I'm trying to access a website whose domain has just expired. The old IP address resolves to which is the parent hosting company and not a dedicated address.

The domain name was registered to godaddy as identified by a WHOIS so it's possible that the website still exists even though the domain does not.

Given an IP, is it possible to redirect myself there while convincing the webserver that I want to be redirected to the appropriate virtualhost?


Well, if you have IP address on which web site is still working, then you can bypass DNS system by adding record to your hosts file (/etc/hosts on Unix systems).

Record should look like this: <ip.address> <domain.name>

Like: example.com

Your system will first look into hosts file and only if there is no matching record it will do DNS request. So, that can allow you to access virtual hosts which doesn't have DNS records pointed at them.

  • I tried that but it just loads the host's website as if I'd only entered the IP. – Zhro Aug 20 '16 at 9:07
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    @Zhro: Then perhaps the web server no longer hosts that domain, either? If it did, then it wouldn't care – and wouldn't even know – that http://example.com/ goes through /etc/hosts and not DNS. (I've used this method in the past, successfully.) – grawity Aug 20 '16 at 9:16
  • @Zhro As @grawity already said - this most likely means that virtual host you're trying to reach is also turned off. Web servers detect site by Host HTTP header. So, if you have Host header set correctly in your HTTP requests and server still responds with wrong web page, then you're just getting default virtual host on that IP. Host header can be inspected in developer tools depending on browser you are using. For firefox it would be Developer -> Network. – Pavel Kazhevets Aug 20 '16 at 9:24

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