WHOIS identity
WHOIS Identity, pic credit: Wikimedia

WHOIS is not an acronym. I have always been curious as to what does it actually stands for, I know for sure now, even if it looks like an acronym, it actually is as it appears “who is”, as part of the system asking who is solely responsible for the domain name and or the IP address.

Can you imagine how many domains have been registered to date as well as on a daily basis? Millions and millions of domains have been registered by individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, etc.

Information required to register a domain name

The ‘WHOIS data’ as referred to, requires contact information as well as identifying who the domain belongs to, the information includes:

  • The Name of the person, organization, business or government who owns the domain
  • The address in which they stay or operate
  • Phone Number to which they can be contacted including admin and technical contacts

The data is managed by registrars/registries and thus WHOIS is not a solely centrally-operated database.

All independent registrars are ICANN accredited; they are under a contract with ICANN to operate generic top-level domains such as a .COM, which is the largest used top-level extension, a .ORG, and or new gTLDs such as .Joburg, .capetown, .recipe, .storage, .link, .dev etc.

WHOIS is committed to maintaining thorough and complete WHOIS information of cause subject to applicable laws. Registrars/Registries ensure there’s public access of data of all registered domains – this gives access to everyone, and thus anyone can make use of the WHOIS protocol to person a search, this information includes the domain name registrant.

Domain name registrants are required to always provide acute WHOIS data, and ensuring the accuracy of the WHOIS data is intact at all times throughout the registration period.

Part of an agreement with registrants is ensuring the information provided is reliable, provided wrong information may end up in your domain registration suspended or canceled. This may happen even if you ignore inquiries from your domain registrar about the accuracy of your WHOIS information.

To perform a thorough WHOIS lookup, you can make use of GoDaddy’s WHOIS because it is reliable and supports most TLDs.


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