What is WHOIS?

To begin, lets assume that you are going to buy a domain for your personal blog(everyone has one today). you search for domain name in popular domain registration sites like godaddy, snape domain etc. but alas you get a message that the domain name you searched for is already taken. You also get another link in the result page. Yup thats the WHOIS link. when you click on that link you are taken to a page which has some crappy info which includes the domain name you searched for, a few date fields and some advertising info. It looks something like this,

Registrant:
Dns Admin
Google Inc.
Please contact contact-admin@google.com 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
US
dns-admin@google.com +1.6502530000 Fax: +1.6506188571

Domain Name: google.com

Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

Administrative Contact:
DNS Admin
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043

US

dns-admin@google.com +1.6506234000 Fax: +1.6506188571
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
DNS Admin
Google Inc.
2400 E. Bayshore Pkwy
Mountain View CA 94043
US
dns-admin@google.com +1.6503300100 Fax: +1.6506181499

Created on…………..: 1997-09-15.
Expires on…………..: 2011-09-13.
Record last updated on..: 2008-06-08.

Domain servers in listed order:

ns2.google.com
ns3.google.com
ns4.google.com
ns1.google.com

This WHOIS gives you information about the domain name, in this case it is GOOGLE.COM, who owns it (obviously google inc.), their contact email and postal address, when domain name was created (1997-09-15, that must have been when google started 😉 ), when the domain will expire (everything expires in this world, luckily domains can be renewed) and last updated date (this is when the domain name was renewed).

It also gives you a set of new address called “domain servers”. this is where the domain points to.. whenever you hit google.com on your keyboard, it will send you to one of these domain servers.. more than one domain name can point to same nameserver (we’ll talk about it later).

I guess it’s too much now.. We’ll talk about how this WHOIS data is created and who managed in next post :)..

-Happy bukisa+’ing’.. (tough word man..)

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