I can not ping microsoft.com but can open it through Firefox. I am using 12.04LTS. I am able to ping all other websites.


4 Answers 4


In this particular case, microsoft servers blocks/drops ICMP packets and don't reply to them at all. For such cases is better use other tools like nmap to have an accurate result:

nmap -p 80 microsoft.com

Starting Nmap 6.40 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2014-03-03 13:08 AST
Nmap scan report for microsoft.com (
Host is up (0.14s latency).
Other addresses for microsoft.com (not scanned):
rDNS record for 00001001.ch
80/tcp open  http

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 0.65 seconds

As you can see the "host is up" even through it doesn't answer the ICMP echo packet.

  • 3
    I suggest using nmap -sn microsoft.com. It only checks if the host is online and does not scan any ports (which could be theoretically detected as "hack attempt" by some ISP's)
    – MechMK1
    Mar 4, 2014 at 18:23
  • if this doesn't work try nmap -PN microsoft.com Mar 5, 2014 at 1:14
  • @whale_steward my solution doesn't need to probe all ports with SYN packets, just the interesting one (80)
    – Braiam
    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:16
  • 2
    @DavidStockinger as I said before, you are not pinging the host but doing a reverse DNS search, if you try against a system that blocks pings and has not DNS entries, -sn will fail. Try with nmap -sn -n microsoft.com since it disables reverse DNS and you will see the result.
    – Braiam
    Mar 5, 2014 at 17:47
  • 2
    Indeed, my fault.
    – MechMK1
    Mar 5, 2014 at 21:30

I am unable to ping microsoft.com as well. This does not indicate any sort of problem. Many servers block this sort of traffic out of security or performance concerns. amazon.com similarly does not respond to pings.

  • One important detail you missed is microsoft.com is not responding to ICMP which is a different protocol than http / https. On a web server, you can determine what services you want to listen to on a specified port. This is an important distinction to make for this question Jan 5, 2017 at 6:15

Being Unable to ping a domain on the internet does not mean that the domain is down.

Ping is based on ICMP protocol and some domains stop receiving ICMP pings in their firewall to prevent some kind of SYN attacks (hacking technique)

So You should not use ping to see if a website is up or down. Instead, use telnet for websites on port 80

telnet microsoft.com 80

or use host to detect IPs/namserver

host microsoft.com
  • 1
    Very niceful information..Thanks kamil..+1
    – Elavarasan
    May 29, 2014 at 12:20

Here i will show you how Microsoft.com block ICMP requests .

ICMP means Internet Control Message Protocol , echo request and echo response are the two operation codes of ICMP used to implement ping .

Bad ICMP packets are used for attacks such as :

Ping of death

ICMP flood attack

ICMP nuke attack

So Microsoft protect there Network by blocking ping_ICMP ana Traceroute_ICMP , so attackers want use it to exploit there system or know information about there network.

enter image description here

The Tracoute using ICMP (-I) option , shows that routers of microsoft block it and you can see asterisks , and blocking these ICMP packets , disable the ability to ping microsoft.com.

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