WHOIS is the tool used to look up domain name registration details. These details contain information about the date the domain was registered, its expiration date, registrant information, nameservers, and the domain registrar. When a domain is registered, ICANN requires that this information is listed in a public database which can be viewed by anyone using the WHOIS protocol.
There are many internet websites that you can use to view domain registrant information listed in this database.
Enabling WHOIS privacy settings
If you register a domain with DreamHost, you can take advantage of the free WHOIS privacy service to protect your personal contact details from public searches.
To utilize this service, just enable it on the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page for your domain(s), or choose to use WHOIS privacy when you register a new domain.
|Note:||Some registries do not allow WHOIS privacy to be enabled due to their own restrictions. You can read more about this service in the Domain WHOIS Privacy Service wiki.|
Breaking Down a WHOIS query
There are two parts to a WHOIS query:
- The central registry information
- The registrar information
The central registry information
Domain Name: DREAMHOST.COM Registrar: DREAMHOST, LLC Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 431 Whois Server: whois.dreamhost.com Referral URL: http://www.dreamhost.com Name Server: NS1.DREAMHOST.COM Name Server: NS2.DREAMHOST.COM Name Server: NS3.DREAMHOST.COM Status: clientTransferProhibited Updated Date: 27-aug-2014 Creation Date: 23-sep-1997 Expiration Date: 22-sep-2015
The central registry information shows the domain name in question, what company provided registration services, a link to their WHOIS server, the domain status, nameservers, and create/expire dates. After you have this information, your WHOIS client will generally connect to the registrar's server to look up the contact information. The information in the central registry is updated roughly every 24 hours, so if you see information in the registrars WHOIS section that is different than the central registry, try again in abut 24 hours.
The registrar information
Registrar: DREAMHOST Registrar IANA ID: 431 Registrar Abuse Contact Email: email@example.com Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.2132719359 Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited Registry Registrant ID: Registrant Name: PRIVATE REGISTRANT Registrant Organization: A HAPPY DREAMHOST CUSTOMER Registrant Street: 417 ASSOCIATED RD #324 Registrant Street: C/O DREAMHOST.COM Registrant City: BREA Registrant State/Province: CA Registrant Postal Code: 92821 Registrant Country: US Registrant Phone: +1.7147064182 Registrant Phone Ext: Registrant Fax: Registrant Fax Ext: Registrant Email: YW3GAZMC77@PROXY.DREAMHOST.COM
The registrar information shows the current contact information for the domain. This information should be kept up to date at all times, in case there is an issue (such as a domain ownership problem) which requires ownership details to be accurate in order to be addressed.