What is Whois Information?


Whois is a widely used Internet record listing that identifies who owns a domain and how to get in contact with them. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulates domain name registration and ownership. Whois records have proven to be extremely useful and have developed into an essential resource for maintaining the integrity of the domain name registration and website ownership process.

What is in a Whois record?

A Whois record contains all of the contact information associated with the person, group, or company that registers a particular domain name. Typically, each Whois record will contain information such as the name and contact information of the Registrant (who owns the domain), the name and contact information of the registrar Registrar (the organization or commercial entity that registered the domain name), the registration dates, the name servers, the most recent update, and the expiration date. Whois records may also provide the administrative and technical contact information (which is often, but not always, the registrant).


Whois Thick and Thin Models

There are two different data models for storing Whois resource information:

Thin Model. Thin Whois lookup only gives the registrar, name servers and registration dates. To acquire additional information, a secondary lookup at the registrar on file is necessary to attain full information on domain name ownership.

Thick Model. A thick Whois provides useful additional details beyond what is contained in a thin Whois record. Typically, the additional details contain contact (registrant, administrative, and technical) information. A lookup, then, will supply all the necessary information on who owns the domain, where it is registered, what name servers it uses, when it was registered and when it may expire.

It takes a lot of effort to track down Whois information given the large number of registrars and Whois servers out there. DomainTools makes it easy to find Whois information in one spot. Our Whois Lookup is a great place to start.

The purpose and value of the data in the Whois system has evolved in a number of ways over time including:

  1. 1.Reinforcing the stability and security of the Internet by providing network operators, computer incident response teams and ISPs with appropriate contacts
  2. 2.Regulating the registration status of domain names
  3. 3.Supporting law enforcement officials participating in national and international investigations.
  4. 4.Assisting in the battle against abusive uses of information communication technology, including illegal and other acts motivated by racial discrimination, violence, hatred, xenophobia, and related intolerance, any form of child abuse, child pornography, pedophilia, and exploitation of and trafficking in humans.
  5. 5.Supporting inquiries and necessary steps to carry out trademark clearances and to help expose intellectual property infringement, theft and misuse in accordance with applicable international treaties and national laws.
  6. 6.Helping businesses and other users and organizations in fighting fraud and safeguarding public interest
  7. 7.Upholding overall user confidence in the Internet as an efficient and reliable means of communication by helping users to identify which entities or persons are responsible for services and content online
  8. 8.Tracking down spam or malicious behaviorists

Accuracy of Whois information. The information in a Whois record is initially provided when a domain name is registered. Over time, things change, and the information gets out of date. ICANN requires domain registrants have the ability to update their contact details. Each registrar has slightly different procedures for changing the information that appears on a Whois record. It generally involves accessing account information via the registrar's website, or via a call center representative. Whois record changes may take a period of time (often in the vicinity of 24 hours) to take effect. Having accurate, up-to-date Whois data makes it easier to contact a registrant or administrator.

You can query for free at www.whois.net - or www.whois.com.



Who is Codes

Status Code

Description

addPeriod

This grace period is provided after the initial registration of a domain name. If the registrar deletes the domain name during this period, the registry may provide credit to the registrar for the cost of the registration.

autoRenewPeriod

This grace period is provided after a domain name registration period expires and is extended (renewed) automatically by the registry. If the registrar deletes the domain name during this period, the registry provides a credit to the registrar for the cost of the renewal.

inactive

This status code indicates that delegation information (name servers) has not been associated with the domain. The domain is not activated in the DNS and will not resolve.

ok

This is the standard status for a domain, meaning it has no pending operations or prohibitions.

pendingCreate

This status code indicates that a request to create the domain has been received and is being processed.

pendingDelete

This status code may be mixed with redemptionPeriod or pendingRestore. In such case, depending on the status set in the domain name, otherwise (not combined with other status), the pendingDelete status code indicates that the domain has been in redemptionPeriod status for 30 days and not restored. The domain will remain in this status for several days, after which time the domain will be dropped from the registry database.

Once deletion occurs, the domain is available for re-registration in accordance with the registry's policies.

pendingRenew

This status code indicates that a request to renew the domain has been received and is being processed.

pendingRestore

This status code indicates that your registrar has asked the registry to restore the domain that was in redemptionPeriod status. Your registry will hold the domain in this status while waiting for your registrar to provide required restoration documentation. If your registrar fails to provide documentation to the registry operator within a set time period to confirm the restoration request, the domain will revert to redemptionPeriod status.

pendingTransfer

This status code indicates that a request to transfer the domain to a new registrar has been received and is being processed.

pendingUpdate

This status code indicates that a request to update the domain has been received and is being processed.

redemptionPeriod

This status code indicates that your registrar has asked the registry to delete the domain. The domain will be held in this status for 30 days. After five calendar days following the end of the redemptionPeriod, the domain is purged from the registry database and becomes available for registration.

renewPeriod

This grace period is provided after a domain name registration period is explicitly extended (renewed) by the registrar. If the registrar deletes the domain name during this period, the registry provides a credit to the registrar for the cost of the renewal.

serverDeleteProhibited

This status code prevents the domain from being deleted. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, at your request, or when a redemptionPeriod status is in place.

serverHold

This status code is set by the domain's Registry Operator. The domain is not activated in the DNS.

serverRenewProhibited

This status code indicates the domain's Registry Operator will not allow your registrar to renew the domain. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes or when the domain is subject to deletion.

serverTransferProhibited

This status code prevents the domain from being transferred from your current registrar to another. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal or other disputes, at your request, or when a redemptionPeriod status is in place.

serverUpdateProhibited

This status code locks the domain preventing it from being updated. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, at your request, or when a redemptionPeriod status is in place.

transferPeriod

This grace period is provided after the successful transfer of a domain name from one registrar to another. If the new registrar deletes the domain name during this period, the registry provides a credit to the registrar for the cost of the transfer.