Network information tools like SmartWhois search for and display all available information about a Web site, including who owns it, where it's hosted, and relevant addresses, names, dates, and technical support contacts. SmartWhois Launcher from TamoSoft is a free Firefox add-on that can query SmartWhois from the browser interface. It only works with the shareware version of SmartWhois, not the Web-based search tool.
We installed SmartWhois Launcher and restarted Firefox. The add-on has no options to configure, but it really doesn't need any since it's a very simple app that does one thing: lets you initiate SmartWhois queries from the Firefox Tools menu or by right-clicking a hyperlink and selecting the SmartWhois entry on the context menu. We browsed to a Web site and right-clicked a hyperlink. At the bottom of the context menu was an entry marked Send Link to SmartWhois. We clicked it, and a small dialog appeared with the address displayed in a drop-down menu and buttons for querying it as a domain or as an IP address and hostname. We tried both, and each time SmartWhois quickly opened with search results displayed. We queried another link, and this time we clicked the drop-down menu to select a previously searched address. Once again, SmartWhois displayed the available information about the Web site. Clicking the SmartWhois entry on the Firefox Tools menu also called up the site query tool.
If you're running SmartWhois as a standalone app, it makes sense to add quick access to its services via your browser, and SmartWhois Launcher does that well. Unlike the add-on, though, SmartWhois isn't free, and it requires network access via two system ports to query the databases its service provides. Newer versions of SmartWhois bundle extensions for all major browsers, too. And much of what SmartWhois does is available freely at SmartWhois.com, which is hosted by the Tucows domain service. If you're using SmartWhois and Firefox and don't have SmartWhois Launcher, though, we recommend acquiring Launcher right away.