WHOIS As a Service and How it Operates

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

The service known as WHOIS is a TCP – based query/response protocol. The use of this protocol is almost as old as the Internet itself and originated as a method that allowed system administrators to look up information to contact other IP addresses or domain name administrators.

WHOIS stands as an easy to use method of finding out information about the owner of a domain name, an IP address or an autonomous system number on the Internet. By performing a simple search on the WHOIS website you can find out all the information that you could possibly need to know about a domain name and its owner. Some of the information that will be discovered during your WHOIS search are things such as to who a domain is registered to and their contact information such as email address and telephone number. In the case of a privately owned domain, the WHOIS database contains the full name, address, telephone number, and email address of the registered owner of the domain. If the domain is owned by a business, the company name, address, email, and telephone number are listed. There are also fields for a domain administrator, technical administrator, and other contacts. The expiration date of the registration period is also listed.

The way in which WHOIS works is that the WHOIS service operates through a WHOIS server and anyone can connect to a WHOIS server. By connecting to a WHOIS server you are able to send a query regarding a domain name then when your query is received it will be resolved to the best that it can be and once your query has been resolved the connection to the server will be closed. The most common use of the WHOIS website is to find information about domain names, especially to check the availability of a domain name or for information regarding the registrant of a domain name.

When you are performing a search via the WHOIS website you can find out who registered the domain name and exactly when the domain name was registered. A WHOIS search can also reveal the name or network mapped to a numerical IP address.

When the WHOIS website was set up and during the first start up aspects of the site the WHOIS searches were made using a command line interface; however in more recent times a number of simplified web-based tools now exist for looking up domain ownership details from different databases. Web-based WHOIS clients still rely on the WHOIS protocol to connect to a WHOIS server and do lookups, and command-line WHOIS clients are still quite widely used by system administrators.

WHOIS has been a major factor when it comes to a way of storing information about domain name holders and as a way of allowing people to find information about domain name holders; however there have been concerns surrounding the abuse of information which is available through the WHOIS website. This has prompted many studies into the accuracy of WHOIS and about the overall effectiveness of the process.

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