Takeaway: Web-based networking toolkits often offer numerous ways to test routes, domains, and other issues that will directly affect your network.
Network troubleshooting can run the gamut of possibilities. From hardware to software to external, uncontrollable forces, to powerful Jedi mind tricks. When you’re troubleshooting networking issues, the problem can often point toward many and varied issues. When that happens, you’ll want to have access to tools to help you diagnose the issue. One place to turn for such a tool set is the good old Internet.
Web-based networking toolkits often offer numerous ways to test routes, domains, and other issues that will directly affect your network. I have found five solid web-based tools for you to try out. Some are free, some have a price attached; either way, they are all ready to serve.
1. DNS StuffDNS Stuff is one of the more powerful network tool kits around. This particular tool isn’t free (though they have a free trial of their Professional Toolkit until August 2013), but it’s certainly one of the most comprehensive set of tools you’ll find.
Included in the Pro Toolkit are the following: DNS Report (RFC Compliant mitigation steps), ISP Cached DNS Lookup, NS Lookup, Whois//IPWhois Lookup, Top Level Domain Lookup, SSL Examination, Abuse Lookup, Domain Inspector, URL Analyzer, and much more. DNS Stuff also presents you with your external IP address as well as an estimate of your location. With the amount of tools included in the Professional Toolkit, you should be able to troubleshoot numerous external networking issues.
2. Network-ToolsNetwork-Tools doesn’t offer nearly the plethora of tools as does DNS Stuff, but all of their tools are free for the using. Here you will find quick access to: Ping, Trace Route, Whois, Lookup, DNS Records, Blacklist Check, URL Decode/Encode, Email Test, and more.
The Express test will give you the fastest results as it does a combo of Traceroute, DNS, and Whois testing. The report back from that test will often give you the information you need to immediately begin your first steps of troubleshooting the external connection to your route.