Did you know that WHOIS queries have been around for decades? They are used to find out the identity of domain names, numbers, and people. This protocol was first used during the early 1980s to manage domain registrations, when the network was mostly controlled by DARPA. In the early days, there were no centralized WHOIS databases, so WHOIS queries were done via email. However, with the rise of the internet, this function became more widespread, and people can now access WHOIS information via the web.
Although WHOIS is still widely used for legitimate business transactions and legal disputes, there have been several recent controversies involving the service. Most recently, GoDaddy redacted some personal information and made it available on its website. This action upset many users of the WHOIS database, and prompted the U.S. government to pressure ICANN to investigate the practice. Since then, Google has been showing truncated WHOIS records on its third-party websites, and a recent trend indicates that this is now happening with local WHOIS records as well.
In addition to shaky data quality, WHOIS is also difficult to discover. The data is often redacted, and the WHOIS servers use different methods for making the information publicly available. Often, the data is available only after a person registers, and there’s a need to register for access. This makes WHOIS even more difficult to use and less reliable. However, it remains a necessary tool for anyone who wants to find out information about domain names.
In the meantime, ICANN is working on a solution for WHOIS. The proposed alternative is called the Registration Directory Service (RDS), which would use a secure and encrypted database to deliver registration data. Users would have to tell the admin who they are and what they want to do with the domain name. As a result, visit the website they would not be able to find out personal information about the owner of adomain name.
The earliest version of WHOIS was released in 1982 by the Internet Engineering Task Force. The protocol was initially used to list the contact details of ARPANET users. However, as the Internet evolved, this protocol changed a lot and eventually passed to the ICANN. ICANN took over the protocol in 1998 and has continued to adhere to the IETF standards for WHOIS. These days, Whois data is managed by independent entities, such as registries and registrars. In 2004, ICANN opened up the domain name registration market. The new registries now hold the TLD (Top-Level Domain) registries.
If you need to perform WHOIS lookup queries, the easiest way is through a thirdparty WHOIS searching site. The WHOIS server provides information on a domain name’s owner, nameservers, and creation/expiration dates. The WHOIS information is updated about every 24 hours. So, if you want to perform WHOIS lookup queries, it is the best option for you. It is simple, fast, and free.