ping.exe is described as 'Verifies IP-level connectivity to another TCP/IP computer by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request messages. The receipt of corresponding Echo Reply messages are displayed, along with round-trip times'. There are three alternatives to ping.exe for Windows, Linux, Mac and BSD. The best alternative is netstat, which is free. Other great apps like ping.exe are Local Monitor (Free) and Why Can't I Connect? (Free, Open Source).
Displays active TCP connections, ports on which the computer is listening, Ethernet statistics, the IP routing table, IPv4 statistics (for the IP, ICMP, TCP, and UDP protocols), and IPv6 statistics (for the IPv6, ICMPv6, TCP over IPv6, and UDP over IPv6 protocols).
"Why Can't I Connect?" makes it easier to resolve TCP/IP connection errors. Use it to diagnose connections to common server types (Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL Server, FTP, SFTP, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, IRC, LDAP, Usenet) and create generic TCP/IP clients and / or servers.