What is “ping”, and what does its output tell me?

Sometimes when I search for solutions for my home networking problem, I frequently see some people suggesting that I ping my PC by IP and/or by computer name. What does PING command actually do? What’s the point of using this command? How do I read and understand the results?

Ping is one of the oldest and most basic network diagnostic tools. It’s present in just about every modern, and even not-so-modern, operating system.

In concept, the tool is very, very simple: it sends out an “Are you there?” kind of request, and expects to hear back a “Yes, here I am!” kind of response.

Very basic, very simple, and yet very powerful as a first line of network troubleshooting.

Read moreWhat is “ping”, and what does its output tell me?

Can an ISP tell me who’s reading my email?

I’m using Windows 7 and a POP3 email account. I think that someone is reading my emails. Can my ISP determine exactly which emails of mine are being read or not? Can an ISP track who is accessing my email account? Can they still determine things if I have deleted old emails?

The short answer to your question is no, your ISP can’t determine which of your emails are being read.

For all the things that your ISP can track, there’s a surprising number of things that it just can’t.

Ultimately, the capabilities of an ISP (or in this case, your email service provider) will vary dramatically depending on what they choose to do, what technology they happen to use, and how long they keep the information. In general, though, they probably can’t tell which specific emails have been read.

To show you what I mean, let’s go down this path a bit.

Read moreCan an ISP tell me who’s reading my email?