Internet Tools Internet Tools

Information sources about utilities, tools, and applications used on the Internet for information, communication, and interaction


This web helps you explore tools used on the Internet for information, communication, and interaction; here, you'll find organized and annotated links to Web sites about Internet utilities, tools, and applications. You can view and link to this information in a variety of ways, and your suggestions are welcome. Use the links at the top of this page to navigate and access this information

  • Edited by: You can contact the editor of this information with your ideas and corrections; there are different formats for this information
    • John December
    • John December: Editor of this information since 1993
    • Suggestion?: please send a correction of any information you find here or your suggestion to via email with the subject line net-tools

  • Formats: You can view and link to this information in a variety of ways; find the level of detail that is right for your needs; pages are available for each section; you can link to and use the page that fits your needs
    • Internet Tools
    • Net Tools brief: Outline of sections; shows the section names with a link on the section name to a file showing the entries and annotations for that section; put your cursor over the section name to see a popup describing it; this format is useful to quickly select and load only the section that you'd like to see; this is a good format to show someone new to this information so as not to overwhelm them with too many links on a page
    • Net Tools index: Table; shows all entries with short labels in a table format; put your cursor over labels or section headings to see a popup description; links on section names take you to a file showing the entries and annotations for that section
    • Net Tools mini: Compressed table; shows all entries and section names with short labels and no linebreaks; put your cursor over labels or section names to see a popup description; links on section names take you to a file showing all the entries and annotations for that section; useful if you are familiar with the information and want all the links in a smaller amount of space
    • Net Tools all: Everything in one big file; shows all entries and all annotations in one HTML file; useful if you want to see everything at once or search for a text string in this information; to search, use your Web browser's Find feature; in Microsoft Internet Explorer, do this by selecting from the titlebar menu "Edit," then "Find on this page"; or you can just hit Control/F keys; links on section names go to a file showing entries and annotations for that section
  • Updates: List of recently-added entries or entries that have a new Uniform Resource Locator or description
    • Robtext (Information Utilities), Domain Tools (Information Utilities), Social (Communication Group), Video (Communication Mass), WhoisNet


Current conditions and news

  • Conditions: Current condition of data transfer rates and connectivity of the Internet
    • Graphic; shows current Internet traffic levels on a 100-point scale with 100 being totally uncongested traffic (higher number indicates "speed" of Internet is higher); click on the graphic for further analysis
    • Health: The Internet Health Report; shows data about network performance between major United States Internet backbones; updated every 15 minutes; matrix display shows latency in milliseconds; useful for seeing major latency problems and overall health of Internet; provided by Keynote Systems, Inc
    • Attacks: Digital Attack Map; live data visualization of DDoS attacks around the globe; provided by collaboration between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks

Internet Tools Information

Tools used for information retrieval; primarily where the user, with client software, retrieves information from a host or server


Software tools that are used to get a specific piece of information or perform a specific, focused task

