What sites are there to detect what web host is hosting a website?

  • what do you mean by host?
    – txwikinger
    Jul 10 '10 at 2:22
  • @txwikinger: Sorry if the question isn't clear. I added an example answer to explain what I mean, so if you can look at that site hopefully you can work out what I'm asking for.
    – delete
    Jul 10 '10 at 2:24

One way of getting some initial information is to look at the domain's registration record. This sometimes gives you clues about whose server the website is hosted on by looking at the DNS server entries. You can look up these records at any whois service, such as www.whois.net.

In the cases where the DNS server does not give any answers on the hoster, you can often trace the range of IP addresses being used back to a specific provider using an IPWhois search. If you start at the ARIN WHOIS Database Search it will either tell you who owns the netblock, or will refer you to a different search such as at APNIC. You can also get the netblock owner and other interesting statistics by running a "What's that site running?" query at NetCraft

Yet another way of tracing where a site is hosted is to look at its MX (mailserver) DNS entries. Although these are not as tightly linked to the web site as they used to be with the advent of third-party email services like Google Apps, they can often still provide useful information. To look this information up, you need to use a tool called NSLOOKUP. This is available on many operating systems, or you can use an online version like the one at Kloth.Net. Type in the domain name you're interested in (example.org, not www.example.org), and choose to run an MX query.

  • I would just skip to doing a WHOIS lookup of the IP address. That will tell you the webhost 99% of the time. I usually use geektools.com/whois.php . A CAPTCHA is required for each lookup, but it works for any hostname or IP. Dec 22 '10 at 20:19


  • Does not work very well
    – txwikinger
    Jul 10 '10 at 2:21
  • @txwikinger: Thanks for your info. This question and answers are community wiki, so feel free to edit the answer, downvote or give specific failings.
    – delete
    Jul 10 '10 at 2:37
  • Worked pretty well for me. Jul 10 '10 at 3:07

I usually use the geotool extension for firefox. For example for this site.


  • 1
    I tried it and got some wrong results.
    – delete
    Jul 10 '10 at 5:39
  • @Kinopiko Who did you get incorrect results on? Jul 10 '10 at 17:18
  • My sites, and my web registrar's site.
    – delete
    Jul 10 '10 at 17:32
  • I think that the link is a bad example, it shows that this site is hosted in the middle of the campaign which I seriously doubt !
    – HoLyVieR
    Jul 11 '10 at 14:01
  • @HoLyVieR The middle of the campaign? When I click it, it says hosted by PEAK Internet in Oregon. Could have some issues with collocation though, but the ISP should still resolve correct. Jul 11 '10 at 14:15
  1. Start your favorite Linux
  2. Open a terminal
  3. type "$whois www.domain.tld"
  4. Read

This can give you the desired information. You can try running any command line execution command through PHP, Python, Ruby or Java from your hosting service.

Well, after hand crafted solution, you can finally if you wish, go to current national domain registration entities. They provide the most accurate information - far better than easy to find one size fits all services.


I generally use http://www.whoishostingthis.com/, simple, does the job, and they claim to be more reliable than Netcraft (also excellent, but more powerful and therefore a little less user-friendly).

Love the bookmarklet that lets you see the hosting company of the site you're currently browsing: http://www.whoishostingthis.com/tools/

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