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Domains Part IV: What’s Whois and Why You Need to Know

If you are looking to identify and contact the owner of a specific domain, Whois is one of the best resources available. A Whois record contains all the necessary contact information associated with an individual including the name and contact information of the Registrant (the domain’s owner), the respective Registrar (commercial entity that registered the name), the dates, most recent updates, and even the expiration date.

How the Information is Stored

The “Thin” Model. Not to be confused with the world of high fashion, the Thin Whois lookup provides only the registrar, name servers, and registration dates. A secondary lookup at the registrar on file is then necessary to procure full information on domain name ownership.

The “Thick” Model. Not an obscure reference to anabolic steroid use. The Thick Whois lookup gives plenty of details beyond the Thin, such as registrant, administrative, and technical information. The Thick delivers all necessary information on domain ownership, where it is registered, what name servers it uses, when it was registered, and when it may expire.

So, Why is Whois so Valuable?

  1. It bolsters internet stability and security by providing network operators, incident response teams, and ISPs with their contacts.
  2. Regulates domain name registration.
  3. Law enforcement officials gain investigation support.
  4. Supports efforts to gain trademark clearances and to expose intellectual property infringement, as well as issues of theft and misuse.
  5. Helps businesses and individuals contest fraud.
  6. Builds internet confidence by making it possible to identify entities and persons responsible for available content and services.
  7. Can help to track down spammers as other malicious or otherwise unsavory users.

Now that you are fully aware of who Whois is and what it can do – you can look for our next article on ICANN. This article is Part IV of a five part blog series on domain names. Read the others:

Domains Part I: So What’s a Domain Name Do?

Domains Part II: Selecting the Right Business Domain Name

Domains Part III: How Do I Register a Formal Domain Name?

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