Most administrators are familiar with the command-line WHOIS tool, which retrieves information about a given domain
name or IP address. WHOIS isn't really suited to garnering information about a whole slew of addresses or extended information about each one -- at least not without some work on the part of the person using it.
IPNetInfo is a kind of WHOIS on steroids: Feed it one or more network addresses or host names and it will retrieve as much WHOIS server information as it can find on all of them. The program not only polls the conventional ARIN WHOIS server, but will also poll information from RIPE, APNIC, LACNIC and AfriNIC as needed. Then it formats and displays the resulting information for each address in a table, which can then be copied into a tab-delimited list or saved to an HTML report.
The best feature of the program is its ability to extract all relevant network information from the headers of an e-mail message. If you're using Outlook, for instance, open the message, go to View | Options. Then copy the entire contents of the "Internet headers" field, and paste it into IPNetInfo. Every network node referenced in the headers will be processed and displayed.
Note that IPNetInfo will not process non-public address blocks (i.e., anything in the 192.168.x.x space). Also, the reports and lists generated from the program only contain the information displayed in the top pane of the program. If you want to save the detailed WHOIS information for the whole report, or for a given item, select the item(s) in question and press Ctrl-W to write out the WHOIS results to a text file. Press Alt-Enter on any of the selected items and the fields appear in individually selectable text boxes.
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!
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