Best Security Tools: Free online Web utilities

June 23, 2008 – 8:45 AM

Have you ever needed to PING a host, run trace a Web route, or see what information you’re exposing to Internet without having to reconfigure the security on your perimeter devices? Have you tired of having to call your managed security services provider to let them know it’s you creating the anomalous behavior, not an attacker? Then maybe you should check out one of the free, online Web services providers.

Web services providers, for the purpose of this post, are organizations that make available a collection of network utilities for acquiring information about hosts, checking domain names, and even converting a spammer’s attempt at obfuscating a URL to an actual domain name and IP address.

I found these services at a site called The site’s apparent purpose is to provide links to sites with traceroute capability. However, I found one site that does much more.

I started with a site at the top of the list of U.S. locations, Carnegie Mellon. The user interface is straightforward. You can PING a host by domain name or IP address, or you can run traceroute from the university to the target domain.

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