Solarwinds converts DNSstuff from subscription to free service

DNSReportSolarWinds announced today that its subscription-based DNSstuff will now be offered as a free service to customers.  The DNSstuff site offers customers with many tools to quickly troubleshoot and solve DNS issues on the internet.  Some of the tools are fairly straight forward – like webified versions of Whois and Dig, but others provide more insight to the user about potential problems with their configuration.

According to a press release, one of those tools is the DNS Report, which is an “all-in-one troubleshooting tool that performs 55 diagnostic tests to show the health of DNS records and help pinpoint issues reaching the site.”  I ran this tool on my site and it reported back 4 warnings, including notes about changes to SPF, only having a single mail server and other things that could be potential problems (screenshot linked to the right).

Although the name might show that the tools are all DNS related, that’s far from reality.  Inside of the professional tools, DNSstuff has tools for HTTP examination, basic traceroute and IP lookup, CIDR calculators, SSL examination, speed tests, and email tools to look at SPF, DKIM, open relays and RBL look-up tools.

In basic testing, it seems the service is available for a limited number of uses per visit without registration.  Users are able to register for a free account with DNSstuff and once logged in, the user can continue to the tools for free.  As part of offering the free toolset, SolarWinds also unobtrusively suggests other tools from their offerings that may help you with monitoring or troubleshooting problems.

In addition to the professional toolset, DNSstuff also offers a Mail Server Test center which will lookup the mail exchangers for a particular domain, report back the records and then run a set of tests against each server listed in MX – tests like trying to connect on port 25, DNS records, Open Relay, SPF and the number of RBL’s the server may be listed on.   There are additional tools for testing antivirus filtering and email path.

DNSstuff has been around for a while and was previously a subscription service.  The new, free-service site was redesigned to a degree and includes links to Thwack, the SolarWinds community site, and links to other free trials and free tools offered by SolarWinds.

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