  • Tools4Internet: for testing different aspects of the Internet and network infrastructure; includes ping or trace route, whois domain name information, web content analysis, web site traffc information, pinpointing any host or IP address on the map, security analysis
  • CAIDA Utilities: Tools, software, and a taxonomy of research and visualization tools; from the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis
  • Diagnostic: Net diagnostics; description and reviews of downloadable software to analyze your Internet connection to figure out why it seems so slow; from portal
  • Domain Tools: Whois lookup and domain name tools and information; domain suggestions, domains for sale, DNS tools, domain monitor, reverse IP, domain history, traceroute, ping
  • Network-tools: A form for a variety of lookups; whois, DNS, DIG, port, ping, trace, nslookup
  • Networking Tools: Networking tools provided as a public service by; Down Time, Port Scanner, WhoIs, LookUp, Reverse LookUp, Remote Ping, Trace Route, Message a remote host, Test servers, and more
  • IPAddressGuide: Free web-based IP address and domain name tools for Ping, Traceroute, NSLookup, CIDR, geolocation and HTML Validator.
  • Showipaddress: Identify your IP address plus; other utilities include WHOIS WHOIS IP DNS DIG Valid Email Port HTTP Ping Trace LG Query
  • Displays your computer's Internet Protocol address; includes links to information about related Internet Protocol tools
  • iTools/Internet: Internet Tools form; Web form to allow use of TCP/IP network tools (ping, nslookup, DNS, host check), Web tools (link popularity, server performance), and HTMTL tools (validator and tidy)
  • Multimedia tools: Multimedia and Video Viewers; description and reviews of downloadable client software for viewing movies, listening to sound files (including streaming); from portal
  • Net: Net utilities; description and reviews of downloadable software such as Internet toolbars, network monitors, automation apps, and others; from portal
  • Net Agents: Internet agent software; description and reviews of downloadable software such for filtering and downloading information from Web sites, using multiple search engines, improving the speed of your Internet transfer, downloading product updates, and other tasks; from portal
  • Networking: TCP IP Networking freeware; downloadable, freeware software to help with domain lookups, ip addresses, ftp, network information, and others; section from software site
  • Nslookup: Utility to query Internet domain servers to find out information about an Internet host; definition from Free-Online Dictionary of Computing;
  • Nslookup Def: Get Internet Protocol address or addresses based on a domain name
  • Ping: Ping via Web form; online form you can use to ping an Internet host; includes documentation
  • Ping Def: Utility used to test reachability of Internet destinations; sends Internet Control Message Protocol echo requests and waits for replies; definition from Free-Online Dictionary of Computing;
  • Primer: Primer On Internet and TCP/IP Tools and Utilities; an introductory guide to many of the most commonly-available TCP/IP and Internet tools and utilities; covers NSLOOKUP, ping, finger, traceroute, telnet, ftp, WHOIS/NICNAME, KNOWBOT, Archie, Gopher, Veronica, Jughead, WAIS, WWW; note that some of these tools are obsolete (see Graveyard section, below)
  • Robtext: "Swiss army knife" internet tool; checks a variety of things: if your mailserver is listed in any blacklist, ipnumber, dns-info for a specific hostname, dns-info for a domain, whois-info for a domain, reverse for a c-net, a specific route
  • Subnet Calcs: free online subnet, supernet, and CIDR calculators
  • Traceroute: Utility to determine the route packets take from a host to another host; definition from Free-Online Dictionary of Computing;
  • Visualroute: Visual demonstration of a tracerout service; choose a VisualRoute server to see a map of the route packets travel from it to an Internet host of your choosing
  • Lookup and domain search service ; queries domain registrars and returns domain name report
  • Whois RFC: NICNAME/WHOIS; a TCP transaction based query/response server that provides netwide directory service to internet users; can be used to identify owner and administrative contacts for a domain name; K. Harrenstien, M. Stahl, E. Feinler, Request for Comments 954, October 1985


Applications, clients and servers; enable storage of information on servers for access by users who have client software for a range of purposes more complex than just utility tasks

  • Serverwatch: Information about Internet servers; includes news, downloads, and reviews of Web, mail, news, ftp, and other servers; part of
  • FTP RFC: File Transfer Protocol (FTP); describes FTP terms and operation; Request for Comments 959, J. Reynolds, J. Reynolds, October 1985
  • FTPplanet: Directory of File Transfer Protocol information and software; includes instruction guides, help, and technical information about using FTP
  • FTP Clients: File Transfer Protocol software; description and reviews of downloadable software for transferring files over the Internet; from portal
  • Telnet RFC: The Remote User Telnet Service; describes the telnet protocol and its operation; Request for Comments 818, J. Postel, November 1982
  • Telnet Clients: Telnet software; description and reviews of downloadable software for allowing you to login to a remote computer host and use it as if on a terminal; from portal
  • WWW: World Wide Web Consortium; develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) for the World Wide Web
  • WWW Browsers: Web Browsers; a list of downloads for Web browser software with reviews; from portal
  • Webreference: Web technician's reference; includes discussion of technical issues involved in Web implementation
  • Web Development: Web content development; discussion of a methodology for Web content development involving issues of audience and purpose
  • HTML Station: HTML reference; includes demonstrations, tutorials, codes, specification summaries, techniques/technologies descriptions, and supporting information about hypertext markup language (HTML) and related technologies


Obsolete or old tools no longer used; these tools were introduced and used, for the most part, extensively during their heyday (except WAIS which was never used extensively); now, information about them is valuable for historical reasons; many of these tools introduced functionality that is used today in other software

