It is on reasonable occasion that I find it necessary to figure out what’s going on with a domain or IP Address – typically this involves dig (ok, I’ll admit it, I still use nslookup…), traceroute, whois or ping. Usually when that becomes necessary, it’s also interesting or necessary to be able to perform those from a few different spots on the net. Since a lot of my servers are all on the same subnet, sometimes that can be unsatisfying. Fortunately, i recently discovered the DNSstuff website.
This site has an array of tools, pretty much anything you could want to do with a domain name or ip address is at your fingertips in a quick and easy form. All the things I mention above are just the beginning and will provide ping/traceroute information from a server well outside anything I have access to, so it’s a great impartial third party. It’s also a really cool tool that shows you the cached status of a domain at many major isp’s around the world – this is really useful if you’re doing any sort of DNS move to watch propagation of your changes. Another pretty cool one is the time to lookup various dns records – you can see if there are any performance issues with your dns hosting. Beware, watching this too much may drive you to NeuStar Ultra DNS.
There’s actually a for pay set of tools in addition to the free ones (which eventually require free registration), but I haven’t really explored those at all. Some of those features do look compelling though and I’m thinking about shelling out the whopping $3/mo to look at some of the new features – none of them are things you can’t get on your own like the Zone File Dump, but it’s nice that there’s a single place to \\ easily get all these things w/out any fuss and $3/mo is almost a non-price – it it saves you 3 minutes a month it pretty much pays for itself.
Anyhow, it’s a pretty slick site with some hot DNS action. If you’re opposed to any sort of registration there’s a very similar site iptools.com which is all free. It has a lot of the same features, but is a little rougher around the edges and the cached DNS tool is much less useful. If you ever work in DNS it’s worth a couple minutes of your time to check out DNSstuff.