How to Perform Reverse DNS Lookup and 5 Tools That Make it Easy

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Written by:Mohamed Natheem


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B2B businesses know how hard it is to generate valuable leads to grow their business. They perform various lead generation activities and spend resources to generate leads, nurture them, and convert them to paying customers.

While there are numerous ways to find leads, leveraging reverse DNS lookup can help businesses discover their website visitors and translate the findings into potential business leads.

Curious to know more? Let’s get straight into the nitty-gritty of reverse DNS lookup and how you can use it to grow your business.

Table of contents

What is reverse DNS lookup?

Reverse DNS lookup (rDNS Lookup) is a DNS query to find a domain name associated with an IP address. It is the exact opposite of DNS lookup, where the DNS is queried to return the IP address of a domain name.

Reverse DNS lookup

How does reverse DNS work?

Reverse DNS lookup uses PTR record to find the domain name. So what is the PTR record? DNS pointer record (or PTR record) returns the domain name associated with the IP address. It contains the list of IP addresses and their corresponding domain names.

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What are the uses of reverse DNS lookup?

Reverse DNS lookup is helpful in many cases, ranging from businesses looking to get prospects to email servers trying to identify spammers. Let's go over them in more depth.

✅ For B2B businesses

Reverse DNS lookup is quite beneficial for B2B companies. They can use the query to find valuable data about the people who visit their website. The most crucial factor is that these people are solution and product aware and will most likely buy from you.

✅ For email servers

Email servers use reverse DNS lookup to find whether the email message came from a legitimate server. If the email server is unable to find the PTR record or find the sender's server to be suspicious, the email server will reject the messages. It will hurt the email deliverability. It is also important to set up DKIM and SPF records to improve mail delivery.

How to do a reverse DNS lookup?

You can perform rDNS lookup by the following ways:

  1. Using Windows command line

  2. Using Linux terminal

  3. Using reverse DNS lookup tools

Let's go over them in detail.

1. Using Windows command line

You have to run a simple line in the Windows command prompt to perform the rDNS request. Follow these steps to do it right:

  • Open the command prompt.

  • Type nslookup followed by the IP address and press 'Enter.' For example, it can be nslookup

  • Now, the command prompt will return the DNS name and the IP you entered.

Reverse DNS Lookup on Windows

The command prompt will return an error, if it is unable to find the records.

Reverse DNS lookup error

2. Using Linux terminal

You can use the dig command to perform the reverse DNS lookup in Linux.

Here's the command: dig -x [ip_address]

The terminal will return the domain name associated with the entered IP address.

3. Reverse DNS lookup tools

Follow these steps to do reverse DNS lookup with online tools:

  • Go to any of the tools listed below.

  • Enter the IP address in the search box and search.

The tool will show you the DNS name of that IP. It’s that simple!

4 Reverse DNS lookup tools

There are many reverse DNS lookup checkers available online. However, we have put together a list of the best tools we could find to help you.

1. Mxtoolbox

Mxtoolbox offers a range of tools to help you with your email marketing, and one of the tools includes a reverse DNS checker.

Follow these steps to a reverse DNS lookup:

  1. Go to Mxtoolbox.

  2. Type the IP address in the search bar.

  3. Click Reverse Lookup.

You’ll see the domain name and additional information like Time To Live (TTL) period, blacklist, DNS propagation, subnet tool.

2. Whatismyip

Whatismyip is a popular tool to know your public IP address. It’s a fairly simple tool and doesn’t provide any additional information apart from the DNS name of the IP you entered.

Follow these steps to a reverse DNS lookup:

  1. Go to Whatismyip.

  2. Type the IP address in the search bar.

  3. Click Lookup.

You’ll see the hostname along with the IP address you entered.

3. DNS queries

DNSqueries is also similar to Whatismyip because it also just provides the hostname and nothing else. So if you’re just looking for the associated DNS name, you can try any of these two tools.

Follow these steps to a reverse DNS lookup:

  1. Go to DNS queries.

  2. Type the IP address in the search bar.

  3. Click Run Tool.

You’ll see the hostname along with the IP address you entered.

4. Hacker target

Hacker target’s reverse DNS lookup is just like other tools but with a twist. They don’t like robots, so you can see an “I’m not a robot” verification code you’ve to pass to know the DNS name. So if you decide to use this tool, do it manually and don’t automate it, as robots can’t pass that “I’m not a robot” verification code.

Follow these steps to a reverse DNS lookup:

  1. Go to Hacker Target.

  2. Type the IP address in the search bar.

  3. Complete the I’m not a robot CAPTCHA.

  4. Click Check Reverse DNS.

You’ll see the hostname along with the IP address you entered.

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Summing up

rDNS lookup is an underrated tool to generate leads for your business. You learnt how to use it to gather useful information on website visitors and turn them into customers.

The next step after lead generation is nurturing. You should consistently provide value to earn the trust and convert leads into paying customers. Read our guide on lead nurturing to do it right.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.

  2. Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Get started for free.

  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

About the author

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SEO Manager at Mailmodo

Natheem has prolific experience creating content that resonates with the audience and ranks on search engines. He specializes in email and SEO marketing. His work has been published in YourStory.

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