Handy DNS Tools

DNS, in general, can feel intimidating. But the more you practice and work with it, the easier it gets! The following list of tools helps make our lives easier when changing records abd troubleshooting errors.

What’sMyDNS

Going to What’sMyDNS.net is super useful if you want to check the status of DNS records for a domain. If you’re pointing your domain to a different hosting service, for example, or routing your domain’s email through Gmail, you’ll have to edit nameservers or MX records, respectively. Whenever you make changes to DNS records, a good rule of thumb is that it takes up to 24-48 hours for those changes to stick. Staying on top of where everything is pointed can be really helpful in understanding a website error or DNS delay.

Simply search the domain in question and use the menu drop-down to change the record that you’re interested in:

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dig Command

Log into terminal and type:

dig yourdomain.com

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  • The first section tells you what version of DiG you’re using, and what information is being collected from the DNS server.
  • The second section states what you asked for (an A record query)
  • and the third section provides the answer (the IP address).
  • The fourth section gives general stats on how long it took to process the query (this varies depending on time to live), the IP of where you made the query, and how large the query was.

You may find this command to be helpful when checking on the status of a DNS change or when troubleshooting support tickets.

For example, we get requests all the time from schools with multiple servers that have an issue with a single account or domain, and the requester will generally only ever provide an account name or domain, but rarely provide the server name/IP. So I use a variant of this command to quickly find out which server the domain is on so I can navigate to the account more quickly.

P.S. If you want to take it a step further and find out the name of the server, not just the IP, type the following in terminal:

dig -x 104.243.45.66

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WhoIs

WhoIs will give you information about what nameservers the domain is pointed to, along with Registrant contact information (or lack of due to Domain Privacy Protect) and domain expiration date. Couple ways to get there:

Terminal– Type the following on your command line:

whois yourdomain.com

Whois.com– search the domain in the top, right-hand corner. (This is also a great option if you’re wanting to check whether or not a domain is available for registration!

All interfaces will share the same information:

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intoDNS

Lastly, sometimes it’s nice to just get your basic DNS bill of health. Though it only works for Top Level Domains, intoDNS.com can be useful to check for any red flags. Simply type the domain in question and click report.

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