WHOIS – What is it?

In this article we will outline what WHOIS exactly is, how it works, what kind of information you can store and more.

WHOIS – What is it?

When a domain name is registered it means that it belongs to someone, and that registration information is completely public.

What is WHOIS

Imagine a global catalog of domain ownership and controller information, that is WHOIS. It stores information like who the domain is registered with, name, address, phone number, email, and server name information. The institution that regulates the WHOIS database is called ICANN or International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN provides a “free, publicly available directory containing the contact and technical information of registered domain name registrants”, according to their website.

The Purpose

WHOIS is helping to democratize the internet, especially with the rise and prominence of fake news. Basically, anyone from corporations and businesses to law enforcement, and common users can access and use the WHOIS database to find out who is behind a domain name.

The Information

The registrant must supply accurate information when a domain name is registered. Be careful not to supply with false information – you are risking of losing your domain. According to ICANN “if the domain name registrant knowingly provides inaccurate information, fails to update information within seven days of any change, or does not respond within 15 days to an inquiry about accuracy, the domain name may be suspended or cancelled”. 

Privacy

Anyone can check WHOIS and there is no way to hide the existence of a domain registration.  

Some domain registrars are offering private registration services in which only the registrar`s contact information is shown. We must mention that registrars are bound by law to release private information if needed!

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