How to Determine Who Owns a Domain Name

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that authorizes registrars to issue or assign domain names to public. A registrant is the person or entity who is considered to be the domain name owner authorized to make or request for changes to be made in vital information related to domain name. It is, therefore, critically important to know the “owner” registrant of a domain name and also the person or entity having administrative, billing and technical rights related to domain.

Why is Determining a Domain Name Registrant Important?

Determining a domain name registrant is important for many reasons:

  • The lookup can verify that the registrant details of your personal domains are properly entered. If they are not, you may miss renewal notices, purchase offers, partnership requests and the like.
  • If you are interested in making an offer on an already registered domain name, you can easily lookup contact information, such as the owner’s name, mailing address, email address and telephone number.
  • If you are tying to protect your personal information, a lookup can tell you if the privacy controls you’ve put in place are actually in effect.

What is the Process to Lookup Domain Name Details?

The domain name registration process has been engineered in a very transparent way. Everybody has an open access to obtain information about domain name registrant and the ownership of a domain by just clicking on certain informative links. It also helps in keeping a track of domain name expiry dates and the start date of registration.

The WHOIS Lookup

“WHOIS” is the utility that is used to check or find out the information about a domain name. This gives not only the information of the registrant but also the administrative contact, billing contact, technical contact, domain expiration date and original registration date.

To find the domain name owner information, there are a few very simple and easy steps to follow by using the internet:

  • To check the domain name registrant information simply visit the website such as www.whois.net or web solution providers website like GoDaddy or http://www.tucowsdomains.com.
  • Type in the exact web address or complete domain name of the website you are seeking information for.
  • With a click or two (you might have to prove you’re not a robot), you’ll have the full registrant details.

Verify the Details

You can verify the details given about the domain name. If you find any information incomplete or incorrect, you may initiate a request to the domain registrar to make changes. Sometimes, if the information is not completely available, as many registrars or individuals do not want to share their information completely, you may specifically visit the registrar’s website and find information.

A WHOIS Example

Now, here is a practical illustration of how to determine who owns a domain name. We will take the example of www.DomainSherpa.com as an example website and let us explore as who owns this domain.

Step 1: Begin the WHOIS lookup

Visit a WHOIS lookup service. You can use www.whois.net or, in our case, www.tucowsdomains.com/whois-use-and-information/whoislookup and “Enter Domain Name for WHOIS Lookup”:

How_to_Determine_Who_Owns_a_Domain_Name_Step1

Step 2: Perform the CAPTCHA entry

How_to_Determine_Who_Owns_a_Domain_Name_Step2

Step 3: The privacy paragraph

How_to_Determine_Who_Owns_a_Domain_Name_Step3

Step 4: Domain name registrant information available

How_to_Determine_Who_Owns_a_Domain_Name_Step4

Step 5: Some more registrant information, domain server information, domain name record information

How_to_Determine_Who_Owns_a_Domain_Name_Step5

WHOIS performs the required task efficiently, however, at the same time it should be noted that the information available may be exploited or utilized for spam and other purposes. You may end up receiving emails and unnecessary information from different resources and start filling up your inbox. To get rid of this problem, there are certain tools to help protect your privacy.

As in the case of www.DomainSherpa.com, we are able to see only limited information about the actual owner as the information is camouflaged through a privacy protection service called domain name privacy. Many domain name registrars offer domain privacy to mask the actual information of the domain owner. The privacy feature helps display third party information to safeguard your personal information from publically available information. Personal information is collected by the registrar and is accessible only on request by following certain privacy rules and regulations.

To Summarize

  • Domain name registrant information is available and useful for many reasons
  • The domain name registrant information can be obtained through a WHOIS lookup
  • Your personal information can be protected through a service called domain privacy

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4 Responses to “How to Determine Who Owns a Domain Name”

  1. […] How to Determine Who Owns a Domain Name […]

  2. […] name of the registrant, administrative contact, and billing contact for the domain name by doing a whois search. You should also address and send the letter to the billing contact for the domain […]

  3. I use http://whois.sc/domainname for all my whois lookups. It’s a company called Domain Tools. Cool service. Worth a look at.

  4. Great tutorial on how to do this!

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