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20 Years Of Free Tools For Network Geeks
Are you a webmaster? IT guru? All-around geek? If so, we’ve got the networking tools you need to keep your networks in tip-top shape. Here’s what you’ll find available:
- DNS Lookup
- Email Checker
- HTTP Headers
- IDN and Punycode Conversion
- NS Lookup
- Online Ping
- Spam Blacklist Checker
- URL Encode and Decode
- WHOIS Search
We’ve been providing these free of charge for over twenty years, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of any of these! If you want to know a bit more about these tools, read on.
The DNS Lookup tool retrieves domain name records for the domain name that you provide. You can use this to help diagnose problems and see if the problem originates from the domain name server — if you cannot return a domain’s records, you’ll know where to begin troubleshooting!
This tool returns only address (A) records. For other types of domain name records, use NsLookup.
The NsLookup tool allows you to provide a hostname and request one or more types of DNS records (e.g., A, NS, CNAME records).
The Email Checker allows you to test the validity and reachability of an email address. It makes sure that the email is syntactically valid and that it is available via an SMTP server. If you’re trying to cull false email addresses from your email list or something similar, this tool will be helpful.
The HTTP Headers tool allows you to see what headers are returned by a web server for a specific domain name or IP Address. If you notice odd behavior with your HTTP connections, you can use this tool to troubleshoot the top-level domain. Alternatively, you can use it to check for redirection — minimizing these optimizes any links you might be using.
IDN and Punycode Conversion
If you are working with domain names that contain non-English characters, you’ll need to convert the domain name into punycode, which can then be provided to the DNS server. In some circumstances, you might need to convert punycode back to the original domain name. The IDN to Punycode and Punycode to IDN tools will help you with these tasks.
To determine if a server is responding to requests, you can use Online Ping. You provide an IP address or a domain name, and you can see if the host is responding or not.
Spam Blacklist Checker
With the Spam Blacklist Checker, you can check to see if a domain name (regardless of whether you own it or not) has been put on a spam blacklist. This can be helpful if you aren’t receiving mail or are sending mail that isn’t being received by the intended recipients.
If you are curious as to what path your requests are taking, as well as how long it takes to get from point A to point B (as well as intermediary stops), you can use the Traceroute tool. This can help you with things like:
- Determining if there’s a specific server (or node) that is slow or unreachable
- Figuring out who hosts a specific resource and where the host is located
- Checking the reachability of your site
URL Encode and Decode
If you need to include special characters in your URL, you’ll need to encode them so that the URL remains valid. You can do this with URL Encode. Conversely, if a URL contains special characters and has been encoded, yet you want to see it in a more human-readable form, use URL Decode to standardize the URL.
If you are curious as to who the responsible party (or parties) is behind a domain name, the WHOIS query will allow you to query multiple domain registrars’ databases. If the owner has chosen to hide their information, you can nevertheless return forwarding information.
Need Web Hosting For Your Projects?
If you need web hosting for your latest project, be sure to visit our sister site, WhoIsHostingThis.com, who have just published this shoppers guide for web hosting.