Whois: what it is and where it is used

Whois is a special protocol on the Internet that allows you to find out the status of a selected domain name, as well as detailed information about it. It may be free or busy at the moment. There are several whois services, information about which will be written below.

Detailed description of the protocol

The main purpose of whois is to get data about a domain in text form. Anyone can find out who is the owner of a domain name and when exactly it became one. This information will help to contact him and negotiate the redemption of the address, if such a possibility exists.

It is possible to check domain occupancy without using whois. To do this, you just need to type the domain name in the search box and send a query. But in practice this method does not always work, as a person could rent a domain name, but not use it at the moment.

The protocol described above takes all registration data from public sources, so there is no need to worry about security. Each whois shows different information. One utility prefers a more detailed description of the current owners, while the other shows all the data cursorily.

How to check whois

The main advantage of whois is that almost all the information you need can be obtained for free. To start checking, just open the selected service, find the search bar and enter into it the selected domain name. The request will be processed from a few seconds to a minute, depending on the load on the server. After that, the user will open a table with the exact registration data. If the domain is busy, you will see the date of purchase. If it is free, the service will notify that the domain name is available for rent.

Every year there are new domain zones, which can be specific. Because of this, not all services can check them. If an error occurs when initiating the check, you should choose another utility. It is likely that it already supports the new domain zone.

Very often when you check the whois, the registrar and not the owner of the site are displayed. This protects confidential information. Each site owner, when registering a domain name, has the opportunity to activate Privacy Protection service, which completely hides personal information. It will not appear in any of the whois services. If the site owner wants to use this feature, he should contact the registrar directly. This service can be paid or free.

What you can find out in whois

When you enter a domain name into the whois search box, you can get the following information:

  1. The date of registration and expiration of the lease.
  2. Details of the domain owner, including registration location.
  3. The name of the site to which the domain is attached.
  4. The name of the registrar.
  5. The current status of the domain.

The information you get allows you to contact the owner directly.

Many people use whois service to find out the registrar to file a complaint against a site that engages in illegal activities or repeatedly violates established rules. The utility also helps to find out the past owners of the domain. This is essential information that will help protect against the wrong choice. If the domain was previously assigned to a site with multiple violations, it is better to bypass it, as promotion will be difficult.

Descriptions of basic whois fields

The main fields when checking are as follows:

  1. Domain Status. Displays the current status of the selected domain. For example, it may be leased, occupied, or vacant.
  2. Registrar WHOIS Server. Here you write the name of the company that acted as registrar.
  3. DNSSEC. Allows you to find out the verification status of the domain name owner. It is not displayed in all cases and has almost no effect on anything.
  4. Updated Date. Recent changes to the information about the domain. They may be made after the lease term has changed or expired.
  5. Creation Date. The date of initial registration of the domain name on the Internet.
  6. Registrant Name. This field contains several additional footnotes. They contain detailed information and all data about the owner. If he chose to hide them, the field will be completely missing.
  7. Registrar Registration Expiration Date. The expiration date of the domain lease.
  8. Registrar Abuse Contact Email. This item contains information about the mailbox where you can send letters of wishes, questions, or complaints.
  9. Name Server. Shows hosting records where the site is hosted geographically.

There are other fields, but they are less important.

How to know the hoster of a domain name using whois

To do this is much easier than it may seem at first glance. All the necessary information can be found in the NS records. That is where the data about the hosting provider is hidden. In most services, this item is called nserver. But 100% can not trust the information provided, as the site owner could also hide it with the help of special utilities. For example, Cloudflare. It helps to hide hosting information and show your company data.

You can use any whois server to search for a hoster, from new to old. All of them have almost the same features and similar interface.

Are site owners allowed to indicate fake information about themselves when registering a domain

No, this is not allowed. If the registrar notices that incorrect information was entered, there is a great risk of permanently losing the domain name. And without the possibility of re-purchasing it from the current registrar. After the lease, the site owner can change the settings, make changes to the current information or change the registrar. When registering be sure to specify your real e-mail. This is where you will receive important information regarding the domain or changes in settings.

If the registration was specified fictitious information, then in the case of a hacked account owner of the site will not be able to return the lost access, as he has no supporting documents.

Do I have to use Privacy Protection

Using this service is optional. It is necessary for those website owners who want to hide personal information about themselves when checking through whois services. You can activate Privacy Protection during registration or after purchasing a domain. In most cases, the service is free, as it is already included in the domain name lease.

If a person wants to enable Privacy Protection by themselves, it is not possible to do this. First, you have to contact the registrar's support team and tell them what you want to do. They will review the information and activate the function as soon as possible. The way to disable it is exactly the same.

The best whois services for verification

There are now many tools on the Internet to check the domain name. If one is interested in obtaining accurate information, it is worth trusting only proven services. They will be described below.

Namemesh Whois

Our Whois service, located here

Unix whois

Popular service, which is endowed with not only pluses but also minuses. The structure of its work is as follows:

  1. When searching for a particular domain name, do not forget about the top-level domain. It should always be spelled out. If you miss it, the search will be inaccurate.
  2. The user has the ability to select the desired whois server.
  3. Intuitive interface for the user.

As for the disadvantages, the utility does not always give detailed information about the domain name found. Very often it is limited to a simple name, registrar and current administrator.

Official whois service

Intuitive utility to quickly search for a selected domain name. Shows accurate information from public sources. Additionally in the search bar you can find out the current ip-address. The user will see a complete list of all the necessary information, if it has not been hidden.


Whois services are simple, but at the same time necessary utilities when choosing a domain name. Anyone can master their functionality in just a couple of minutes.