  • Archie: ArchiePlex; Archie was used to search for information stored on FTP servers and is now no longer in operation; this Web page is for historical interest only
  • Finger: Web form to try the finger command; unlikely to work, as most Internet hosts refuse finger requests; historical interest
  • Finger RFC: The Finger User Information Protocol; a simple protocol which provides an interface to a remote user information program; finger is now rarely used for security reasons
  • Gopher RFC: The Internet Gopher Protocol; a distributed document search and retrieval protocol; describes this protocol used for presenting Internet information which was developed at the University of Minnesota just as the World Wide Web was being widely introduced; subsequent development of the Web and its browsers made Gopher obsolete, although for most of the rest of the 20th century, Web browsers would display information presenting from gopher servers; now, some Web browsers don't even support the gopher protocol; Request for Comments 1436, F. Anklesaria, M. McCahill, P. Lindner, D. Johnson, D. Torrey, B. Alberti, University of Minnesota, March 1993
  • Veronica: Definition; Veronica was used to search for information stored on gopher servers; as gopher died, so did Veronica; name derives from comic book character who was a friend of Archie, reflecting Veronica's similar purpose with regard to Gopher as Archie was to FTP; definition with hypertext links from Free Online Dictionary of Computing
  • WAIS RFC: WAIS over Z39.50-1988; description of Wide Area Information Servers, a system for searching, browsing, and presenting information which was introduced with just as the World Wide Web grew in popularity with its easy-to-use graphical interface; no known operational WAIS servers in existence well before the 20th century's end; Request for Comments 1625, M. St. Pierre, J. Fullton, K. Gamiel, J. Goldman, B. Kahle, J. Kunze, H. Morris, F. Schiettecatte, June 1994

Internet Tools Communication

Software used primarily to enable human-to-human communication on the Internet; in small or large groups, ranging from interpersonal to mass communication


Software used for a person communicating with another person or with a small group of people

  • Email Clients: description and reviews of downloadable software for sending and receiving email; from portal
  • Email Free: Directory of free email services; Although free email has becoming less available, there are still some Web sites that offer it, and this directory provides you with information about them as well as information for using Web-based email
  • Email Spam FYI: Don't Spew; A Set of Guidelines for Mass Unsolicited Mailings and Postings (spam); a discussion of unsolicited electronic mail and how to avoid it; Request for Comments 2635, For Your Information 35, S. Hambridge, A. Lunde, June 1999
  • ICQ: Instant messaging software; ICQ is short for "I Seek You"
  • Messenger: America Online Instant Messenger; real-time text exchange for small groups
  • Phones: Internet Phones; description and reviews of downloadable software to allow for voice communication over the Internet, much like a phone call; from portal


Software used for group and large group communication, some of which is open (in which anyone with client software can join)

  • Chat Clients: Real-time exchange software; Description and reviews of downloadable software for real-time exchange (chat) of text and multimeida; from portal
  • Collaboration: Section from World Wide Web Organization's web on collaboration; covers collaboration, knowledge representation, annotation of objects by objects, notification, and any other issues which arise in the creation of shared information systems and collaborative development
  • Conferencing: Conferencing on the Web; a comprehensive guide to software for discussion on the Internet, including econferencing, forums and message boards, instant messaging, video and audio conferencing, groupware, social software for virtual communities, virtual teams, collaborative workgroups, intranets, e-learning, knowledge management; maintained by David R. Woolley
  • Groupware: Groupware section from Usability First; groupware is software designed for groups and for communication; This section provides a general overview of groupware, computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), and associated design and usability issues
  • Blogs: Blogosphere Index; A reference page showing key links and feeds for exploring the blog community
  • Social: Social Nets Index; A reference page showing key social networking sites
  • User: User-generated navigation; a list of Web-based user-generated navigation content including social bookmarking and shared tagging or rankings of online resources
  • IRC Help: Internet Relay Chat (IRC) help archive; provides FAQs, primers, guides, downloadable clients and scripts, and server lists; useful for both beginners and frequent users of IRC
  • LISTSERV App: Mailing list management software; allows users to create and maintain e-mail lists on their corporate network or on the Internet, including newsletters, moderated and unmoderated discussion groups and direct marketing campaigns; LISTSERV is a software product of L-Soft international, Inc.
  • LISTSERV lists: CataList public LISTSERV lists; the official catalog of LISTSERV lists containing tens of thousands of public LISTSERV lists available on a wide range of topics
  • Directory of email discussion lists; provides access to descriptions of electronic mail discussion lists
  • Topica: Email discussion lists; catalog of thousands of public mailing lists on many topics
  • Usenet Info: Usenet Info Center Launch Pad; information about Usenet including introduction, history, and help information
  • Usenet via Web: Google Groups; read and browse Usenet newsgroups using your Web browser as a client software
  • Usenet FAQs: Archive of Usenet Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) postings; these are the FAQ postings of individual newsgroups on many topics and serve as a kind of collective memory for Usenet knowledge, lore, and historical documents


