What do you need to know about TTL?

TTL: Definition

Time-to-live (TTL) is the value that specifies the time period or number of hops that a data packet must travel to be alive. Either across the network or in the memory cache. It will be terminated when this timer expires, or the data packet reaches its hop limit. Data packets are not all the same; they vary in size and shape, but each has a different TTL. The amount of time data packets should live in a device to perform their missions should be determined.

The way TTL works

If routers are not regulated, massive amounts of traffic will be routed around them indefinitely. Each data packet must be assigned a limit or expiration date to get around this. This allows you to track their progress and determine how long they’ve been present. Furthermore, packets traverse network nodes to reach their destination. As a result, every data packet includes a TTL value. If time or hops are available, routers receive the packet and forward it to the next network point. However, if the TTL indicates that no more hops/time is available, routers will stop transferring it.

How to check it?

  • Windows

If you are a Windows user, you can use the Nslookup command. You can check a specific DNS record, such as SOA, A, AAAA, MX, and others. Simply replace the DNS record type in our example below with the one you want to check.

So, find and open the Command Prompt and enter the following:

–types=a example.com nslookup

  • macOS or Linux

For Linux or macOS users, there are more possibilities. For example, you can use the Terminal to select which commands to run.

One of them is the Dig command, which may display the TTL value of various DNS records and provide information about them. For example, to access the A record, type the following.

dig a example.com

Another alternative is to use the Host command, which works similarly:

host –a example.com

This command will display all of the accessible DNS records and their TTL values.

Why do we need TTL?

To control the number of data packets that exist, we need TTL. Have you ever considered how many data packets are sent across a network every minute? Consider a situation in which there is no expiration date. Even the first data packet ever sent could be moving nonstop without a purpose.

Time-to-live aids in optimizing data packet traffic, indicating whether the data they contain is still valid, and allows for the retrieval of information about them. For example, you can find out how long a data packet has been around and track its path. In a cyber world full of risks, this information is extremely useful.

Conclusion

Let’s review. TTL (Time to Live) is a method that determines how long data in a computer or network can live. It will indicate whether the information is current or needs to be updated soon. So, it facilitates data updating.

Ping command – Why do you need to use it?

Ping command – Definition

The Ping command is one of your operating system’s built-in network diagnostic commands (Windows, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, etc.). Ping is used to testing connectivity between your device and the target, which can be a hostname such as google.com or an IP address such as 192.168.2.1.

Ping sends four 32-byte messages to the target by default, using the ICMP protocol (Internet control message protocol).

What can you test with it?

  • Check to see if a specific device, such as your server, is now connected. If you can access it, it suggests there is a link between you and the objective.
  • Test to see if the target answers quickly enough. You can check and write down the target on a regular basis. If the target answers more slowly than usual, there may be a problem that needs to be investigated further.
  • You can examine different areas of the network to discover if a bottleneck exists.
  • Maintain the Ping command running all the time so you can keep an eye on the target. This can be used with your server to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

How to use the Ping command?

The Ping command verifies that you are connected to a host (IP address or hostname). We’ll show you two different ways to use the Ping command depending on Operating System that you are using.

  • On Windows

You can use the Ping command from the Command Prompt or PowerShell if you’re using Windows. Both methods function in the same way. To use one of these, go to the Windows start menu and type the name of the software you want to use – Command Prompt or PowerShell – into the search box. Select the icon.

Once the software is open, type one of the following commands and click Enter:

ping example.com

or

ping 11.12.13.14

Replace example.com and 11.12.13.14 with the domain name or IP address you want to test.

  • On Linux and macOS

The Terminal provides a relatively similar way to use the ping command on Linux and macOS.

If you use the Linux Operating System, click the Start button and type “Terminal.” Then, click on it when you find it.

On macOS, you may discover the Terminal by going to the Launchpad and putting Terminal into the search box. Then select Terminal from the drop-down menu.

Now type the Ping command into the command prompt and click Enter:

ping example.com

or

ping 11.12.13.14

As you can see, the commands are the same, but in one case, we use Command Prompt/PowerShell, and in the other, we use Terminal application. Of course, this depends entirely on your Оperating System.

Conclusion

Let’s review. The Ping command is crucial for swiftly detecting, diagnosing, and resolving problems. In addition, it’s really easy and simple to use. And it is already installed on your computer. It’s just waiting for you to give it a shot and make the most of it!