What is ‘DNS Lookup’?
The DNS (Domain Name System) lookup tool is another important feature to troubleshoot network problems. It is used to find the IP address of a particular domain name. To explain in more detail, the results of DNS Lookup will provide the IP addresses in the DNS records received from the named servers.
How does DNS Lookup work?
There are two types of DNS lookups:
- The forward DNS lookup
- The reverse DNS look up.
Forward DNS Look up:
The forward DNS lookup is most commonly used to find out the IP address of a specific domain.
DNS can be compared to a phone book where the IP address is provided a domain name. For example: 18.104.22.168(IP address) is www.google.com (Domain name)
Steps for DNS resolution:
- A user opens the browser and enters the website name, e.g. www.google.com
- The device then sends that domain name as a DNS request to the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP).
- ISP, then determines if 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 Look up:
In a reverse DNS lookup, it is the opposite of the forward DNS Look up. The steps are exactly same but the only difference is that it starts out 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 is due to the servers being busy or the web browser timing out. This means the DNS is unable to find whether it is a domain name or an IP address.
Ok, so how can I use DNS Lookup?
To troubleshoot website connection problems, you can use DNS Look up to see if the website is working through its IP address thus helping the user to understand the error on website is due to domain error.
To use the DNS Lookup tool:
- On Fing Desktop, click on the Tools tabs
- Select DNS Look up
- Once opened, you can enter either the:
- Website name
- IP address
- Custom DNS address to run the DNS look up against
- Select the devices which are on your local network from the drop down list.
See below an example of a successful DNS lookup result:
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