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Comparison Tool FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use this tool against public mirrors of popular IP address DNSBLs?

Yes, but you should NOT do this.

Most of the time, public mirrors are offered for free service tiers.

You should only run the “Comparison Tool” where you pay for the other service, have a local rsync copy of the zone you are testing, and have an API/Query key with that service to make queries.

The tool will generate a lot of queries in quick succession, so this will usually be against free public mirror service terms and is generally unfriendly.


Do you charge to use this tool or the queries to Abusix Mail Intelligence?

No, the “Comparison Tool” is designed for those running a trial of Abusix Mail Intelligence.

You should not run the tool if you already have an Abusix Mail Intelligence subscription, as it will dramatically increase your average query count, which can affect billing.


Can I use the tool to compare domain lists?

No, the “Comparison Tool” only supports IP lookups.

Each domain blocklist (e.g., SURBL, URIBL, etc.) works very differently from each other; some list hostnames, and others have domain stripping rules specific to that list, so comparing domain lists becomes very difficult to do accurately.


Can I compare Abusix Mail Intelligence with <Insert DNSBL here>?

Yes, the “Comparison Tool” works with any IP address DNSBL that implements RFC 5782, so the DNSBL tested against MUST return positive for a lookup to (to prove it works).

The tool runs pre-flight checks to ensure both lists are queryable and working and will return an error if not.

You should only run the comparison with a list that works similarly to Abusix Mail Intelligence (e.g., it's a blocklist, and a positive result should be blocked), not a reputational (where the return code denotes trust) or classification list (that classifies IPs into segments or categories).


How many DNSBL queries will the tool make?

The “Comparison Tool” will generate between 3x, and 4x the number of DNS queries as IPs inputted.

For example: if you are using log file mode and you've followed the instructions above to create an input file containing "<occurrences>, <ip>" and you have 300k entries in that file, then the tool will make 600k DNS lookups

  1. Once for Abusix Mail Intelligence for the “comparison” list
  1. It also does rDNS lookups on each, resulting in another 300k rDNS lookups.
  1. Any positive result for either the Abusix list or another list will result in a lookup into the Abusix Mail Intelligence Whitelist as well.

How much DNS concurrency does the tool use?

The “Comparison Tool” limits the amount of running DNS queries to 50 at a time, so at most, there will only ever be 50 in-flight queries.


Which DNS servers does the tool use?

The “Comparison Tool” uses whatever DNS servers are configured on the host it is running on, so you need to ensure that the host is configured correctly and can resolve names in the namespace of the comparison list. This is particularly important if you are running a comparison against an internal dataset you are serving via rbldnsd (e.g., you have to have the appropriate "glue" records along with ACLs to allow the DNS servers configured on the host to allow the tool to query the list).


Does the tool report any data back to Abusix?



Is the source code available for the tool?

No - not at this time.


You're supplying the tool as a binary; what exactly does the binary contain?

The “Comparison Tool” is NodeJS run-time, with all necessary modules compiled into a single binary using the "nexe" module.

Learn more about the Comparison Tool

Back to the Overview of Abusix Mail Intelligence


Still, need help?

No problem; click the chat button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and send us your questions. Alternatively, you can email us at support@abusix.com


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