Whois Information

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When you register a domain name, ICANN requires that true and accurate ownership details, as well as registrar details, are filed in a searchable database.

You can access this database by using the WHOIS lookup tool, to retrieve domain ownership information.

Do I need to list my real information in the public database?

ICANN requires that domain owners have true and accurate ownership details on file with the registry. They can even force registrars to suspend customer domains if there is inaccurate ownership information listed in the system, and as a domain owner, you are required to list true and accurate ownership details for any domains you register.

As a useful benefit, DreamHost offers free WhoIs privacy for most domain extensions that you can register through the DreamHost panel. There are only a few foreign/specialty registries that do not allow WhoIs privacy. You can read more about this service at:

What is the WHOIS database?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) broadly requires that the mailing address, phone number, and email address of those owning or administering a domain name are made publicly available through the "WHOIS" database. ICANN is a non-profit organization that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system, and registrars (like DreamHost) must comply by their regulations in order to remain accredited.

You can read more about ICANN here.

The WHOIS database allows you to instantly obtain information on a given domain name, including who registered it, when it was created, who to contact at that domain, and so on. This is also a useful way to see if a domain you have registered has been registered by Internic yet.

When you begin the domain registration process with DreamHost, the domain is looked up in the WHOIS database to see if it is taken or not.

How do I update my contact information or nameservers on a domain?

You can use the DreamHost panel to update or modify the domain contact details which are publicly accessible via a WHOIS lookup.

To make changes to these details:

  1. Go to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) page.
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    • You can change the contact details on a single domain, or on a few domains at once. If you do opt to change details on several domains at the same time, you can do this in groups of domains with the same extension. For example, you can update the contact details of any .com domains all at the same time, by clicking the checkboxes to the right of all .com domains that you want to modify.
  2. Once you have selected which domain(s) to modify on this page, click on the Modify whois! button that appears at the bottom of the list.
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  3. Update all of the fields that you want to modify.
    • You can also choose to update all contacts at once (Registrant, Admin, Technical and Billing contacts), or apply WHOIS privacy if that is available for your domain type.
    • If you do not see your domain in this list, the domain is either registered with another provider or under a different DreamHost account.
    • Once you make changes to your contact details, they will be updated in the national registry database within 30-60 minutes.
  4. To modify your nameservers on a domain, click the “Nameservers” tab, and then choose the radio button to either use DreamHost’s nameservers or another host’s nameservers.
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  5. Replace the default nameservers with your own, and then click the Save Nameservers button save your changes.
    • Review the Nameservers wiki for further details.
    • Your new nameservers will be set at the registry within 30-60 minutes, but can take up to 72 hours to update around the world.This is normal and is due to DNS propagation time.
    • You can read more about this in the DNS propagation wiki.
    If you are using DreamHost for web hosting and email service, or another hosting option (redirection, parking, mirroring, or cloaking), you will want to use the following DreamHost nameservers:
    • ns1.dreamhost.com
    • ns2.dreamhost.com
    • ns3.dreamhost.com