ICMP stands for Internet Control Message Protocol. It is primarily used by the operating systems of networked computers to send error messages indicating service status.

ICMP is not normally used by end-users or to send messages. It's main use is in diagnostics and checking that the network is functioning correctly.

ICMP is just one communications protocol on the web. Others include:

  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
  • Post Office Protocol (POP3)
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

ICMP on Wikipedia