The DNS settings are a public record and can be checked by anyone. If, in the past, this was something only site administrators had to do, today a great deal of the Internet users has their own web page and the ability to make a DNS lookup themselves has become a necessity. And this has sprung the creation of various DNS lookup tools, both web-based and in the form of computer software.
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This specific service refers to the process of searching for the unique IP address and DNS records that a certain domain name is associated with. Since the domain name is only the user-side title of a website, whose main purpose is to make it easily findable among the pool of web pages online, it does not provide sufficient information for the website administration process. Website owners may often need to know what the system-side name of a domain is while managing their websites and the best way to find out is through a DNS lookup tool.
There is a variety of web-based DNS lookup tools which you can find online. Most of them will give you multiple options for performing your DNS search. What you will need to specify is the domain name or hostname for your website as well as what record type you wish to see results for. The possible record type search options include the Custom MX and A records, NS Records, CNAME Records, SRV Records, TXT Records, AAAA Records, etc.
A similar service is the Reverse DNS lookup option which most of the DNS lookup tools provide. It refers to searching for the domain name which is associated with a particular IP address.
The nslookup command
The nslookup command is probably one of the few commands, which are the same in both Windows and Linux. It is used to check for the DNS records of a domain name, with the A record being the default record it checks for. The advantage of this command is that you can use it even if you have a slow Internet connection, which can prevent you from utilizing an online DNS lookup tool. It also is much faster than the majority of the online-based tools.
NSLOOKUP in Windows
In Windows, to use the NSLOOKUP command, open the Start menu and click on Run. In the new window, type "cmd". This will open the command prompt. In there, all you have to do is type "nslookup" and after that the domain that you want to check.
NSLOOKUP in Windows
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp. C:\Documents and Settings\User>nslookup google.com Non-authoritative answer: Name: google.com Addresses: 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52
To make a query for a different record and not the A record, which is the default one, you will have to specify the exact record with the "set type=" command.
Check the name servers with NSLOOKUP
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600] (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp. C:\Documents and Settings\User>nslookup > set type=NS > ntchosting.com Address: 10.1.0.1 Non-authoritative answer: ntchosting.com nameserver = ns1.ntchosting.com ntchosting.com nameserver = ns2.ntchosting.com
NSLOOKUP in Linux
In Linux, you can start nslookup from the terminal. The syntax is very similar to the Windows's.
NSLOOKUP in Linux
$ nslookup ntchosting.com
Again, by default, the nslookup command will check for the A records of the given domain name. To change the query type, we will again use the "set type=" option.
Check the MX records with NSLOOKUP
> set type=MX
ntchosting.com mail exchanger = 10 mx.ntchosting.com.