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What is WHOIS?

The WHOIS information of a domain name contains the general information about a domain name. This includes the availability of a domain name, the registrar where the domain name is registered and the information of the administrative contact, the technical contact and the registrant.

ICANN, the organization responsible for domain names, requires WHOIS information to be up-to-date, valid and available for viewing. This rule applies to all domain extensions, including gTLD's (such as .com, .net and .blog) and ccTLD's (country code domain names, such as .eu and .co.uk).

As of May 25th 2018, the GDPR is in effect. The GDPR ensures that WHOIS information of individuals residing in the EU is largely shielded from viewing. Read 'blaat' for more information

The information present in the WHOIS is used for several purposes. The primary purpose is to show which person or company is the rightful owner of the domain name. Among other things, this is important to:

  • Activate SSL certificates.
  • Contact validation for gTLD's.
  • Transfering domain names.
  • Resolving (legal) disputes regarding domain names.
  • Selling or buying domain names.

Each domain name includes WHOIS information. How much information is present depends on the domain extension. This article which information can be found in the WHOIS of domain names.


Availability of a domain name

De WHOIS information generally shows the status of the domain name first. You will be able to see if the domain name is available or already registered and if the domain name is active or inactive. Next to 'Registrar' you can see the company where the domain name is registered at.

As mentioned before, the information that is available next depends on the domain extension. This mostly concerns the contact information of the administrative contact, the technical contact and the registrant and is based on the policy of the corresponding registry.


Shielding WHOIS information

With the GDPR being in effect, the WHOIS information of individuals residing in the EU is shielded in the WHOIS databases. The information that is shielded mostly applies to the registrant of a domain name. This usually applies to the administrative and technical contact as well, but some registries still show all their data.

For example EURID, the registry of .EU domain names, shields most of the WHOIS information for individuals. Only the registrant's language is visible.

The GDPR does not apply to companies though. This means that in most cases, you will see all of the WHOIS information of domain names registered to a company. For .EU domain names, the company name, language, region, country and email address are visible.

The email address of the administrative and technical contacts of .EU domain names are visible when it is registered to both individuals and companies. 

For gTLD's, individuals residing in the EU will have all their information shielded. gTLD's that are registered by a company at TransIP will only show the company name.


WHOIS privacy

Some registrars provide a WHOIS privacy feature. This ensures that your information is not included in the WHOIS databases.

As the GDPR is in effect, most information for individuals are shielded. For that reason we have decided not to add WHOIS privacy as a feature.


Looking up WHOIS for domain names

By entering a domain name in our WHOIS lookup tool, you can view the available WHOIS information of most domain extensions. The information of some domain extensions can not be viewed using this tool, you will need to use the corresponding registry's own website for this.

If you wish to view the WHOIS information of another domain extension, we recommend doing a Google search. Use the search words 'WHOIS' and your domain extension (for instance .de or .fr). The first search result is usually the WHOIS page of the corresponding registry.



This article discussed WHOIS information and how to view it.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact our support team. You can reach them using the 'Contact us' button below or via the 'Contact' button inside your control panel.

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