Working with WHOIS service

This article will tell you about the principles and the basis of WHOIS service

So, what is the WHOIS? Of course, in order to fully understand the WHOIS protocol service, as well as with client solutions for database searching, we would advise you to turn to the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whois. In short, the WHOIS (origin of the name comes from "Who IS?") - a protocol for getting registration and contact information of domain or IP address owners. Basically WHOIS service can be used to determine if the domain name is free or not.

The WHOIS service is created to get more information about a domain name or IP. The vastness and quality of information received depends on the level of access to the domain zones. In most cases, the description includes information about organization or private person owning the requested domain name, domain registration date and expiration date. Currently, a lot of free websites with online WHOIS services allows you to find the necessary information about the domain name or IP. At the same time it might be zero-result or very short information obtained, since the official information is available only for local areas where the domain is registered.

So, which WHOIS server you need to use to obtain the most accurate data about the domain?

There are several options:

  1. Use server whois.iana.org, owned by IANA organization, as it often contains the most recent information about top-level domains. Example:
    $ whois -h whois.iana.org ua
    % IANA WHOIS server
    % for more information on IANA, visit http://www.iana.org
    % This query returned 1 object

    domain:       UA

    organisation: Communication Systems Ltd
    address:      vul Vavilovykh 18
    address:      Kyiv  04060
    address:      Ukraine

    contact:      administrative
    name:         Dmitry Kohmanyuk
    organisation: Communication Systems Ltd.
    address:      P.O.Box 96
    address:      Kyiv  04053
    address:      Ukraine
    phone:        +380 50 381 4604
    e-mail:       dk@cctld.ua

    contact:      technical
    name:         Igor Sviridov
    organisation: Hostmaster Ltd
    address:      P.O. Box 98
    address:      Kyiv  04060
    address:      Ukraine
    phone:        +1 415 672 3654
    fax-no:       +1 978 359 5830
    e-mail:       sia@nest.org

    nserver:      CD1.NS.UA 194.0.1.9 2001:678:4:0:0:0:0:9
    nserver:      HE1.NS.UA 2001:470:2e:1:0:0:0:27 216.218.215.27
    nserver:      HO1.NS.UA 195.47.253.1 2001:67c:258:0:0:0:0:1
    nserver:      PCH.NS.UA 2001:500:14:6012:ad:0:0:1 204.61.216.12
    nserver:      RIPE.NS.UA 193.0.9.121 2001:67c:e0:0:0:0:0:121
    nserver:      SNS-PB.ISC.ORG 192.5.4.1 2001:500:2e:0:0:0:0:1
    ds-rdata:     56514 10 2 bdd7a310534f76b2b6b25c94f816f9b9f260a2e35f526a9287e3307fb2cd16d8

    whois:        whois.ua

    status:       ACTIVE
    remarks:      Registration information: http://hostmaster.ua/

    created:      1992-12-01
    changed:      2012-04-24
    source:       IANA

  2. Pay attention to the results of 1) example, especially in the line "whois:   whois.ua", so we are given to understand how to ask the server for the domain in the zone .ua, try to ask this server if he knows about "meta.ua":
    $ whois -h whois.ua meta.ua
    % This is the Ukrainian Whois query server #I.
    % The Whois is subject to Terms of use
    % See https://hostmaster.ua/services/
    %

    domain:           meta.ua
    dom-public:       NO
    license:          27496
    registrant:       ua-mi12-2
    admin-c:          ua-mi12-1
    tech-c:           ua-tnn1-1
    tech-c:           ua-mi12-1
    mnt-by:           ua.teleportsv
    nserver:          ns4.top.net.ua
    nserver:          ns5.top.net.ua
    status:           ok
    created:          2002-11-26 00:00:00+02
    modified:         2014-03-31 17:26:37+03
    expires:          2014-11-26 10:33:02+02
    source:           UAEPP

    % Registrar:
    % ==========
    registrar:        ua.teleportsv
    organization:     PjSC "DATAGROUP"
    organization-loc: ПрАТ "ДАТАГРУП"
    url:              http://www.domtele.com/ru/services/internet/inetAddServices/
    city:             Kharkiv
    country:          UA
    source:           UAEPP

    % Registrant:
    % ===========
    contact-id:       ua-mi12-2
    person:           CJSC "META"
    person-loc:       ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    organization:     CJSC "META"
    organization-loc: ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    e-mail:           metamaster@meta-ukraine.com
    address:          Artema 4
    address:          KHARKOV
    postal-code:      61002
    country:          UA
    address-loc:      Артема 4
    address-loc:      Харківська
    address-loc:      ХАРКІВ
    postal-code-loc:  61002
    country-loc:      UA
    phone:            +380.577063982
    fax:              +380.577063979
    mnt-by:           ua.teleportsv
    status:           ok
    status:           linked
    created:          2014-03-31 17:26:37+03
    source:           UAEPP


    % Administrative Contacts:
    % =======================
    contact-id:       ua-mi12-1
    person:           CJSC "META"
    person-loc:       ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    organization:     CJSC "META"
    organization-loc: ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    e-mail:           metamaster@meta-ukraine.com
    address:          Artema 4
    address:          KHARKOV
    postal-code:      61002
    country:          UA
    address-loc:      Артема 4
    address-loc:      Харківська
    address-loc:      ХАРКІВ
    postal-code-loc:  61002
    country-loc:      UA
    phone:            +380.577063982
    fax:              +380.577063979
    mnt-by:           ua.teleportsv
    status:           ok
    status:           linked
    created:          2014-03-31 17:08:41+03
    source:           UAEPP


