Methods used to check Internet connectivity

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http://www.linuxquestions.org – I normally check my Internet Connection is live by running a wee cron job every 30 minutes or so which will ping an external address and dump the output to a file, I then search the file for the expected response, in this case "2 received", as I ping an address twice and then if this is the case, do nothing more, if not, then I log it or whatever. I'm looking for something a little more robust as I've noticed that there are times when I'm logging downtime but the connection is actually up, possibly missing one ping reply or so. All ideas, comments appreciated... O this is on an ol (HowTos)