(Windows 10)

For a couple decades, I thought I understood how subnetting works. Why does this result in 'destination host unreachable'? Shouldn't the worst result be 'no response' ?

Why does the local machine believe it is not on the same subnet as
Note that I can successfully ping

Ethernet adapter Ethernet:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : <redacted>
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :


Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from Destination host unreachable.

2 Answers 2


The message "Destination host unreachable" is actually specific to addresses on the local subnet – it means that the host's link-layer address, i.e. the MAC address, could not be resolved through ARP (or the v6 equivalent ICMPv6 Neighbour Discovery).

A missing IP route for the address would be reported as "Destination network unreachable".

Hosts that are alive and connected to the network will always respond to ARP queries, as that's usually a prerequisite for the host to receive any IPv4 traffic. In other words, unlike the lack of ICMP Echo Reply (which can occur for many reasons), the lack of ARP Reply is unambiguously a situation where the host as a whole is unavailable.

  • Thank you, I did not realize that host unreachable vs network unreachable were different messages. Feb 23, 2022 at 10:40

Updating/reinstalling the Network Driver of my computer NIC resolved my issue.

This can happen also when the driver is corrupted and/or VPN virtual nic is installed on the machine, in this case, you can try to refresh the driver.

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