Most mainstream operating systems come with a standard set of DNS tools that allow you to perform certain tasks.
Many of these tools are useful for analysing DNS records. You can perform manual DNS lookups, through your locally defined DNS server or via alternate servers in order to make sure your DNS records have been updated or if you are having problems, they can help to diagnose them. It is also possible to flush your DNS and clear the cache if needed.
A lot of these tools require technical knowledge to use and can be quite difficult to understand. This is where whatsmydns.net has come to try and make this once daunting process easy and simple with a collection of online tools as well as clear instructions for how to use the command line tools when you have to.
Below are a few useful DNS tools that can be used instantly online as well as for some of the major operating systems available.
DNS Checker - The DNS checker tool provided by whatsmydns.net allows you to quickly check your DNS configuration from servers located all around the world. This can be really useful due to the nature of DNS. The records returned on your local system, network, or device may not be the same as users in other parts of the world.
DNS Lookup - The DNS Lookup tool provided by whatsmydns.net allows you to dig a bit deeper into your DNS records and provides some of the more technical details that is often found in the command line tools provided in most operating systems but with a much quicker and easier interface.
Reverse DNS Lookup - The Reverse DNS Lookup tool allows you to perform a comprehensive analysis of your reverse DNS records. Not only will it allow you to see the domain name associated with an IP address, but it will also perform related forward lookups as well as validate forward-confirmed reverse DNS.
What's My IP Address? - This tool lets you look up your own IP address.
Domain Name Age - Check to see how old a domain name is and when it was first registered.
Domain Name Expiry - Check the expiration date of a domain name and see when it is required to be renewed.
Domain Name Latest Update - Check to see when a domain name was last updated.
Domain Name Availability - Check if a domain name is available to be registered or not.
Domain Name Owner Details - Find the owner of a domain name.
Domain Name Registrar Lookup - Lookup the domain name registrar for a domain.
Domain Name DNSSEC Check - Check if a domain name is signed for DNSSEC.
Domain Name Whois - See full whois data for a domain.
IDN Punycode Converter - Convert internationalized domain names to and from Punycode encoding.
IPv6 Expander - Expand a compressed IPv6 address into full form.
IPv6 Shortener - Compress an expanded IPv6 address into shortened form.
IPv4 to IPv6 Converter - Convert IPv4 addresses into IPv6 addresses.
IPv6 to IPv4 Converter - Convert IPv6 addresses into IPv4 addresses.
Reverse DNS Generator - Convert IP addresses into compatible .in-addr.arpa & .ip6.arpa formats.
URL Unshortener - Unshorten any shortened URL to reveal its final destination.
Redirect Checker - Show each step of the redirect process to check the final destination of a URL or website.
From the command prompt, you can run the
nslookup command with a set of parameters that allow you to do certain things. One of the most common operations you may wish to perform is to do a simple lookup. This can be done by running the nslookup command followed by the hostname you wish to resolve. Eg.
nslookup www.whatsmydns.net. This method of lookup will use your locally defined DNS server (usually handed out by your networks router).
Sometimes it is useful to do a lookup to an alternate name server, in the case that your default name server is not returning correct results. To perform a lookup on an alternate name server you simply add it as the second parameter to the command line. Eg.
nslookup www.whatsmydns.net ns1.server.com.