can/ be installed on windows from link (or google nmap windows), BUT it does not work over VPNs. PaPing didn't seem to be able to scan a range of addresses. I have posted Python script below that will work over VPN to scan a range of ports on a range of addresses.
    – Mark Ribau
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 7:19
  • 24
    For others: nmap doesn't exist on Mac OS X, you can install nmap via homebrew brew install nmap or MacPorts. Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 15:58
  • 21
    nping is better suited for this task than nmap. nping is part of the nmap distribution. Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 8:39
  • 8
    Mac OSX has 'Network Utility' which has a port scanner tab
    – Shanimal
    Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 20:53

Open a telnet session to the specific port, for example:

# telnet google.com 80
Connected to google.com.
Escape character is '^]'.

To close your session, hit Ctrl+].

  • 28
    netcat works also great and is less verbose.
    – petrus
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 20:17
  • 3
    Telnet works well for this iff the port is a TCP port. Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 22:29
  • 6
    netcat works with UDP too (nc -u) Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 7:35
  • 2
    For Mac users - netcat is now built-in MacOS HighSierra, wherein telnet can be installed from HomeBrew brew install telnet
    – sandiejat
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 22:12
  • best and simple answer Commented May 26 at 9:30

If you're on a windows installation with powershell v4 or newer, you can use the test-netconnection powershell module:

Test-NetConnection <host> -port <port>

Example: Test-NetConnection example.com -port 80

This cmdlet also has the alias tnc. Eg tnc example.com -port 80

$ nc -vz google.com 80
Connection to google.com 80 port [tcp/http] succeeded!
  • 11
    Use with time like in time nc -vz www.example.com 80 and you'll have sort of an RTT, too.
    – xebeche
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 8:58
  • 7
    Sole solution that works on Amazon EC2 instances without any installation.
    – Masadow
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:39
  • what is -z? ncat 6.40 on rhel7 gives it's an unknown option
    – Tagar
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 4:59
  • @Tagar according to help in the Ubuntu version, -z is the Zero-I/O mode, which is used for scanning. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 12:01
  • 1
    Which package provides this command? I can't find a package called "nc". Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 19:03

You can use PaPing:


C:\>paping.exe www.google.com -p 80 -c 4
paping v1.5.1 - Copyright (c) 2010 Mike Lovell

Connecting to www.l.google.com [] on TCP 80:

Connected to time=24.00ms protocol=TCP port=80
Connected to time=25.00ms protocol=TCP port=80
Connected to time=24.00ms protocol=TCP port=80
Connected to time=24.00ms protocol=TCP port=80

Connection statistics:
        Attempted = 4, Connected = 4, Failed = 0 (0.00%)
Approximate connection times:
        Minimum = 24.00ms, Maximum = 25.00ms, Average = 24.25ms
  • 1
    Or instead of paping you could use cryping which has been around much longer and supports pinging of some services as well as ports.
    – Brian Cryer
    Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 9:47
  • Can this be used to ping any port or just 80? Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 16:28
  • @LukePuplett just change the number 80 in the example. Run it by typing paping.exe <hostname/IP> -p <portnumber> -c <number of attempts> Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 18:39
  • This works great. use -c * for constant papinging(?).
    – HippoDuck
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 9:47

Try curl command, like:

$ curl host:port

For example:

$ curl -s localhost:80 >/dev/null && echo Success. || echo Fail.

Above command will return Fail on a non-zero exit status codes. In some particular cases, such as empty or malformed response (see man curl), you may want to handle specific exit codes as successful, so please check this post for more detailed explanation.

  • 5
    I like this because curl is present by default on CentOS, so I don't have to install anything.
    – bdemarest
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:34
  • curl worked on a Raspberry Pi (distro Raspian)
    – John M
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 17:41
  • 1
    This is by far the most elegant and universal solution. I tweaked it slightly to make it a neat oneliner: IP="<ip>" ; PORT="<port>" ; curl -s "$IP:$PORT" > /dev/null && echo "Success connecting to $IP on port $PORT." || echo "Failed to connect to $IP on port $PORT." Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 14:36

No, you can't, because ping uses the ICMP protocol, which doesn't even have a concept of ports.

  • 61
    I'm pretty sure the use of "ping" was metaphorical. Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 16:26

I found a simpler solution using PsPing:


It's part of Windows Sysinternals.

PsPing implements Ping functionality, TCP ping, latency and bandwidth measurement.

