The ping command can use both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols to probe target hosts. Protocol selection depends on the addresses that are returned by the name server for the specific target host. By default, if the name server returns an IPv6 address for the target host, the ping command uses the IPv6 protocol. If the server returns only an IPv4 address, the ping command uses the IPv4 protocol. You can override this action by using the -A command-line option to specify which protocol to use.