Developer

Review: DNSstuff network management suite

DNSstuff, a provider of a wide-ranging suite of DNS monitoring, testing and alerting tools, simplifies the process of managing DNS, Web and e-mail settings.

DNS configuration may be among the most complex and vexing tasks information technology professionals undertake. DNSstuff, a provider of a wide-ranging suite of DNS monitoring, testing and alerting tools, simplifies the process of managing DNS, Web and e-mail settings.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: DNSstuff, LLC
  • Services: DNS, e-mail and Web monitoring, testing and alerting tools
  • Operating systems: Web-based tool requires only Internet and access and a reasonably current browser
  • Website: DNSstuff.com
  • Price: Some services free (premium services available)
  • DNSstuff TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

DNSstuff provides critical tools to assist IT professionals, regardless of organization size, in provisioning, managing, administering, monitoring, testing and supporting e-mail, World Wide Web, remote access and other DNS-dependent services. Systems engineers, network administrators, support technicians, Web developers and other technology pros can all leverage the time-saving and proactive DNSstuff.com tools.

What problem does it solve?

DNSstuff provides technology professionals with dozens of time-saving tools that simplify and demystify DNS configuration, testing, monitoring and alerting. In addition, DNSstuff provides proactive tools, such as DNSalerts and RBLalerts, that monitor domains and blacklists to help protect against blindside IP failures and email deliverability problems.

Whether IT staff need to research current DNS configurations, monitor changes or track and research errors, DNSstuff's powerful and dynamic professional tools provide accurate, timely information that proves critical in properly configuring DNS settings, including IP addresses, A, MX and CNAME records and more. The service's toolset also enables performing Internet/Cybercrime forensics, combating unsolicited e-mail and performing a host of tests, including SSL examinations, RFC lookups and DNS traversals.

Standout features

  • Accuracy - In numerous tests performed before, during and after significant DNS changes for a variety of clients, DNSstuff monitoring, administration and troubleshooting tools returned accurate DNS configuration information quickly. IT professionals require reliable DNS and IP reporting to safely navigate complex TCP/IP network configurations.
  • Wide-Ranging Toolset - DNSstuff provides dozens of utilities for analyzing and testing DNS information. Using the premium DNSreport tool, some 55 total tests are run in a single analysis across a collection of categories, including parent tests, name server tests, start of authority (SOA) tests, mail exchanger (MX) tests, mail tests and www tests. Other premium Professional Toolset utilities include tests for solving e-mail problems, debugging DNS failures, deploying new servers and domains and accessing real-time domain and e-mail configuration settings. The Trace360 tool, meanwhile, serves as an automated utility for tracing Internet connectivity issues.
  • Alert Services -DNSstuff offers two alert services that help technology professionals proactively monitor critical e-mail and IP settings and configurations. DNSalert provides 24/7 monitoring of critical DNS settings and notifies users of any changes that occur. RBLalert performs a similar service, albeit for monitoring e-mail blacklists. By alerting administrators whenever spam database entries occur, users can more effectively monitor e-mail status and prevent outages and downtime.
  • Support - DNSstuff maintains active and vibrant community forums tightly focused on DNS topics. These message boards serve as an excellent reference resource and provide yet another tool in helping diagnose and repair e-mail, IP, DNS and other Web issues.

What's wrong?

  • Premium services require payment - It's a small complaint, especially considering the breadth and accuracy of the many premium utilities and alert services DNSstuff provides technology pros, but the company's more powerful tools require payment. That said, the pricing is more than reasonable. For example, a one-year subscription for a single DNSalert is but $99, while a one-year subscription to the Professional Toolset runs just $79.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

Technology professionals require accurate, real-time DNS monitoring, testing and management tools. DNSstuff provides a wide-range of dynamic DNS, IP, e-mail and Web connectivity utilities. While some of these tools require a separate subscription, the critical nature of DNS operations more than justifies the cost.

User rating

Have you encountered the DNSstuff network management suite? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of DNSstuff in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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