Recently a friend of mine was about to purchase something online. Since he was inexperienced in shopping online, he consulted me and I told him to make sure that the site was reliable. I helped him determine whether or not the website should be trusted. We started off with finding any user comments on other trustworthy websites about that online store – we failed to find any. Next I tried out a more simple approach. The store claimed to be based in Canada; but with the help of a great Firefox add-on I found out that its IP address belonged to China. Needless to say, my friend did not go on with the purchase.
Checking if a site’s server is where it claims to be can be a quick way to measure the site’s reliability. Although not all security decisions should be based on the server’s location alone, it can give us another thing to factor in our decision. Today I will be sharing with you the tool I used to perform this task – Flagfox.
Flagfox is a great add-on for the Mozilla Firefox browser. With it installed, we can view a website’s server’s location country’s flag in the address bar.
For example, let us consider a website I frequent everyday: FileHippo. Here is what Firefox’s address bar looked like when I opened FileHippo after installing the extension:
You can see the flag of America. If we click on this flag, more specific details about the server are opened in a new browser tab.
Apart from security purposes, this nifty extension can be used for finding similar sites/reviews, SEO research, diagnostics like pings/traceroutes, Whois/DNS information, page code validation, and copying a server’s IP address (or other information).
- Site safety and malware checks
- Finding similar sites and reviews
- Automatic translation to your language
- SEO and web development research
- Diagnostics like pings and traceroutes
- Whois and DNS information
- Page code validation
- Quick URL shortening
- Copying a server’s IP address or other info
- or you can create your own custom actions
Using very little system resources and never getting in the way, Flagfox provides an impressive set of uses and it should be installed by all Firefox users.