Checking internet connectivity of Data Centers

This trick may help when you are planing to buy a web hosting / dedicated server from a totally new data center / reseller. This is for beginners mostly.

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Before I start let me explain a few things in order to make this article easier for beginners.
What is an AS?
Autonomous system – it’s a number allocated to internet service providers / ISP. Check the Wikipediaarticle about AS for more details.
What is an IP Address?
Check the Wikipedia article for a fully understanding of a IP address. What you need to know is that all web sites are hosted under a IP address (shared – more web sites are sharing the same ip address or dedicated – one ip address per web site).

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Let’s get started
In this article I will take as an example (a web hosting company).
First of all we need to find out the real ip of this web site, I’ll use the ping command included into all windows/linux operating systems.

Now that we know the ip address we are going to find out the AS number.
For this I’ll use a Looking Glass, there are other ways but I like this one since it shows a few important details.
Let’s use Telia’s Looking Glass, keep in mind that you should not abuse of this free resources offered by most ISPs.

Here is a picture on how you should configure Telia’s LG in order to find out mediatemple’s AS, you can use a different location, I picked Amsterdam.

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Here is what you should see after clicking Submit:

What interests us is the red text and the 3 AS numbers shown there, and that’s is: 3549, 558 and 31815.
You can use Robtex in order to find out who is the owner of a AS and to see how many internet service providers that AS uses.
Now let’s see:
AS31815 – this is Media Temple’s AS number
AS558 – this is Net2ez’s AS number
As you can see Robtex shows in detail the number of connections that Net2ez has, the more the better.
After checking a bit Media Temple’s web site I found that they are hosting their servers into Net2ez’s data centers, and from this investigation we can see that they are telling the truth.
Something else that’s worth mentioning is that some web hosting firms are hosting their web sites in a different location then they are hosting their clients. In that case this article won’t help.

You should stay away from firms that are missing:
+ AS number
+ At least a few internet service providers