Sites that demonstrate the Internet's use as a means of mass communication; these lists link you to resources to find Internet-based mass media or streaming media outlets

  • Mass Media: List of mass media outlets; use to locate newspaper, television, radio, magazine, Web sites, and streaming media outlets
  • Net Audio: Index of Net audio resources; includes streaming audio directories, international broadcasters, radio networks, and information on streaming audio technology, publications, and organizations related to Internet broadcasting and streaming media
  • Net Video: Index of Net video; includes content sites


Interactivity software; these listings show how the Internet can be used to enable immediate human-computer communication

  • Java: Java Information Sources; sources of information about the Java programming language including major sites, news, discussion, software engineering and object-oriented reference information
  • BotSpot: Portal for information on Internet robots (bots); A Bot is a software tool for processing data; It will seek information based on instructions and return with answers or perform a useful task

Internet Tools Reference

Sources of further information


Information for further exploration of Internet tools issues as well as source information used to prepare the Internet Tools Summary

  • Infrastructure: Computing, networks, and content infrastructure; technologies that support the computing, network, and content infrastructure for enabling computer-mediated communication on the Internet
  • Organizations: Networking and Standards; organizations involved in setting standards to enable computer-mediated communication on networks
  • Docs RFC/etc: Internet document archives of Internet RFC/STD/FYI/BCP documents; a collection of information on topics related to the Internet; Official Internet Protocol Standard; scurrent information as well as historical memos; includes the Request for Comments (RFC) series of notes still used to exchange information about Internet topics; includes FYI (For Your Information), STD (standards), and BCP (Internet Best Current Practices)
  • Net Spaces: Net Spaces reference chart; provides an overview of the different protocols that have been used on the Internet for information and communication and the searchers, subject, and server directories and lists available in each; provides historical interest in that some of these protocols are no longer used
  • Internet: Training and searching; information related to training others how to use the Internet and searching the Internet
  • CMC: Computer-Mediated Communication; information sources related to computer-mediated communication (CMC) technology, use, and study, with an emphasis on the study and understanding Internet-based CMC
  • Tools/EARN: Guide to Network Resource Tools; overview of Internet Tools, now of historical interest; European Academic Research Network Staff, Request for Comments 1580, For Your Information 23, March 1994
  • NIR Tools: Report on Tools; A Status Report on Networked Information Retrieval:Tools and Groups; report to increase the awareness of Networked Information Retrieval by information about networked information retrieval tools, their developers, interested organizations, and other activities that relate to the production, dissemination, and support; J. Foster, Editor, Request for Comments 1689, RARE Technical Report 13, For Your Information 25, August 1994
  • Net Tools 1997: Internet Tools Summary 1997; an archived state of the Internet Tools Summary in 1997 showing a collection of information sources about software used on the Internet for network information retrieval, computer-mediated interaction, and computer-mediated communication at that time
  • Top Software: Top Software Resources; lists sources of software for Internet tools as well as other applications


Publications which cover aspects of Internet infrastructure and applications from a technical, policy, or user perspective

  • Boardwatch: Magazine reports on business aspects of communications networks
  • Cook Report: Monthly newsletter; focuses on the technology and policy complexities of Internet infrastructure development
  • .net: .net Magazine; Web site and paper magazine covering issues of Internet use, culture, and techniques, from the United Kingdom
  • Net Watch: Newsletter; reports on the Internet
  • Product Watch: Datamation Product Watch; a resource for getting and providing information about new computer hardware and software
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