Useful and FREE online tools for DNS and Network Troubleshooting
When troubleshooting network or DNS problems related to your website, server or other online services, it can be very useful to have access to online tools that can help you narrow down the problems. W3dt.net’s useful online tools can help you with this, most of all they are free.W3dt.net (short for World Wide Web Domain Tools) is an online Network Troubleshooting site dedicated to providing relevant real-time data regarding networks, websites & other technical resources.
Although you can perform some of the tasks w3dt provide from your computer (such as nslookup/dig, ping, traceroute etc..) it can often be useful to able to perform these tasks from different locations to verify the consistency of your Network/Domain and it’s behaviour and settings.
Firstly let’s note that there are several other Network/Domain Troubleshooting websites around, but w3dt.net has proven to be one of the more satisfactory sites due to it’s vast amount of tools & utilities that are all free of charge. Because of this we will be reviewing some of the functionality of the site and what it has to offer.
The site currently has five categories of functionality (and growing) to help you trouble-shoot your Network/Domain:
* Network Tools / Internet Tools
* Web / HTTP Tools
* Ping Tools
* Database Lookup Tools
* General Tools
Network Tools / Internet Tools
These tools are generally the most frequently used tools on the website and contain some of the following features:
DNS Lookup’s, Port Scanning, Trace Route’s, ARBL Checking (Blacklist / Whitelist Checking), Maximum Transmission Unit Determination, IP Lookups, NetBIOS Scanning plus more.
You can run some of these tasks from your desktop computer but w3dt offers the assurance of real-time results without any interception of data.
For example, a Port Scan from your desktop computer running on a home internet connection will often fail, due to ISP Policy’s, proxy filtering, etc…
Web / HTTP Tools
Web / HTTP Tools can be used to test your Domain in real-time and return the most relevant results. Tools such as:
HTTP Header Retrievals, Plain Text Website Conversion, URL/Base64 Encoding & Decoding can be used to help debug your website.
Dave Nedved from w3dt.net also states that other tools such as HTML Validation & Checking is planned for the not to distant future.
This category basically speaks for itself, w3dt.net has dedicated a whole category for pinging and ping testing. Using this category you can run your own ping tests on any IP/Domain, including http websites, and the ability to ping IP’s/Services on open TCP Ports.
Database Lookup Tools
W3dt.net hosts several large databases, such as RFC Lookups, WHOIS Lookups (on almost all domains on the internet), Abuse Contact Lookups, and most impressively (In my opinion, the biggest feature on the site) the DNL (Short for Domain Name Listing). Basically the DNL is a massive online database of every top level domain hosted on the internet. W3dt runs a query program codenamed “Project Cyberdawn” which spiders through the internet collecting information about every .tld (Top Level Domain) on the internet. Currently the DNL contains over 92 million domains, there is a good chance your domain & information about it will be in the database also.
Most of the general tools listed on w3dt.net are used by I.T. gurus & technicians… tools such as IP Conversion, Hash Testing, and Random Character / Password Generation can be found here. For instance these tools are great if your a programmer or web developer, and you wish to see all possible 38 hashes for the query ‘dog’ and use them to query against your database.