4 Useful DNS Tools You Should Use

Check out these 4 DNS tools everyone should use to make their lives a little less stressful (like that’s even possible). These tools are great for people that are trying to see if their No-IP hostname is resolving correctly.

To use these tools you will use the Dig command in terminal (Mac) or the command line (PC).

Dig is an acronym for “domain internet groper”.  Dig is a useful tool for webmasters and system administrators, it can be used to query DNS servers and fix DNS related issues.  Dig is a part of the BIND DNS software.

Check out these 4 useful DNS tools you should use:

1. Whois

Whois is an easy way to find information on the owner, nameserver, registrar etc. of a domain name. It is useful for getting all the detailed info you want from a domain, assuming the domain doesn’t have private registration enabled.

The Whois command can help you identify the responsible party for a domain. This is useful if you have problems sending to, or receiving from a domain; or if you just want to query the authoritative nameservers for that domain. To use these tools, open up Terminal on your Mac, or command line on your PC.

Type “Whois” followed by your domain of choice and hit enter.

Then type Whois mashable.com and hit enter. It will bring up all of the domain registration information.

2. Ping

Ping checks to see if you can actually reach a server. It is the go to command for making sure that a server is online and functional. You can also use this tool to see if a website is down for every one, or just you.

Type “ping noip.com” and hit enter

To stop this command hit “Ctrl + C”. Ping is a simple way to check if your domain name is resolving correctly.

3. Dig

Dig is a great way to get check records for a domain like A, MX, TXT, PTR and other advanced DNS records. We have done quite a few extensive Dig tutorials. We love Dig!. Check out this Dig tutorial for some cool ways to use it.

You can use Dig to lookup nameservers. NS lookup is useful for quickly looking up name server information, but it usually requires detailed parameters.

Type “dig noip.com ns” and hit enter.

This command will show all of the nameservers associated with noip.com.

4. Traceroute

Traceroute shows you the route (path) that was used to connect you to the IP address or hostname. It will show all of the routers it goes through until it gets to its destination, or it fails. A traceroute also tells you how long each hop to each router takes and if it fails, it will show you exactly where the IP packet failed. Our support staff uses it all of the time to help customers figure out if their hostname is resolving to the correct IP address. This guide will show you how to run your own trace route.

Have any other DNS tools that you find useful? Let us know in the comments!

  1. gig

    I’m using a PC with WINDOWS 7, version 6.1, build 7601: Service Pack 1.
    I opened the command line and tried the commands whois // ping // dig and traceroute:
    the only one which is functioning is the command “ping”, whereas for “traceroute” you actually have to use the syntax “tracert”.
    For the others I get the message “Unknown command”.
    Can you explain?

    thank you

  2. Whois and dig will not work on any Windows version unless you install some 3th party tools / software.

  3. Louis

    dig and whois aren’t included in Windows out of the box. One way to get them is through Cygwin.

  4. eric

    in windows traceroute is tracert , but has no dig
    in nix one i use frequently is nslookup and ncat and nmap

  5. Hi Gigi if you are using a router like one of the TP link family you can use the tracecode from within the setp up page for the router it is usually found under the settings page. If you are not sure check out your routers user manual.


  6. Windows 7 is not a proper OS for network operations management. These commands are all for Unix systems.

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