Access via recorders (registrars)

Some websites provide whois service: this is usually an interface to query one or more bases whois records in order to find out if a domain name is available. But most of these services offer access to a limited number of areas (often the .com, .org, and .net) and sometimes a limited amount of data per domain.

Tip: To find a whois base, you can also search in an engine with the type of syntax: “whois .be” (to find whois database that takes into account the extension .be for Belgium). The motion proposes the following site: http://www.dns.be which is the Belgian register.

The whois database management and proposed formats can be very different depending on the registry that manages it. Furthermore, the search mode can vary between platforms. Among the most common possibilities include research by domain name registrar nameserver (DNS), IP address or Nic Handle.

Such research then provides information on the depositors (or registrants) domain names as well as all associated contacts. This can be very handy in case of dispute or just directly if you wish to contact the manager of a site.

Some of the information displayed when searching in a WHOIS database, you can often find (but it varies from the base managers) the following:

– Whois Server Version
– Domain Name
– Name registrar
– URL Whois server for this registrar
– URL of the site registrar
– DNS Servers
– Last modified
– Address of the owner of the domain name
– Address of the domain administrator
– Address of the technical contact of the domain name
– Modified, creation and expiration of the domain name

Behind this rather barbaric name hides a very valuable tool for any user who wants to surf “smart”. Whois (contraction of “who is?”, Literally “that is?”) Is a service for consulting the databases “registries” (in French records) to obtain information about a domain name like http://www.swcarpetcompany.co.uk/sw11/ or an IP address.

Origins

Behind this rather barbaric name hides a very valuable tool for any user who wants to surf “smart”.

Whois (contraction of “who is?”, Literally “that is?”) Is a service for consulting the databases “registries” (in French records) to obtain information about a domain name or an IP address. This tool makes it possible to obtain information about the owner of a domain name, address, e-mail and even phone number. Very useful when it comes to check the seriousness of a particular website.

For the record, was a Whois – originally – a Unix utility that allowed to question a system linked to network to see if a user was hosted by this system. But today, when we talk about whois tool, it refers mainly to databases that identify the top-level domain names (top level domain or TLD) generic (gTLD), geographical (ccTLD country code TLD) or sponsored (sTLD for sponsored TLD).

The bases of registers (registries)

It is often best – and sometimes necessary – to go directly to the registry’s website, in charge of the TLD, to obtain information on a given domain name. Specify a register is a body authorized by ICANN to manage over the domain name. So there is a registry for .com domain names, one for domain names in .com, etc.

Thus, to perform a search on a gTLD .com, we can connect to the website of NSI www.netsol.com (now Verisign) which is in charge of the register .com. However, if you want to know more about the applicant of a ccTLD, it will instead turn to the whois database of the various national registers. For a .com, it will connect to the AFNIC website (http://www.nic.fr or http://www.afnic.fr). But for a domain name with extension .es (Spain), it will be more advisable to connect to the site ESNIC (https://www.nic.es/).

A complete list of registries (with direct access to the Whois database) is available at the following address:
http://www.norid.no/domenenavnbaser/domreg.html