Released December 28, 2007
Table of Contents
PingGraph is a graphical networking tool that monitors and displays network
connectivity and bandwidth over time. As you might guess from its name, the
application graphs "ping" times in an easy-to-understand format, allowing you
to identify connectivity problems rapidly. It also graphs available bandwidth,
indicating roughly how fast you can push data between your system and the
specified host system. It is able to send email alerts when ping times become
too slow, or when connectivity is lost to the remote system.
All online credit card orders are processed quickly and securely through RegNet,
a well established and reliable order fulfillment partner. Emailed purchase
orders and queries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orders using paper purchase orders may be sent to us at our mailing address:
6877 W Tracy Loop Rd
Herriman, UT 84065-3884
When you register your software, a license ID will be delivered to you via
email with instructions for activating PingGraph. Entering this ID in the
"About" dialog will unlock the full feature set of PingGraph.
Licenses are needed for each system from which you will run PingGraph. Prices
shown are in US dollars.
There are several great benefits to registering PingGraph. The unregistered
version is designed to allow you to evaluate the product before you spend your
hard earned money.
First, you are allowed to have more than two hosts in your list.
You will not see the "About" box pop up each time the application is run.
Graph data will be saved on exit, and loaded in at startup, rather than
starting over from scratch each time the program is run.
Registration will also help us spend more development time on updates
and additional tools to make your life easier.
PingGraph requires version 1.1 or newer of the .NET framework runtime
environment. This framework may be installed on Windows 98 and newer operating
systems. Depending on the operating system version, you may need additional
Not all computers have the proper runtime environment installed by default.
The latest version can be downloaded directly from Microsoft Corporation
here, where you can also find information on specific system
If PingGraph triggers Denial of Service flags in your firewall.
Some firewalls trap any ICMP packet over 1024 bytes in size. Each packet
typically has about 42 bytes of extra baggage, so any setting over about 980
bytes can trigger these firewalls. The minimum and maximum sizes of the ping
packets (not counting the extra wrapper bytes) can be set per host name.
If PingGraph crashes at startup.
You probably do not have a current version of the .NET runtime. Download 1.1 or
newer from Microsoft as described in the System
Even with the .NET 1.1 runtime it crashes.
Please email whatever
information you can get from the crash notification, and we will work to
resolve the problem.
I get nothing but vertical red bars (timeouts) on my graphs when testing a
You could have a firewall blocking pings between you and the specified host.
You can verify if this is the case by seeing if you can
reach the hostname "localhost" which tests connectivity
to your own system. If you need to test a remote system through a
firewall, you will need to contact your network administrators and have them
open up port 7 which is used for pings.
I get nothing but vertical red bars (timeouts) on my graphs when testing to
Another possibility is that you are running a localized version of windows that
has a different output format that is not yet being accounted for. If you get
red lines in the graph but can manually ping the site, please
email the output of your ping command for analysis so it can be
I have too many graphs showing.
You may specify which hosts to graph with the check boxes in front of the host
names. You can also right click the names in the list and delete any you no
It crashes, or pops up a dialog with a big technical message.
Please email the
text of this message to us, and we can work to resolve the problem quickly for
you. The most common dialog is likely to be from trying to send a connectivity
warning email when there is no access to an SMTP server.
It takes a long time to start up.
If you are on a network using a proxy that requires authentication, the
automatic update check will take a few seconds before deciding it cannot check
with the PingGraph home web site. You can ask the admin running your network to
set the proxy to allow connections to http://www.xmission.com/
without requiring authentication, or you can browse there on your own to check
for updates from time to time.
Q. What values are good for minimum and maximum ping sizes?
A. It is good to use the default values, with 16 for a minimum and 768 for a
maximum. The sizes can be adjusted if you want to test throughput at varying
packet sizes. You should be aware though that larger packets will be broken
apart (fragmented) into multiple physical packets, with more overhead. Keeping
the maximum packet size under about 1200 bytes will usually keep them from
Q. What are those vertical red lines?
A. Those are reports of dropped packets. If you get nothing but red lines, you
can verify that nothing is getting through from a command prompt by typing
"ping <your host name>" to see if it reports connectivity. If it works
from the command line, you are probably running a localized version of windows
that has yet another difference I haven't allowed for. Please
send me a copy of the output of your ping command.
