WHOIS lookup tool

With the WHOIS lookup tool, you can find details about a domain such as its availability, contact information, registration date and other details.

What is WHOIS, and What does it do?

WHOIS is a query and response protocol that gives information on a domain such as its owner, company name, registration date, and more. A typical WHOIS comprises all of the relevant information that a domain can hold, and sometimes its name and client server status.

Registry details

Zoho Toolkit offers a WHOIS lookup under its registry details section. Enter the domain name that you need to look up. After the lookup, Toolkit will list this information:

  • Registered to
  • Registered by
  • Registration date
  • Expiry date
  • Last modified date

WHOIS was created and established in 1982 as a public repository that holds all of the necessary information about a domain. A new record is created whenever a new domain is registered and when it’s updated because of a change in its DNS system. The data stored under the WHOIS repository are maintained at different locations by their registrars. Because the data are in an open repository, anyone on the internet can access this information.

What kind of information is stored in WHOIS?

When buying a new domain, the domain registrar or owner has to submit necessary information. Details like the owner's name, address, phone number, and email address are collected during the registration. If the owner's information is found to be inaccurate, the domain can be cancelled or suspended.

ICANN also allows internet users to raise a complaint against a domain if it is found to show incorrect or incomplete data during a WHOIS lookup. Domain providers must provide opportunities for the domain owners to update their details on a regular basis.

How to protect your data from public view

Though phone numbers and email addresses are given during the domain registration stage, often details like these won't be displayed when you perform WHOIS for a particular website. The reason behind this is that the owners would have opted for privacy control features at the time they bought their domain.

Why you need privacy control

Because the details given here are displayed in a public repository, they can be easily tampered with and misused in various situations. To reduce spam and keep control of your personal information at the same time, you can opt for privacy settings.

Components of WHOIS

Registered to:

This component tells us about the organization to which the particular domain is registered to.

Registered by:

Defines the owner of that particular domain, who is in charge of all the actions that need to be performed for that domain.

Registered date:

The date by which the particular domain was registered to the organization.

Last modified date:

This is the date on which the domain details have been modified. The modification could be a change in the name server, a renewal, or other domain details.

WHOIS models

WHOIS can be broadly categorized into two models: thin and thick. They both differ in the amount of information that they can hold.

Thin model:

In this model, you can expect the domain registrar’s name, the domain the model is registered to, and details on its name servers in the response. The WHOIS server will store the information of another server that holds the complete stack of information on domains. A second query is needed to get this set of responses.

Thick model:

In this model, you can get all layers of information, including the admin and technical details. This is said to be the fastest method because the server holds all of the data within itself, and one query is sufficient to get responses of all sorts. The data obtained from this model can be classified into four different components: domain information, registrar contact, admin contact, and technical contact.

Why it matters

Owner verification:

The ownership details can be verified with the help of the details provided while registering the domain.


If there’s a need to check something with the domain owner, you can use the contact provided in the WHOIS.

Domain availability:

WHOIS helps in checking whether a particular domain that you wish to buy is taken by any organization or is free for purchase.

Compliance status:

With the verification of WHOIS, you’ll know if the domain is active.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you find domain availability through a WHOIS lookup?

    You can look for the domain name in the WHOIS lookup tool to check for its availability. If the result returns details of the domain owner and its organization, that domain is taken, and you might need to choose another name.
  • What does WHOIS contain?

    On performing a WHOIS lookup, you will be listed with a set of information like the date on which a domain was registered, its owner's contact information, and its expiry date.
  • How do you update WHOIS information?

    When you purchase a domain from a domain registrar, the information will be passed through them. You can contact your registrar to update information on the WHOIS whenever any details with the domain changes.