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What Is WHOIS And What Is A WHOIS Check?

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The internet is a busy place, full of active registered domains used around the world.  Millions of domains are registered and expire each year, and this data has to be collected for registrars to keep tabs on who has registered a domain.  With that said, WHOIS data was created and is used to organize all of this information, just like a phone-book stores phone numbers.

What Is WHOIS Information?

When the internet was in its infancy, there was a protocol that required users to have their website information stored in a directory called ARPANET.  This data was collected for organization, owner rights and slowly developed into the internet we have today.  WHOIS, which is not an acronym for another meaning, basically asks the questions, “who owns the rights to this domain,” and/or “who is responsible for it?”  All registrars must include this information, which includes the name, address, phone number and email of the person registering a domain name.

What Is WHOIS Records and WHOIS Privacy

WHOIS results are shown for the sole purpose of assisting in obtaining information about domain name registration records.  It also provides a way for intended inquiries to get in contact with the website owner and is the reasoning during domain name registration that accurate personal information is required.  WHOIS records are not stored globally within a single database and are therefore stored among multiple registries worldwide.  WHOIS information via a WHOIS check can vary, but all will show mandatory data about the owner like name, address, email, registration date and expiration date.

Where Can I Run A WHOIS check

There are multiple websites that will search for domain information, here are a couple:

There are multiple other options out there that perform a WHOIS check, however, the majority will produce the same results.

How Do I Obtain Privacy Of A WHOIS Lookup?

Hostwinds allows privacy protection or ID protection as an option when registering your domain name and highly encourage using this service.  Enabling this feature when registering a new domain name will protect your personal information, showing private information instead of your personal details.  Hostwinds provides this service to our clients at an additional $5/yr per domain.  You can purchase this feature during checkout of registering a domain with us here or purchase at a separate time following our article What is Domain ID Protection.

Purchasing domain protection after a domain is already registered should be applied within 10-15 minutes of purchasing, however, it may take up to 24 hours for the information to be blocked globally.