  • 3
    Also PsPing comes from Microsoft SysInternal team so is might be considered a little more legitimate when dealing with other Microsoft oriented people. (And has better functionality than the very old PortQry)
    – martyvis
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 0:08
  • 2
    PSPing has the advantage of providing latency measurement when using a custom port, something that Test-NetConnection cannot do (it only reports the ICMP response time).
    – Jeff Miles
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:30

On Linux you can use hping but it uses TCP, rather than ICMP.

hping example.com -S -V -p 80
  • 1
    hping (hping3 in my ubuntu) is excellent. It periodically repeats the probe like ping does, and unlike many of the tools suggested here. It also test both whether the packet gets through, and whether the port is open. If it's open you get flags=SA (i.e. SYN ACK), and if it's closed you get flags=SR (i.e. SYN RST). Note that you probably don't need the -V flag here, but you do need sudo/root to run hping.
    – mc0e
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 4:19
  • Excellent! Unlike many other answers, this reports RTT latency like ping and pings until stopped. Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 19:46

Ping is very specific but if you want to check whether a port is open or not, and are running a Windows box then PortQry is your friend.

I've only used it for testing Domain Controllers for connectivity issues, but it worked a treat for that, so should work for you.

  • 1
    PortQry was originally released in 1999/2000 by the MS Exchange team but MS recent version appears to have stunted it by removing the ability to query remote ports (health & safety). Commented Jul 9, 2012 at 16:31

Here's a quick and dirty .NET console app:

    static void Main(string[] args)
        string addressArgument = null, portArgument = null;

        System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient tcpClient = null;

            addressArgument = args[0];
            portArgument = args[1];

            int portNumber;
            portNumber = Int32.Parse(portArgument);

            tcpClient = new System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient();
            tcpClient.ReceiveTimeout = tcpClient.SendTimeout = 2000;

            IPAddress address;
            if (IPAddress.TryParse(args[0], out address))
                var endPoint = new System.Net.IPEndPoint(address, portNumber);
                tcpClient.Connect(addressArgument, portNumber);

            Console.WriteLine("Port {0} is listening.", portArgument);
        catch (Exception e)
            if (e is SocketException || e is TimeoutException)
                Console.WriteLine("Not listening on port {0}.", portArgument);
                Console.WriteLine("    portquery [host|ip] [port]");
            if (tcpClient != null)


There's no guarantee that the service running on the port understands ping. It also opens up the question of what "flavor" of port you want to ping, TCP or UDP? Since the ping "protocol" uses neither (ping is implemented using ICMP), it doesn't make a lot of sense.


This is the only solution that works for VPNs with the client machine being Windows Vista or Windows 7, as other listed answers simply do not function. This answer was previously deleted and should not have been, as this is the only solution for a real-world common case. Since there is no appeal available for the delete, I am reposting it to save others the frustration I had with trying to use the other answers.

The example below finds which IPs on the VPN that have VNC/port 5900 open with the client running on Windows 7.

A short Python (v2.6.6) script to scan a given list of IPs and Ports:

from socket import *

fTimeOutSec = 5.0
sNetworkAddress = '192.168.1'
aiHostAddresses = range(1,255)
aiPorts = [5900]

print "Starting Scan..."
for h in aiHostAddresses:
    for p in aiPorts:
        s = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM)
        address = ('%s.%d' % (sNetworkAddress, h))
        result = s.connect_ex((address,p))
        if ( 0 == result ):
            print "%s:%d - OPEN" % (address,p)
        elif ( 10035 == result ):
            #do nothing, was a timeout, probably host doesn't exist
            print "%s:%d - closed (%d)" % (address,p,result)

print "Scan Completed."

Results looked like:

Starting Scan... - closed (10061) - closed (10061) - OPEN - closed (10061)
Scan Completed.

The four variables at the top would need to be changed to be appropriate to whatever timeout, network, hosts, and ports that are needed. 5.0 seconds on my VPN seemed to be enough to work properly consistently, less didn't (always) give accurate results. On my local network, 0.5 was more than enough.

  • 2
    Works perfectly on Win 7 XP Pro client / Win Server 2008 R2 to diagnose closed port. (I had to use a 30 second timeout threshold but that may be an issue with specific server environment not a problem with this code) Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 2:04

I'm quite sure that Nagios check_tcp probe does what you want. They can be found here and although designed to be used in a Nagios context, they're all standalone programs.

$ ./check_tcp -H host -p 22
TCP OK - 0.010 second response time on port 22|time=0.009946s;0.000000;0.000000;0.000000;10.000000

As per CMCDragonkai's comment, you can use nping, which is part of Nmap.

nping example.com --tcp-connect -p 80,443

Here's a link to the manpage.


In Bash shell, you can use TCP pseudo-device file, for example:

</dev/tcp/serverfault.com/80 && echo Port open || echo Port closed

Here is the version implementing a timeout of 1 second:

timeout 1 bash -c "</dev/tcp/serverfault.com/81" && echo Port open || echo Port closed

There is a lightweigth tool for it, called tcping: http://www.linuxco.de/tcping/tcping.html


If you are running a *nix operating system try installing and using "zenmap", it is a GUI for nmap and has several useful scan profiles which are a great help to the new user.

  • Zenmap is also available for windows.
    – Nick Young
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 18:16

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