This Week''s Q&A
Q: How can you find an IP address when you know only the domain name. For example, from last week''s newsletter I''ve been using the HOSTS file to block access to my computer from various evil spammer organizations. What if I know that EVILSPAM.ORG is a domain name I want to block then how can I get their IP address?
A: The IP address is the secret code number — 123.456.789.0 — used internally by the Internet to represent a domain name. It''s like a phone number, though thanks to various Domain Name Servers (DNS), we can type in things like www.evilspam.org and get to a web page as opposed to having to remember a number like http://123.456.789.0/. Anyway!
If you have Windows XP, then you''''re fortunately enough to have a command line utility borrowed straight from UNIX: The NSLOOKUP command can be used to find the IP address(es) associated with any given domain name.
1. From the Start panel choose Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt.
2. Type NSLOOKUP, a space, then a domain name. For example:
The NSLOOKUP program then spits out your DNS server name and its address, followed by the domain you entered and its IP address, or 18.104.22.168 for WAMBOOLI.COM.
The above command spits out several IP addresses, all of which are used by Microsoft to host various MICROSOFT.COM services for the Internet.
Unless someone has registered EVILSPAM.ORG, you''ll find that this domain name is not currently in use; the program tells you that it''s a "Non-existent domain."
There are other tools on the Internet you can use to discover a domain''s IP address. So if you have another version of Windows (which lacks the NSLOOKUP command), you can use these sites to find out which IP address goes with which domain:
h t t p : / / c e l l o . c s . u i u c . e d u / c g i - b in/slamm/ip2name
h t t p : / / w ww.dnsstuff.com/
h t t p : / / c c - w w w . u i a . a c . b e / ds/nslookup.html
This Week''s Ha-Ha
As Dave Barry once said, if you take a room full of monkeys with typewriters and wait three months the smell will be terrible:
Dan Gookin has been writing about computers for over 20 years now. All told, he’s written over 100 books on various personal computing topics, and sold over 14 million books in 32 languages. Perhaps his most groundbreaking book was DOS For Dummies, the original For Dummies book that spawned an empire of over 150 million books in print.
Today, Dan still considers himself a writer and computer “guru” whose job it is to remind everyone computers are not to be taken too seriously. His approach to computers is light and humorous, yet very informative. He knows the complex beasts are important and can do a great deal to help people become productive and successful. Yet, Dan mixes his vast knowledge of computers with a unique, dry sense of humor that keeps everyone informed-and awake. His favorite quote is, “Computers are a notoriously dull subject, but that doesn’t mean I have to write about them that way.”
Dan Gookin’s most recent books are PC’s for Dummies, 9th Edition, Power Excel and Word, Troubleshooting your PC for Dummies 2nd Edition, Laptops for Dummies and the eBay Photos That Sell. He lives in North Idaho and loves to spend time with his boys.