Ping: The Network Troubleshooter's Favorite Tool
Segment 5 of 6
Once you have that assurance, it's a good idea to try pinging a nearby computer on your own network. You will need to know the IP address(es) of the computers and computer equipment in your own home or small office. You can learn a lot about the organization and management of your own local area network (and the associated IP addresses) from the AskMisterWizard.com movie entitled "Managing Your Network Equipment With Your Web Browser".
It is always useful to ping the local interface of your NAT router. If it responds within a few milliseconds as illustrated here, you have confirmation that all of the intervening connections are working and are properly configured. This is a great way to verify that your local network is intact and ready to interact, through your DSL or Cable Modem, with your Internet Service Provider. If you don't see the expected response from your own router, you'll need to examine all of the intervening wires, connectors, and interfaces, configuring each as necessary until you get a reliable ping.