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NSLookup, short for “Name Server Lookup”, is a versatile network administration command-line tool used for querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to obtain information associated with domain names and IP addresses. This tool is available natively in most operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux distributions.

Using NSLookup

To use NSLookup, open the command prompt or terminal on your device and enter the command nslookup, followed by the domain name or IP address you want to query. For example:


Features of NSLookup

  • DNS Record Types: NSLookup supports various DNS record types like A (IPv4 address), AAAA (IPv6 address), MX (Mail Exchange), NS (Name Servers), and more.

  • Reverse DNS Lookup: You can perform reverse DNS lookups to find the domain name associated with a specific IP address. For example:

  • Non-interactive mode: NSLookup can execute single queries without entering the interactive mode. To do this, simply execute the command as mentioned earlier.

  • Interactive mode: Interactive mode allows you to carry out multiple queries during a single session. To enter the interactive mode, type nslookup without any arguments in your terminal.


Despite being a useful tool, NSLookup has some limitations:

  • No support for DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions).
  • Obsolete or not maintained in some Unix-based systems, replaced with more modern utilities like dig.


Some alternatives to NSLookup include:

  • dig: “Domain Information Groper” is a flexible DNS utility that supports a wide range of DNS record types and provides more detailed information than NSLookup.

  • host: Another common DNS lookup tool that provides host-related information for both forward and reverse lookups.


In summary, NSLookup is a handy DNS query tool for network administrators and users alike. It offers the basic functionality for finding associated domain names, IP addresses, and other DNS data while being simple to use. However, for more advanced needs, you should consider using alternatives like dig or host.

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