Handy Online Network Tools

Most of the time when I need to do a Dig or whois or traceroute I’m at a machine that I can use a good command line version of these essential network utilities. However, there are always times when you’re at a PC or situation that is either missing some of those, or you’d rather not run the utility on the machine for other reasons. Fortunately, many of these can be found online. For a long time, I’ve kept SamSpade.org in the back of my mind as a good utility address. There you’ll find Whois lookups, reverse IP -> domain lookups, traceroutes, etc. One thing I didn’t find though on the page was Dig…

Dig is a utility I’ve come to know from linux – issuing a command like…. dig mx domain.com returns information on the mx (mail exchanger(s)) from the DNS record for domain.com. So, best put, dig gives a good way of searching dns information. In fact, here’s a segment from the man page….

dig (domain information groper) is a flexible tool for interrogating
DNS name servers. It performs DNS lookups and displays the answers that
are returned from the name server(s) that were queried. Most DNS admin-
istrators use dig to troubleshoot DNS problems because of its flexibil-
ity, ease of use and clarity of output. Other lookup tools tend to have
less functionality than dig.

So, I found an online version of Dig over at AnalogX. What’s more is I found a more massive list of online tools….

http://www.technicalinfo.net/tools/ has on one page form entries to the above analogx dig, as well as the samspade.org tools, plus detailed DNS reports (i.e. some interesting looks at what might be improved in your dns entries…) smtp address verification, anonymous http:// retrieval, anonymous mail sender, link validator, nslookup, open relay checking, links to online “test to see if my ports are open” utilities and links to bandwidth tests. This page is the network swiss army knife. It’s worth being added to my links section.

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