Etherscan is a block explorer, analytics solution, and community platform that allows you to view details on any Ethereum related blockchain transaction.
It gives anyone the ability to access blockchain related data associated with smart contracts, wallets addresses and dApps to help confirm transactions, understand events, track holdings, and more
The Etherscan solution is a widely used application and makes understanding on-chain transactions easier for non-technical users. You can think of it as a search engine for Ethereum.
Etherscan serves as search engine for the Ethereum blockchain. Like many other block explorers it's used for researching, confirming, and validating on-chain transactions.
Its uses cases can be broad depending on what you goal is. With Etherscan users can perform research, track wallets, mint directly from contracts, send messages via Blockscan and more.
The best way to understand its use cases it to just dive in and explore it (link).
No, to leverage the Etherscan block explorer you do not need an account. You are free to search wallet addresses, view transactions, confirm events without creating or connecting a wallet.
With this being said if you are looking to perform certain transaction or interact with smart contracts via the platform you will be required to connect your Ethereum wallet.
If you do not have an Ethereum wallet you can create one with Metamask, Ledger, Rainbow, or other popular solutions.
Etherscan is a free way to access important information related to blockchain transactions. For Ethereum users the platform serves as an excellent educational resource that gives anyone the ability to better understand what's happening on-chain at anytime.
Whether it's tracking a popular dApp's usage, learning how to confirm transactions, or discovering how to surface and spot suspicious network activity Etherscan is where most users should start in their research.
Some examples of use cases include:
Interacting with the Ethereum network requires the use of gas. This gas is a fee required by the nework to confirm transactions and fluctuates by the block your transaction is contained within.
To check current gas prices you can simply navigate to the Gas Tracker in Etherscans tools section and access insights on Gwei, hisorical gas prices and more. (See picture Below).