    % Technical Contacts:
    % ===================
    contact-id:       ua-tnn1-1
    person:           LLC  "TOP NET ISP"
    person-loc:       ТОВ "ТОП НЕТ ІСП"
    organization:     LLC  "TOP NET ISP"
    organization-loc: ТОВ "ТОП НЕТ ІСП"
    e-mail:           hostmaster@topnet.ua
    address:          BOX 75
    address:          KIEV
    postal-code:      03037
    country:          UA
    address-loc:      А/С 75
    address-loc:      КИЇВ
    postal-code-loc:  03037
    country-loc:      UA
    phone:            +380.443775577
    fax:              +380.443775576
    mnt-by:           ua.teleportsv
    status:           ok
    status:           linked
    created:          2014-03-31 17:09:25+03
    source:           UAEPP


    contact-id:       ua-mi12-1
    person:           CJSC "META"
    person-loc:       ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    organization:     CJSC "META"
    organization-loc: ЗАТ "МЕТА"
    e-mail:           metamaster@meta-ukraine.com
    address:          Artema 4
    address:          KHARKOV
    postal-code:      61002
    country:          UA
    address-loc:      Артема 4
    address-loc:      Харківська
    address-loc:      ХАРКІВ
    postal-code-loc:  61002
    country-loc:      UA
    phone:            +380.577063982
    fax:              +380.577063979
    mnt-by:           ua.teleportsv
    status:           ok
    status:           linked
    created:          2014-03-31 17:08:41+03
    source:           UAEPP

  3. If there's no results, try to use the server <first level domain>.whois-servers.net.

Fields descriptions in the received results

Each line in the obtaining information begins with the name of a particular field, followed by a value. The registrant is in the registrar field. Knowledge of data in this field is useful if you need to solve the problems directly with your domain registrar. Service can answer differently depending by your domain registration service. Often domain description looks like the following:

  • domain - the registered domain name, in most cases coincide with the entered. In this case, the domain name must consist at least two characters and starts with a letter or digit. Hyphens can be used in the name.
  • type - the type of the domain name, often CORPORATE. There are special types of domains domains: PUBLIC - public, GEOGRAPHICAL - regional (eg, .kh.ua), GENERIC - general restriction (eg, .com.ua).
  • descr - textual description of a domain name that you specified during registration. Field is optional and its value can be changed at any time.
  • admin-o - unique identifier (nic-handle) a company or individual who is the domain name administrator. Administrator in this case is a person or entity having the rights to use the domain, ie its owner. For individual identifiers are used form NAME-UAEPP, for organizations - NAME-ORG-UAEPP.
  • nserver - list of DNS servers, which supports the domain (if the server name contains the domain name, separated by spaces in the description also states its IP-address). In any case, the description should get a list of at least two servers, located in different Class C networks, which is a necessary requirement when registering the domain in the zone .ua to successfully delegate the domain zone .ua.
  • created - domain name registration date, it is also the date of records creation in the registrar database. This field remains unchanged in case of domain name renewal, ownership or domain registrar replacement.
  • state - the state of the domain, described by one of the following values​​: Delegated till [ date ] - the end date of the domain name registration; Not delegated - no domain delegation; Not delegated freeing date [ date ] - domain delegation absent due to the registration deadline, - written in the brackets is the deadline date renewal, after which the domain name will be canceled.
  • mnt-by - domain support responsible for compliance data in the domain registrar database. Field type - NAME-MNT-UAEPP, often its a hosting provider that responsible for the domain.
  • source - the source of information provided about the domain. It's an UAEPP in case of .ua zone.

Ownership Information

The following description block - provides the information about administrator (owner) of the domain name. It's also can be found by typing in the query box owner ID (nic-handle). If the domain owner - an individual, a description will have the following fields:

  • person - administrator name
  • nic-hdl - database identifier registrar
  • address - the legal address of the owner
  • phone - telephone number with a country code, city
  • e-mail - e-mail address
  • changed - the date of the last owner information change
  • mnt-by - domain support responsible for compliance data in the registrar database, identifier type - NAME-MNT-UAEPP, often its a number of hosting provider
  • source - the same for all information sources - UAEPP

If the domain name holder is a legal person, the description will have the following fields:

  • org - the official name of the company (in english)
  • nic-hdl - database registrar identifier
  • admin-c - person responsible for administration issues
  • bill-c - person responsible for billing
  • phone - telephone number with a country code, city
  • fax-no - contact fax number with the country code, city
  • e-mail - contact e-mail address
  • changed - the date of the last change of the business listing
  • mnt-by - domain support responsible for compliance data in the registrar database, identifier type - NAME-MNT-UAEPP, often its a number of hosting provider
  • source - the same for all sources of information - UAEPP
  • field "Last updated on ..." - this is the date and time of the latest changes made in the registrar's database (i.e. not a domain name changes). Usaully database updates occur every 10-15 minutes.

Third-level domains

The main difference with the fields of the query description for second-level domains is that the registration of third level domain names is free, so the state field can contain either a value Delegated, or UAEPP NCC check in progress. The second option assumes that the application for registration was paid but not yet passed manual moderation process and testing with nc-server. The state field may contain only the following values:

  • REGISTERED, DELEGATED - domain delegation was made,
  • REGISTERED, NOT DELEGATED - domain delegation absent.

Delegation period usually in a separate field paid-till. Special service fields in WHOIS:

  • reg-ch - appears with the new registrar ID during domain transfer process
  • remark - optional comment field
  • x-freeing - urgent information about how to remove the domain name from the database for an hour