Q. Is there any built-in help?
A. Yes. Press the F1 key and PingGraph will display context sensitive help for
whatever part of the application currently has focus. Change focus by either
clicking on elements of the interface, or by using the Tab key.
Q. Why should I register? What benefits do I get?
A. See the listed Registration Benefits.
Q. What do I use when entering a host name?
A. You can use either a numeric IP address like 192.168.0.1 for instance, or a
host name such as www.yourfavoritehost.com which PingGraph will internally
translate to an IP address. In addition, you can alter the name that is
displayed in the graph by changing the "Show Name As" field. That way, you can
label 192.168.0.1 as your DSL or Cable modem.
Q. Why can't I specify rapid ping rates?
A. Many systems would interpret high ping rates as a primitive attack on their
system, typically called Denial of Service attack. We should all be good net
citizens, so the application does not allow high data rates that could be
offensive to unsuspecting hosts.
Q. Does PingGraph "call home" and report what I'm doing?
A. No. Spyware is evil. There are only three ways where PingGraph will ever
contact a system not on your specified host ping list.
When purchasing a license, which sends you to our commerce site.
When visiting our home page.
When checking for updates, which reads an XML file from our site.
None of these cases ever report information about you or your computer past
what regular web browsing will do.
Q. How much bandwidth does PingGraph consume?
A. It uses about 1200 bytes of traffic when it sends out its test pings. More
frequent pings use more bandwidth, but the pings are infrequent enough that you
should not notice that it is running, even on a slower modem connection.
Q. How much processor does PingGraph consume?
A. Less than 2% is common for something around a 1 GHz processor, but could be
higher on slow systems, or when you have a large number of hosts listed. The
Windows Task Manager will show you how much processor each application is
Q. Why did you use the .NET runtime? Downloading that 24 meg runtime is a
A. Development times for .NET applications are lower, so I can produce a higher
quality application in less time, concentrating on feature request from
customers rather than fighting with the development tools.
Q. What is the data format of the PingGraph logs?
A. Registered users can read their stored configuration and ping data as an XML
file which lives in the system's shared applications directory, which is
usually "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Infix
Technologies\PingGraph\" followed by the version number, such as "22.214.171.124". The
file name in that directory is "host.xml". This logged data will migrate
forward to updated versions when you upgrade.
Q. How big to the log files get?
A. XML is not a very compact data format, but the ease of use makes up for
it. Each entry within the log is just larger than 100 bytes, so
For each 1000 entries stored, it will take a little over 100 KBytes. One
good way to manage how much space you use is to slow the sample rate. If you
only test a host once every 10 minutes, then 1000 entries will give you almost
a week of historical data. The default setting for the data on a host is to
wait until it gets to 3000 entries, then trim it back to 2000 entries.
Q. Can you make PingGraph do <insert your favorite feature here>?
A. Drop us a line and we'll see if it fits with the design of the application.
Most of the updates to PingGraph have been due to requests from users for new
features. Even if the feature doesn't fit well, it could be a need that can be
addressed with a new tool or utility.
Change History (somewhat technical content)
126.96.36.199 (Dec 28, 2007)
Fixed a bad default value for fixed ranges on the graphs.
188.8.131.52 (Dec 27, 2007)
Extra error handling added to rendering to avoid
software exceptions reported by a user.
Host names have a drop shadow for improved visibility.
Updated email interface to use
System.Web.Mail.SmtpMail has been deprecated. This
should be a completely transparent change.
184.108.40.206 (Dec 15, 2007)
Email alert text now includes alias as well as the specified name. This
helps in the case of system names that are just IP addresses.
The text output for emailed warnings was updated for readability.
Vertical scale of the graphs can be forced to a constant value in the main
configuration dialog now to simplify side-by-side comparisons.
Email bug fixed where if you had set up an SMTP server and did not check the
boxes to send email, the email would be sent anyway.
220.127.116.11 (Mar 15, 2006)
Email alert text had lines terminated with only a newline (\n) rather than with
a carriage return plus a newline (\r\n). This was a violation of the
specifications for sending SMTP email, and some email servers were complaining.
A text output window has been added for general status messages.
