What is Whois?

Whois is an extremely useful tool for those who are looking to create their own websites because it lists the names of all of the domain names that are currently being used, who has them, and how you can get in contact with those people. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulates the domain names that are able to be used and essentially ensures that the process of creating a domain name is kept to a high standard of integrity and organization. Whois helps with this goal.

What Kind of Information is in a Record on Whois?

Whois records primarily consist of all of the information that is needed in order to contact an individual or organization that maintains control over a particular domain name. The name and contact information of the company that registered the domain name, known as the Registrar, will be included, as well as the name and contact information of the person or group that owns the domain itself. The dates that the domain was registered and the servers updated will also be included in a record. Finally, the last piece of information will usually be the date that the control over the domain will expire if it is not renewed.

What is a Thin Whois Model?

A thin Whois model will only contain the contact information for the company that registered the domain name, rather than the registrant him or herself, the date that the domain name was registered, and the name of the servers on which the website is being hosted. In order to get more information, a second lookup will need to be made.

What is in a Thick Whois Model?

A thick Whois model is the model that is provided after a second lookup is made and has all of the information that is in a thin model, plus the contact information for the registrant, any contact information for the technical support that is being used, and precisely where it is registered. This will also include the expiration date of the ownership of the domain.

How Accurate is the Information Provided?

The information that Whois has is information that is first provided whenever a domain name is registered. Over time, however, the information that is contained in the records will become out of date because things change. The registrant might chance email addresses or telephone numbers, the registrar might change offices, and the servers might be upgraded. As a result, the newest records tend to be the most accurate. ICANN has put into place a system for updating the information on Whois, but every specific registrar has their own methods.

What's the Point of Whois?

Whois allows for many different things to be accomplished. It reinforces the stability of the Internet because it provides the names and contact information for anyone who should need it, including network operators and computer incident response teams. This will help them do their jobs more effectively and resolve whatever problems may have cropped up. It also regulates the registration status of different domain names, allowing the process to go much more smoothly and ensure that all companies are able to get their needs met. Finally, Whois is able to provide an immense amount of support to law enforcement officials in participating in domestic investigations, as well as in international investigations. They will have the information they need to catch any wrongdoers and keep the Internet a safe place.

Whois provides a huge amount of information about domain names, who owns them, and who has registered them that can be easily accessed by the general public.


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