Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Software » System Software » Utility Software » Network Utilities

The focus of this category, network utilities, are software utilities used to analyze and configure various aspects of computer networks.

Network utilities first appeared in the Unix operating system, but they can be found in nearly every operating system today and used for everything from troubleshooting a connection to looking up information. Common network utilities include dig, finger, host, ifconfig, ipconfig, lookup, netsh, netstat, nslookup, ping, spray, tracepath, traceroute, tracert, vnStat, whois, and various port scanners.

Some network configuration utilities are used to display and diagnose networks. These include iproute2 for the Linux OS, ifconfig for Unix, ipconfig for Windows, and route, which displays an IP routing table.

These are just a few. There are several others, particularly within the several Linix distributions.

Among the more common network utilities, the ipconfig command is used on Windows, while Linux, macOS, and Unix-like machines use ifconfig, although they serve the same purpose. These commands are used to configure a network's interfaces and view information about them. On Windows, the ipconfig/all command will allow the user to view all of his configured network interfaces, their IP addresses, DNS servers, and other information. The ipconfig/flushdns command can be used to flush the DNS cache, forcing Windows to get new addresses from its DNS servers each time you contact a new hostname. Other uses for ipconfig can force the computer to release its IP address and get a new one from its DHCP server.

The nslookup command will look up the IP addresses associated with a domain name. As an example, nslookup avivadirectory.com will show the IP address of the Aviva Directory's server. The nslookup command can also be used to perform a reverse lookup, determining the domain name associated with an IP address.

The ping command sends ICMP echo request packets to a destination, such as a domain name or IP address. These packets request a reply from the remote destination. If configured to reply, the remote destination will respond with packets of its own. In this way, the user can see how long the round trip is between the user's computer and the destination site. A "timed out" message will be returned if packet loss is occurring, and an error message if the computer is unable to communicate with the remote host. Ping is used in troubleshooting Internet connection problems, although not all servers are configured to reply to pings.

The traceroute, tracert, or tracepath commands are similar to ping, except that they yield information about the path that a packet takes. Like ping, traceroute sends a packet to a destination domain or IP address, but it asks each Internet router along the way to reply when it passes the packet, showing the path that packets take between the user's location and the destination. When a user is unable to communicate with a server, traceroute can show where the problem is occurring.

The whois command looks up the registration record associated with a domain name, revealing information about who registered and owns a domain name, along with contact information.

Some of these utilities are not installed with the operating system itself but can be downloaded from other sources. Whether included with the OS or obtainable from a third-party source, the focus of this category is on network utilities.



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