18.104.22.168 (Dec 23, 2005)
The maximum ping packet size is now configurable. This is done to keep from
falsely triggering denial of service attack warnings in firewalls. All maximum
ping sizes will move automatically down to 768 bytes (plus usually 42 bytes of
message overhead). That puts it well under the 1024 byte limit of some firewall
systems. To avoid fragmenting packets, you should probably keep the maximum
size below 1300 or so.
22.214.171.124 (Oct 30, 2005)
Changed internal flow so it forces each site to be processed, even if one has
very long timeouts. This was causing the graph to not be drawn for sites
farther down the list. This was also preventing the processing of email
notifications in some cases.
Logged data was not always being saved on exit.
126.96.36.199 (Apr 6, 2005)
Fixed a bug with certain localized versions of windows where the ping command
gives output formatted differently. This was a different layout problem than
the one fixed in version 188.8.131.52. The troublesome ping was from Slovenia this
Odgovor od xx.xx.xx.xx: bajtov=32 cas = 2ms TTL=62
Variable ping packet size is allowed, as per a request.
184.108.40.206 (Feb 2, 2005)
Added name aliasing for times when the DNS name is too long, or when you have
only an IP address. It will use the host name if the alias is empty, but will
otherwise use your preferred alias for on-screen data.
Changed the timestamp format to be configurable between human readable format
and the original numeric value.
Fixed a bug where deleting a shown host with just a hidden (unchecked) host
remaining would generate an exception.
Documentation and web site updated to show our new street address.
220.127.116.11 (May 11, 2004)
Corrected a problem with proxies that require authentication. It was showing an
ill-formed update message when it could not reach the update site. A future
version is likely to include full authentication capabilities, if user demand
shows the need for it.
18.104.22.168 (Mar 4, 2004)
Corrected a problem with non-English operating system versions, German in
particular. Pings were being incorrectly reported as failed connections.
22.214.171.124 (Feb 20, 2004)
Made the maximum ping time configurable. Some sites at topologically remote
locations can have very high ping times, so this allows properly reporting the
slow connection rather than making it look like a network connection is down.
To simplify updates, PingGraph will check at startup to see if one is
available. Tech description: This reads an XML file from our web server to
compare version numbers locally, so no user data is sent.
Bandwidth estimates have been changed to make them more stable when ping times
vary erratically, such as with very remote high latency locations. As a side
effect, the estimates may decrease a little bit overall. Since these are
estimates, and do not rely on SNMP for precise information, this seemed to be
an acceptable trade-off.
126.96.36.199 (Feb 9, 2004)
Only one version is allowed to run at a time. It could cause some ping
entries to be lost if multiple versions exited in the wrong order.
When registering, it will always update the main window title now to show that
it has been registered.
Fixed a problem with some Win 2000 systems where it would crash when restored
from being iconified.
Added a warning message to run PingGraph from a local disk.
188.8.131.52 (Jan 28, 2004)
Release notes menu item only worked some of the time, depending on whether you
ran the program through the start menu or not. "Run from" was not set in the
Runs in the task bar now, to keep from cluttering up the window list.
Install now requires administrator rights on the machine, since it installs and
runs as accessible by "all users".
Install has an option to create an icon in the Startup group so PingGraph will
automatically run at login.
"Run from" entry is now set in icons, so it is run from its home directory.
This will correct any future problems similar to the release notes issue above.
It remembers the iconified state, and starts up the way it exited.
184.108.40.206 (Jan 22, 2004)
Sorry for the flurry of updates. Things are settling down pretty well now.
Ignore failed host name lookups, and set up the host anyway. If you ran
PingGraph while that system was unavailable, it would remove it from your saved
Added a message box for the "reports" menu item, with some info on how you can
build your own external custom reports.
Migrate registration key and data from previous install. You no longer need to
re-enter your registration code after upgrading.
Remove old data logs (if confirmed by you) once data migration is complete.
220.127.116.11 (Jan 21, 2004)
Some systems were not responding to pings, so the method of sending them has
been updated with a simpler and more robust solution.
Displayed information for hosts that had 100% packet loss have been fixed so
they don't show really high minimum ping values or bogus bandwidth.
Corrected a couple of bad HTML links.
18.104.22.168 (Jan 19, 2004)
New release after a full rewrite.