Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer

See exactly what an HTTP request returns to your browser

URL New! Now supports https://
Request Type
GET (Header & Content)
HEAD (Header only)
TRACE (Reiterate request)
Display Format
User-Agent (optional)
Referer (optional)
Auto-Follow Location


Basically, just enter a URL and then click the Submit button. The fine print follows...

Windows Secrets Newsletter 9-Jul-2015
Tools for foiling malicious links and files: Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer reveals browser activity.
A special "thank you" from Yves Latour, co-founder of the search engine for brochures & catalogs:
10-Jul-2008 is a search engine for brochures and catalogs. Everyone owning some sort of product catalog using the popular PDF format can have it added for free. There are no catchy terms attached, but the catalog file should be online already and allow an easy spidering and fetching. The robots.txt file is supported.

Sometimes our catalog spider cannot fetch a catalog as supposed or we have a problem with one of our own web documents. Usually, the first move is getting over to Rex Swain's HTTP Viewer, slapping the URL into the input box to check the document header. In most cases this gives us the information we need to know to be able to understand the problem. We appreciate the existence of such free tools. Thank you, Rex, for saving us time!

From Fred Langa's "LangaList" Newsletter 17-Feb-2000
LangaList reader Rex Swain is a consultant and needed a way to see easily what was going on behind the scenes of various web sites when he clicked in. So, he wrote an "HTTP Viewer" that anyone can use (for free!). It intercepts and displays *everything* that transpires between a browser and any given web page, showing you stuff your browser normally hides.

For example, when you connect to Amazon.Com, you'll normally see your browser churn for a few seconds (showing a blank page) and then the Amazon home page comes up. But Rex's tool lets you see that you're actually viewing three pages in rapid succession: An initial page quickly redirects you to a second page that sets a cookie; and then that page dumps you to a third page where another cookie is set. Your browser only shows you the third page, but Rex's spy tool lets you see everything -- and I mean everything -- that's going on, including the cookie contents and the URLs of the hidden pages.

From Netsurfer Digest 28-Jul-2000
Cool Web Analysis Tools for the Rest of Us

What's really going on when you type that URL into your browser? Rex Swain has put together a site that can show you. Who knew, for example, that connecting to actually shoots you through three pages (setting cookies all the way) before you're finally presented with the user interface screen? There's more. You can find out what's being used on the server (Apache 1.3.4, anyone?) of your choice. The site's not bulletproof - it times out after ten seconds, so we had to try some page tests several times before they took and yielded data. One other thing: Rex's probes don't function on secured servers. We can live with that; it's a great tool, and provided free of charge.

What You'll See

The Header section shows stuff that your browser would receive but not display. For example:

The Content section shows the data that your browser would display for you -- somewhat like using your browser's View Source feature.

In a text display, non-text characters are shown as follows:


Source Code

My HTTP Viewer is useful as is, and demonstrates the quality of work that consulting clients can expect from me. Sorry, but the source code is not available -- I give away a lot of material on my site, but not everything!

Other Tools

See my home page for other summaries and demos: APL, REXX, XEDIT, KEDIT, Perl, HTML, RGB Colors, HTTP Cookies, Email Forms, CGI Environment Variables, Server Side Includes, etc...


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Last updated 22 May 2019

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