One of the simplest ways to discover the Internet Protocol address of a server is to use the ping utility. While this method does not work for all servers, a simple use of this command usually reveals the IP address of a publicly-available server.
The ping utility is available on computers running the Windows, OS X and UNIX-based operating systems, though the method of accessing the command may vary. Pings are typically executed from the Command Prompt program on Windows computers, or the Terminal programs of an OS X or UNIX computer. Once the Command Prompt or Terminal window opens, type the word "ping", followed by a space and the website address of the server, such as www.amazon.com. The ping command returns the site's IP address, typically in either brackets or parentheses, after the site's web address.
Ping commands are also useful for determining if a computer can successfully communicate with a website. The ping utility sends a small packet of data into the network that requests a reply from the server, and tracks the time it takes for the packets to travel to the server and if any packets are lost. Not all servers respond to pings, however, so an unsuccessful ping does not always mean a server is down.