What exactly is a WHOIS search?
A WHOIS search is a protocol for querying databases that store the registered users of an Internet resource, such as a domain name. Much akin to a public ledger, a WHOIS search reveals key details about a domain including its owner, registration and expiration dates, and the hosting entity.
How do I conduct a WHOIS search?
To perform a WHOIS search, input the domain name that piques your interest into the provided search field, including the Top-Level Domain (TLD) if known. Then, simply click 'Search'.
What is a TLD (Top-Level Domain)?
A TLD, or Top-Level Domain, is the suffix at the end of a domain name. Common examples include .com, .net, or .org, though many more exist, including country-specific TLDs such as .us or .uk, and newer, more niche options like .guru or .photography.
What if I can't find the domain I'm searching for?
If a domain doesn't appear in the search results, it may be shielded by privacy services or it may not be registered at all. In the latter case, you might have just discovered an untapped opportunity.
Is it legal to access this information?
Indeed, it is. The data provided by a WHOIS search is publicly available, much like a directory listing. However, it's paramount to exercise caution and responsibility with this information, and always respect privacy rights.