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What is whois?

September 09, 2019

A whois record stores pertinent information about a domain name, its registrant, and its registrar.

Definition

A whois record stores pertinent information about a domain name, its registrant, and its registrar. Data within Whois records may vary, but at a minimum, this record will provide the registrar, name servers, and registration dates. More thorough records may give administrative or technical contact information, the domain owner, registration location, and an expiration date.

Purpose

DNS use whois data to maintain an international directory of domain names. Some, but not all, specific uses include:

  • Determining the availability of a domain name.
  • Contacting the registrar about copyright violations.
  • Diagnosing registration difficulties.
  • Establishing real-world identity and location of an online merchant.
  • Investigating websites associated with spam.

Performing whois searches

Though whois records provide a multitude of data, an actual whois search may or may not provide all of the information outlined above.

To perform a detailed whois search, visit the Tucows website.

For 24-hour assistance any day of the year, contact our support team by email or through your Client Portal.

Jason Dobry