13 February 2003. Need to know who owns a Web
site? Look up its domain name registration information in the Whois
database maintained by its registrar.
Unfortunately, there is no central database of all domain name
registrations. If you do not know the registrar of the domain in
question, begin by querying Whois
Source or BetterWhois. Whois
Source searches domain names registered as .COM, .ORG, .NET, .INFO, .BIZ, or .US. It provides a copy of the Whois registration record, and also informs about the availability or status of a Web site.
Do not enter the entire domain name. Rather, enter it as
keyword; e.g., virtualchase for virtualchase.com.
BetterWhois also queries multiple Whois databases, but does not
cover the range of TLDs (top level domains) provided by Whois Source.
It covers .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Enter the entire domain name;
Because BetterWhois and Whois Source do not originate domain
registration records, you should verify the information you discover.
Both provide the name of the registrar that registered the domain.
Locate the registrar's Whois database
by connecting to its Web site and looking for a Whois search feature.
Some registrars, like Tucows, operate
multiple Web sites. ICANN's (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers) List of Accredited Registrars
will help you find the registration information site.
To discover ownership of domains outside the U.S., search the
registrar(s) for the country of the domain (e.g., Nominet for domains
ending in .uk). Use ALLWHOIS to find these registrars.
you can look up domain registration information by querying
Allwhois.com, we recommend it only as a last resort. Allwhois.com does
not provide a key detail -- the name of the registrar.
This strategy for discovering Web site ownership works for sites
like The Virtual Chase that operate from their own domains. It will not
help you uncover ownership of Web sites using the domain of their
hosting service (e.g., http://www.webcom.com/~pinknoiz).