Domain Name Lookup – How To Do It And Why You Might Want To
There are many reasons you might wish to do a domain name lookup. These may include the following –
1. To find out if a name is already taken, if you wish to buy it. You may have a great idea for a site, and need a particular name. (In this case, just type the domain name onto the address field of a browser. You will either get a message that the site can’t be found, which implies it is not registered yet; or you will be taken to a web site which uses the domain name already.)
2. To see which individual or company owns a specific domain. DMARC policy
3. To get the contact details for the owner of a domain, so that you could send an offer to buy it.
4. To use the lookup information to contact the domain owner or technical contact to complain about something offensive or inaccurate on the web site, or, for example, because the site has content or images which have been taken from a site you own yourself, breaking copyright. (In this case, the nameserver information may give a clue about the name of the hosting service used by the domain owner, whom you could also complain to.)
5. To contact the owners of a domain who have infringed on a trademark which you own or control.
So, how do you do a domain name lookup anyway? Simply go to whois.net and use their search boxes. This is free. (Apart from whois.net, there are many other domain name search tools too, of course.) Minimum registration data for existing domains which you will be able to see following a lookup includes the registrant’s name, who the domain is registered through, and the nameservers. Depending on the registrar’s policies and setup, you may also be able to get a contact email address, a physical address and a phone number for the registrant and for the technical contact.
In addition, you may be able to see the date when the registration of the domain expires. This does not mean, of course, that the domain would be available to buy after that. Most domain registration services now have automatic domain renewals when the expiry date arrives, to protect their customers.
In some cases, the owner of a domain will have made a private registration, so that no personal details are available through who is lookups: the registrar’s contact details will be available instead.