If you’ve ever used NSLookup from the command-line in Windows you’ll surely understand how much data it is capable of putting at your fingertips. I know some people prefer to take the command-line route (as I normally do), but it can also be nice to have a GUI alternative for those that don’t use it enough to remember the parameters and syntax. The free DNSDataView is the perfect GUI companion to NSLookup.
This is a no-install portable app that will let you quickly do DNS lookups on one or more domains at a time. DNSDataView also brings some of the same command-line options to the GUI version, such as filtering the DNS records by type if you just want to see, for example, name server records (NS) or address records (A). There is also an option to specify the DNS server you want the data retrieved from, which is something I’ve done to test whether changes have propagated to a particular DNS server.
There are quite a few different DNS record types, but DNSDataView will let you filter between eight different types. Not sure what they are all used for? No problem because I snagged definitions from Wikipedia regarding what each of them do:
- A (IPv4 address record) – A 32-bit IPv4 address, most commonly used to map hostnames to an IP address of the host.
- AAAA (IPv6 address record) – A 128-bit IPv6 address, most commonly used to map hostnames to an IP address of the host.
- CNAME (canonical name record) – Alias of one name to another: the DNS lookup will continue by retrying the lookup with the new name.
- MX (mail exchange record) – Maps a domain name to a list of message transfer agents for that domain.
- NS (name server record) – Delegates a DNS zone to use the given authoritative name servers.
- SOA (start of authority record) – Specifies authoritative information about a DNS zone, including the primary name server, the email of the domain administrator, the domain serial number, and several timers relating to refreshing the zone.
- SRV (service locator) – Generalized service location record, used for newer protocols instead of creating protocol-specific records such as MX.
- TEXT (text record) – Originally for arbitrary human-readable text in a DNS record. Since the early 1990s, however, this record more often carries machine-readable data, such as specified by RFC 1464, opportunistic encryption, Sender Policy Framework (although this provisional use of TXT records is deprecated in favor of SPF records), DomainKeys, DNS-SD, etc.
This isn’t an app that will be useful for everyone, but I’m sure server administrators will keep DNSDataView accessible if they haven’t already done so.
DNSDataView Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)