TCPING – NMAP’s Cousin

November 23, 2016 | Views: 4265

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TCPING is a utility that operates similarly to PING; however, it works over a TCP port. This utility can be very useful for troubleshooting network connectivity and performance issue at Layer 3 and Layer 4.

TCPING can also speak HTTP. If the ‘-h’ flag is used, tcping will connect and attempt to download the given URL over HTTP in addition to opening the port.

(Note: doesn’t parse www.example.com:8080/index.html format. Use “tcping -h www.example.com/index.html 8080” instead.)

I have named this utility as cousin brother of NMAP tool as it can be used by a hacker to probe the host and its associated open ports (services). Even though it not as sophisticated as NMAP still its worth to keep it in an arsenal and for this, I would credit Eli Fulkerson for writing this tiny but, nutty tool.

Usage: tcping.exe [-flags] server-address [server-port]

Usage (full): tcping.exe [-t] [-d] [-i interval] [-n times] [-w ms] [-b n] [-r times] [-s] [-v] [-j][–tee filename] [-h] [-u] [–post] [–head] [-f] server-address [server-port]

-t: ping continuously until stopped via control-c
-n 5: for instance, send 5 pings
-i 5: for instance, ping every 5 seconds
-w 0.5: for instance, wait 0.5 seconds for a response
-d: include date and time on each line
-b 1: enable beeps (1 for on-down, 2 for on-up, 3 for on-change, 4 for always)
-r 5: for instance, relookup the hostname every 5 pings
-s: automatically exit on a successful ping
-v: print version and exit
-j: include jitter, using default rolling average
-js 5: include jitter, with a rolling average size of (for instance) 5.
–tee: mirror output to a filename specified after ‘–tee’
-4: prefer ipv4
-6: prefer ipv6
-c : only show an output line on changed state HTTP Options:
-h: HTTP mode (use url without http:// for server-address)
-u: include target URL on each line

–post : use POST rather than GET (may avoid caching)
–head : use HEAD rather than GET
–proxy-server : specify a proxy server
–proxy-port   : specify a proxy port Debug Options:

-f: force tcping to send at least one byte

If you don’t pass server-port, it defaults to 80.

Examples –

#tcping 127.0.0.1

Probing 127.0.0.1:80/tcp – No response – time=2025.865ms
Probing 127.0.0.1:80/tcp – No response – time=2010.567ms
Probing 127.0.0.1:80/tcp – No response – time=2010.922ms
Probing 127.0.0.1:80/tcp – No response – time=2010.812ms
Ping statistics for 127.0.0.1:80
4 probes sent.
0 successful, 4 failed.
Was unable to connect, cannot provide trip statistics.

#tcping  www.google.com

Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – Port is open – time=99.117ms
Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – Port is open – time=86.670ms
Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – Port is open – time=94.142ms
Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – Port is open – time=109.817ms
Ping statistics for 74.125.236.165:80
4 probes sent.
4 successful, 0 failed.
Approximate trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 86.670ms, Maximum = 109.817ms, Average = 97.436ms

#tcping -h www.google.com

** Requesting “” from www.google.com: (for various reasons, kbit/s is an approximation)

Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – HTTP is open – time=222.451ms rcv_time=4872.588 status=302 bytes=543 kbit/s=~0.874
Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – HTTP is open – time=270.149ms rcv_time=241.875 status=302 bytes=546 kbit/s=~18.900

Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – HTTP is open – time=369.240ms rcv_time=215.540 status=302 bytes=547 kbit/s=~21.615
Probing 68.124.200.82:80/tcp – HTTP is open – time=200.043ms rcv_time=210.911 status=302 bytes=547 kbit/s=~21.698
Ping statistics for 68.124.200.82:80
4 probes sent.
4 successful, 0 failed.
Approximate trip times in milli-seconds:  Minimum = 200.743ms, Maximum = 367.240ms, Average = 267.596ms
Approximate download times in milli-seconds: Minimum = 211.911ms, Maximum = 4972.588ms, Average = 1407.229ms

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3 Comments
  1. Good article; thanks!

  2. Great contribution, might look further into this later on.

  3. Thanks for the nice article, good to know.

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