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NetTool Web & Network Debugger 4.5.0 - SSL Tunnel, HTTP Redirects, Cookies & more

Posted by neilotoole on May 16, 2006 at 8:01 PM PDT

If you're not familiar with NetTool, visit for an overview. But essentially, NetTool is a set of utilities for debugging web & network applications, especially HTTP-based apps (such as web services). There are two main components: a HTTP Client (analogous to a web browser), and a TCP Tunnel.

Since version 4.2.0, the following features have been added:

  • Configurable via properties file: NetTool now remembers URL history, window location, etc.. It is also possible to set parameters such as socket timeouts etc.. The configuration is stored by default in a file called in the NetTool directory.
  • HTTP Client follows redirects: By default, the HTTP Client will now follow redirects for the GET & HEAD methods (as per the HTTP spec). A menu item allows you to set the redirect policy to follow redirects for all HTTP methods, or none at all.
  • HTTP Client tracks cookies: just like a browser. Again there is a menu item to enable / disable this function, and to clear the cookie cache.
  • HTTP Client supports HTTP Basic Authentication: You can now use the "Authentication" tab to enter a username / password for use with the Basic Auth scheme.
  • TCP Tunnel headless mode: You can now start the TCP Tunnel without the GUI. This is useful if you want to install a tunnel as a service etc.. Edit the script "start-tunnel.bat" to configure the tunnel appropriately.
  • TCP Tunnel SSL support: The TCP Tunnel can both listen on and tunnel to an SSL socket. This allows the creation of SSL tunnels, e.g. to get around firewalls etc. or to test an SSL-enabled app (e.g. the tunnel can listen on a regular socket, but tunnel to the app's SSL-enabled socket.
  • TCP Tunnel network interface selection: You can now select the local IP address / network interface to listen on (e.g if you have a multi-homed machine and want to listen on only one IP address).

You can download NetTool from All comments, bug reports, etc. to

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