Old School HTTP: Impersonate a browser with Telnet

I have been having fun lately at work getting a public website hosted on a webserver inside a firewall sharing the same server (port and ip address) as other websites.

The IIS config is outside the scope of this post (Hint: HOST HEADER NAME should match the website name, for example http://www.google.com).

Also outside the scope is setting up a firewall/router to map the external ip address to the internal server address.

What I am going to discuss is the use of Telnet to impersonate a web browser.  This can be very useful to determine if you actually have got your website working and you are just waiting for the DNS entries to be propigated.

I am going to use google as an example (you would need to substitute your own site and ip address).

First I will find the ip address of google (it may have changed since this article was written).

At a command prompt type:

ping http://www.google.com

This should respond pinging google.com []


At a command prompt type:

telnet 80

GET / HTTP/1.1

Host: http://www.google.com

{Hit enter x3}

This should respond with some text.

It will start with:

HTTP/1.1 and then be followed (after some header details) with the html body of your website. 

If this works then you know that all you have to do is wait for the DNS records to be updated. 

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