DNS Lookup and DNS Benchmark: Desktop Tools

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What is DNS Lookup

The DNS (Domain Name System) lookup tool troubleshoots network problems. The tool is used to find the IP address of a particular domain name. The results of DNS Lookup provide the IP addresses in the DNS records received from the named servers.

How DNS Lookup works

There are two types of DNS lookups:

  • The forward DNS lookup
  • The reverse DNS lookup

Forward DNS lookup

The forward DNS lookup is most commonly used to find the IP address of a specific domain.

DNS can be compared to a phone book where the IP address is provided as a domain name. For example: 173.194.213.104 (IP address) is www.google.com (Domain name)

DNS resolution process:

  • The user opens the browser and enters the website name, e.g. www.google.com
  • The device sends that domain name as a DNS request to the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • The ISP determines if the domain name has an IP address allocated with that name. If not, the ISP forwards the request to other providers to locate the DNS record that contains the data.
  • Once the record is found, the IP address of the domain is returned to the user. Now the user’s computer can communicate with the server directly.

Reverse DNS lookup

A reverse DNS lookup is the opposite of a forward DNS Look up. The steps are the same. The only difference is that a reverse DNS lookup starts with an IP address and returns with the domain name.

You may have seen this error on a website: 'this webpage cannot be found'. This occurs when the servers are busy or the web browser has timed out. This means the DNS cannot discern whether it is a domain name or an IP address.

How to use DNS Lookup

To troubleshoot website connection problems, use DNS Lookup to check if the website is working through its IP address. This will inform you if the website error is due to a domain error.

To use the DNS Lookup tool:

  • Open Fing Desktop
  • From Overview, click the Tools tab in the left sidebar
  • Click the DNS Lookup widget under the heading Troubleshoot your network
  • Once opened, you can enter one of the following:
    • Website name
    • IP address
    • Custom DNS address to run the DNS lookup against
  • Alternatively, select the device on your local network from the dropdown list

DNS.gif

DNS Benchmark

Benchmark your DNS servers to find the optimal configuration. DNS Benchmark measures the response time of your system DNS servers and compares it with popular free DNS servers, providing an overview of your current and recommended configuration.

Note: This feature is only available on Fing Premium Desktop.

To perform a DNS Benchmark:

  • Click the Tools tab on the left sidebar
  • Scroll down and click the DNS Benchmark widget under the heading Troubleshoot your network
  • Press the blue Start button to the right of the page

DNS Benchmark.gif

DNS Benchmark: Video

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