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What is WHOIS?

Registration information for any domain name, including who owns it, is automatically made public.

WHOIS is a method for preserving this information and making it searchable by the public.

In this article, we'll explore the WHOIS public database to determine what information is stored there, why it's available, and how to use it. We will also examine the choices available to you for protecting the privacy of your WHOIS information.

What is WHOIS Information?

WHOIS is a public database that stores the information acquired when a domain name is registered or when DNS settings are modified.

The WHOIS database is governed by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Since 1982, in the wild and woolly days of the early Internet, they have done so. The WHOIS service is described as "...a free, publicly accessible directory including the contact and technical information of domain name registrants."

The WHOIS database stores registration data from a variety of sources, all of which are handled by distinct registries and registrars. Domain extensions are owned and managed by registries, such as Verisign, which owns.com and.net, but they are not sold. Instead, different registrars sell and register their domains.

What is the purpose of the WHOIS database?

The database was initially constructed as a directory. It listed "the contact information... of everybody transferring data via the ARPANET," constituting a fundamental component of the Internet as we know it today.

Take into account: The Internet as we know it today is tremendously enormous. On the Internet, you can probably find just about anything. But how frequently have you considered where the information comes from and who is behind it? It is more vital than ever to determine the source of your information in light of the development and visibility of false news.

WHOIS aids in the democratization of the Internet. The WHOIS database can be accessed and utilized by anybody, from businesses and organizations to law enforcement and individual users, to determine who is behind a domain name and any connected website.

Additionally, many individuals believe the WHOIS database to be a valuable resource for business prospects. If you plan to bring your business online or launch a website, you will need a domain name. However, as you go, you may discover that the domain name you desire is already registered. You can utilize the WHOIS database to obtain their contact information and then call out to them in an attempt to negotiate and acquire the desired domain name.

What types of data are stored within the WHOIS database?

When a domain name is registered, the registrant is required to provide accurate information. If you provide inaccurate information during domain registration, you face the risk of losing your domain. "If the domain name registrant deliberately supplies incorrect information, fails to update information within seven days after any change, or fails to reply to a query regarding accuracy within 15 days, the domain name may be suspended or terminated," states ICANN.

Included in the data acquired during the domain registration procedure are:

Phone Number.
Electronic mail address.

These are extremely sensitive information to have readily available, especially on the Internet. There are solutions available if you do not want all of your personal information to be immediately searchable by everyone with an internet connection.

Almost every domain name registrar offers domain privacy, which is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of displaying your contact information in WHOIS Lookup results, domain privacy allows you to substitute the registrar's information. If someone needs to contact you regarding your domain name, your registrar works as a "middle man" and forwards any requests to you to review and respond to.

We have taken domain privacy to the next level. Domain Privacy + Protection is a solution that keeps your information out of the WHOIS database and provides malware scans and blacklist protection, with SiteLock powering the latter.

WHOIS Lookup results display information about your registrar, administrative contacts, and technical contacts in addition to your information (or your registrar's information if domain privacy is enabled). This information is extremely useful if you encounter technical troubles with your domain or website.

WHOIS Lookup limitations

While the WHOIS database contains a wealth of information about registered domain names, it does not display all of the registration details for each domain name. Certain TLDs, such as.com and.net, will always have their registration data in the WHOIS database. Other TLDs, such as .me and .gov, show less information. Then there are domain extensions that do not allow for domain privacy, such as .asia or .coop, so the registrant information is always searchable and viewable.

ICANN is constantly working to improve the WHOIS system, recognizing that "the evolution of the Internet ecosystem has created challenges for WHOIS in every area."


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