As part of a broader organisational restructure, data networking research at Swinburne University of Technology has moved from the Centre for Advanced Internet Architecture (CAIA) to the Internet For Things (I4T) Research Lab.

Although CAIA no longer exists, this website reflects CAIA's activities and outputs between March 2002 and February 2017, and is being maintained as a service to the broader data networking research community.

MAPPING -- Measuring And Practically Predicting INternet Growth

Measuring and predicting growth in Internet addressing, routing complexity and energy usage

Scalable Ping (sping) Tool


sping is a tool for pinging huge numbers of IP addresses (e.g. the whole IPv4 Internet) with ICMP echo and TCP SYNs, and/or performing huge numbers of reverse DNS lookups concurrently. By default sping pings each address multiple times to get some topology information, but it can also be used for simple one-shot pinging like the well known ping tool.

To limit the impact of the probing on other networks sping implements two different techniques. Instead of probing linearly through IP space (resulting in lot's of probes going into the same subnet(s) with a sort time, sping supports reverse-counting through IP space and probing random permutations of IPs with very little state. With reverse counting sping counts through some IP space but the bits are reversed before they are converted from an integer to the IP address to ping. The results in a deterministic ping sequence where pings into the same subnet(s) are spaced out as much as possible over time. sping is also capable of probing IPs in a random permutation with negligible state required based on linear feedback shift registers.

The key features of sping are:

  • sping is very fast and can tens of thousands of IPs per seconds.
  • sping supports ICMP pings as well as TCP SYN pings
  • sping runs on Planetlab hosts
  • sping supports one-shot pings but it also supports a more complicated mode useful for topology probing
  • sping allows to carry out large-scale concurrent reverse DNS lookups.
  • sping limits the impact of the ping probing on other networks by using by reverse-counting through IP space or probing random permutations of IPs with very little state necessary.


Latest Version

Version 0.2 (released August 2013):

Release 0.2: fixed a few minor issues

Old versions

Version 0.1 (released January 2013):

Initial release


sping has been developed by the following people:

Sebastian Zander (

License and Terms of Use

The sping source code is publicly available under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2), which can be viewed here.


This tool has been made possible in part by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant (project LP110100240) with APNIC Pty Ltd as partner organisation, for a project titled "Tools and models for measuring and predicting growth in internet addressing and routing complexity".

Last Updated: Monday 30-Mar-2015 17:57:33 AEDT | Maintained by: Sebastian Zander ( | Authorised by: Grenville Armitage (