Domain Research Tools – DNS Tools

Domain Research Tools – DNS Tools
We are discussing green web hosting, and how to research if a company is really green, or just claiming to be. It’s a long discussion, and you can read it here.

Since it is a long discussion, I’ve decided to write how I research domain names in a couple of new posts.

I’m skeptical of any company that claims to be green and doesn’t put their money where their mouth is. Truth of the matter is, very few can claim to be truly green: simply because the datacenters where they house their servers are not green, and not even close to it. Because of this, folks can be duped into thinking a hosting company is something it’s not.

Tools needed to help in domain research

Open a copy of Notepad, Word or your favorite text editor. Remember to save it. You’ll need a place to take notes (or you’ll find yourself constantly backtracking.)

Use a browser that has tabbed windows – like Firefox.

Online Tools

These tools will tell you all kinds of information like IP addresses, where a domain is hosted, abuse addresses.

http://dns-tools.domaintools.com/ – (Some free services, some paid)

http://www.iptools.com/ – Also comprehensive
http://network-tools.com/

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/590 – If you use Firefox, this is a nifty little addon. It displays the ip address of the current page in your status bar. It enables you to copy the ip to the clipboard. This is not mandatory.

http://www.myipneighbors.com/ – This is a cool standalone dns tool that is good to have in your arsenal. You plug in a domain name or IP, and it will tell you how many sites are being hosted on a server.

Of any of the tools you choose above, these are the primary three utilities you will use:

WHOIS Lookup
The whois lookup or search is a database of all top level domains currently registered on the internet, and contains public information. Some people – and companies – will hide this info by using privacy services offered thru the domain registrar. You can find domain name information here – like who hosts a domain or who owns a domain.

IP WHOIS Lookup
This is also a whois database search, only you’re looking for the owner of an IP address. This is usually a big company like Verio, or ATT. It also gives you names, addresses and contact info of the company who lease the IP addresses.

Reverse DNS lookup
This tool will tell you where a domain name or address should resolve. Not all domains and IP addresses resolve properly – they should if set up correctly. If not set up correctly, it can result in email issues. I use it because once in a while you’ll find an IP address doesn’t resolve to say your hosting company, but the people who host your hosting company.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with this stuff, so I’ll end the post on domain research tools here.