NeoTrace is a really cool Windows program (trial version available at WWW.NEOTRACE.COM) which, when given an IP address or domain name, will plot graphically on a world map the route that internet data packets have taken to get from you to them, as well as all available information about the various machines along the path.

It is invaluable for finding out all sorts of interesting geographical information about the net, other users, web servers, and so on. Combines many of the features of a Reverse DNS search, a Whois lookup, a TraceRoute command, and more..

The UNIX equivalent would probably be Xtraceroute, a beautiful OpenGL traceroute utility that shows a globe with your traceroute path on it. I've only ever seen it running on an UltraSPARC and it's about as sexy as network software is ever likely to get: according to the homepage it has also been successfully compiled on GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and SGI.

The homepage is at http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/~d3august/xt/index.html

This software does indeed rock. The only drawback we found when evaluating it was that if your organization has a firewall in place, you are pretty much restricted to using NeoTrace within the confines of your intranet. NeoWorks has a "solution" for getting around this problem, but it basically entails punching a big-ass hole in your security.

NeoTrace can be used for all sorts of fun hacker shit, but since I am not that talented it has become yet another nifty toy.

For example, I was wondering why E2's server time was so far off from my own (Mountain Standard). I thought that perhaps it was in fact the local time at the server's location, and it was located somewhere far away.

So I typed in E2's URL and found out that the server is actually located in or near San Franscisco, California and there is no reason that the server time is seven hours ahead of me even though we are only one time zone apart.

Isn't NeoTrace cool?

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