Knowing information about the network you are on is always good to have. There is an abundance of information that you can get, but for the average user most of it is more advanced than they will ever need. The tools described in this article are great for gamers, DIY network admins, techies and for people who are curious or interested in how things work. I actually came across this site when I was troubleshooting a network to see if the ports had been forwarded properly. The port forwarding tester was a great diagnostic tool and quickly helped me narrow things down and allowed me to set the proper ports in no time. Below I will list the site and give a brief rundown on each of the network tools that are available. The site is http://www.yougetsignal.com/
Port Forwarding Tester
This is the first tool in the lineup. After clicking on this tool you are promptly taken to a simple page that lays everything out nice and cleanly. It displays your external IP address and provides you with a list of common ports on the right hand side. This is a great tool for gamers and anyone who is behind a router or gateway. You can test to see if port forwarding has been setup correctly or if your server applications are being blocked by a firewall. You can change the port number and simply click the “Check” button. It’s also great for checking to see if specific ports are open or closed. This is a great way to check your port security. You can also change the external IP address so you can check not only the network you are on, but others as well, as long as you know the external IP address.
External IP Address
This tool is a very simple, no muss no fuss tool. Sometimes you may need to know your external IP address. This is the address that every computer out there on the Internet uses to find you. You may need it to connect to a home server, network admins need this to setup VPNs or map drives to your computer or server, and remote services can also use this IP address. Most people wouldn’t have a clue how to find it if they were asked. This tool simply displays it in very large bold numbers. Easy huh?
IP Location Tool
This basically lets you see the geolocation of a specified IP address. By default it shows the location of your IP address, but you can change it to locate any address. It uses Google Maps and is fairly accurate, I wouldn’t say it has pinpoint accuracy, but it’s good enough. It also provides you with other vital information such as the base domain, latitude and longitude, country, city, zip code and area code. Knowing the external IP address is not necessary either, you can also do searches by typing the web address, such as google.com and it will run the search also. Give it a try. Do a search on google.com or amazon.com and see where that IP address is located!
Visual Trace Tool
Remember the old movies where people were making phone calls and hacking into systems? The hero would watch a clock to make sure he didn’t get traced and there was always a cool computer screen showing the trace being done? This will give you a hint of that 🙂 It comes in two flavors, a host trace and a proxy trace. The host trace starts at yougetsignal.com and then moves on to whatever address you specify. The proxy trace starts at your location, then goes to yougetsignal.com and then out to wherever you specified. Let’s say you type google.com in the search box and run a proxy trace. It will trace out the path your signal takes from your computer to google.com and let you see that path on a map as well as listing out every IP address that it hits on the way.
Phone Number GeoLocator
Have you ever been curious as to who that mysterious number belongs to. This tool actually uses the spokeo.com site to return information and actually redirects you there after you’ve entered the phone number. Spokeo is a paid service, but it will give you some basic information. I’m not sure how it pulls the information, but my guess would be it starts with the billing address with the phone number. If you need to get a full report, then you will have to pay Spokeo for the report.
Reverse Email Lookup
This one is pretty much the same thing as a Reverse Phone Lookup, but it lets you search by name or more importantly, by email address. Have a weird email address that’s been spamming your mailbox? Run it through this tool and you can find out who owns that particular email address. Again, this uses Spokeo to find the name of the owner.
Reverse IP Domain Lookup
This is a great tool for anyone who runs their own blog or website. Especially if you are on a shared hosting server. There are all kinds of problems you can experience from being on a shared server. One of them is bandwidth. I routinely check my domain with this tool to make sure I’m not sharing the same server as a “spammy” site. This could have a negative impact on my site. So far, I haven’t had the bad luck of experiencing this, but if you find that you are sharing the same server with one of these sites, you can simply contact your hosting company and ask to be switched to a different server.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are 41 domains that share the same server as Digg.com
WHOIS Lookup Tool
This simply lets you find out who owns or is the registrant of a particular domain name. This tool is really for those who may be in the business of buying and selling domains or websites. But after conducting a search, the information provided includes the registrant’s name, where the domain is hosted and what company the domain name was registered with.
That about covers it for the tools. There are also widgets that you can download for your computer that will provide the same information such as your external IP address, network location, etc. These widgets/gadgets can be useful if you constantly need this information and don’t want to go to the website every time. There are dozens of network tools out there and for the most part these can be performed from a command line on most computers. But this site keeps a clean visual interface and definitely makes it easy for someone to utilize these tools, even if they don’t know how to access them from a command line. So the next time you need any of this information, give this website a try!
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