When you go for domain name registration with a registrar, the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) mandates the domain name registrar to submit the personal information to the WHOIS database. After the information has been provided to the database, the listing appears on the online WHOIS directory, and anyone is having access to the internet can get these details.

Who Can Access This Information?

While anyone may check for the domain name in the WHOIS database but it is frequently used to perform a domain lookup to see the expiration date of the domain.  Then registrars may need it to check the domain names when transferring the ownership. It may also be used by the authorities to support their investigation.  When you register a domain you will be asked about the personal information, but you have a few options when you go for WHOIS database listing:

Public Listing

When you go for this listing all the information that is asked will be made public. In this option, no extra fee is asked. The domain registrar will provide the public listing information to the WHOIS lookup database. It will have the name, address, phone number, email address and the domain expiration date.  The listing also contains the hosting IP address along with hostname.

Private Listing

Many are uncomfortable with the idea of revealing their information to anyone on the internet. In it, there is a risk that hacker or spammers may use it for unintended purposes. If you want to keep the information out of the reach of those who may use it maliciously, you may go for private domain name registration. Your domain registrar may charge a fee towards it, but then they act as a proxy for you. It means that when anyone does a WHOIS domain lookup to get your domain information, they are going to find the information that is provided by your domain name registrar.

Key Uses of Domain Lookup

If you have gone for public listing then the information that is provided can be used for many legitimate purposes:

Checking the Availability of Domain

Once the information is in the WHOIS database, then it can be used by anyone to find about the domain availability. It is evident that all the registered domains can’t be registered again by any applicant as they are all unique. Checking out WHOIS information is useful for you if you plan to register for a new domain.

Resolution of Network Issues

The network administrators can also use the WHOIS information for resolution of technical matters.  It may be routing issue, origin and path analysis of DoS attack and other network-based attacks.

Resolution of Registration Issues

Are you facing any registration issues? With WHOIS lookup, you can find the information which is useful in resolving registration issues like the creation and expiration dates, etc.

Contacting Web Masters

Only when a domain is publicly listed, you can contact the webmasters for technical issues with a domain name.

Getting Real World Identity

For instance, there is an online store, and you want to get the business location and the contact details of the same then you can do it with the help of WHOIS lookup.

Other Uses

There are the host of other uses of WHOIS lookup like transferring of the domain name to the authorized persons, to contact the registrant for maintaining the accuracy of the details that are provided.


Thus domain lookup has many advantages, and if you can register the domain with a public listing, it can help others as well.