Welcome to the Digital.com WHOIS research tool and informational page. This web hosting checker tool gives detailed ownership and hosting information about a website, including the host’s IP address, registration details, contact information, and more.

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Your website needs servers to make it available online. Your web host provides and maintains reliable servers that ensure your visitors have constant access to your site. They’ll also act as your domain registrar and register your domain name and IP address with ICANN. Here are the top five web hosts you should consider:

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  5. Hostgator: Best Web Hosting for Basic Websites

What Does the WHOIS Information Mean?

The “who is hosting this” tool gives information about a website or domain’s:

  • Hosting provider: Company that manages the servers on which a business’s website information is stored. To create a website for your business, you’ll need to choose a provider to host your website, then it will be available online.
  • IP address: Every device connected to the internet has an IP, or ‘internet protocol’ address. The IP address in the web hosting checker’s results is the IP address for the server who is hosting the website.
  • Owner details: Detailed contact and location information about the owner of a domain or website. While ownership details are sometimes private and hidden, some contact information is usually provided.
  • Nameservers: Nameservers work behind the scenes, translating domain names into IP addresses. When you type Digital.com into your browser, a nameserver tells your device which IP address to connect to.


WHOIS isn’t a company, or organization. It’s a general term for the large collection of data that has the ownership details for every registered domain. It’s often referred to as “WHOIS data,” “WHOIS information” and “WHOIS record”.

When you register a domain name for your business website, you’ll be asked to provide some basic WHOIS data. This will include details such as your company’s legal name, email, phone number, physical address, and administrative and technical contact information.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is the non-profit organization behind the WHOIS data. ICANN is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the system of domain names and IP addresses used online. Though ICANN doesn’t collect WHOIS data itself — in fact there’s no single, centralized WHOIS database — it does write the rules which all domain registrars need to follow.

What Is a Domain Registrar?

A domain registrar is a company that has been certified by ICANN and given permission to buy and sell domains to businesses and end users.

Domain names can be purchased through domain registrars, though many businesses purchase them through the same company that provides their web hosting. In these cases, the web hosting company also acts as the registrar.

Alternatively, some (usually larger) companies host their websites on their own servers, either on-site or in the cloud. These companies don’t need web hosting services, so can purchase domains directly from one of many domain registrars.

Can You Keep Your WHOIS Data Private?

In most cases, yes. When you purchase a domain— either through a registrar or web hosting company— you can pay an extra fee to keep your WHOIS data private. The fee typically runs around $10-20 per year, per domain.

However some domain extensions, .us is one example, do not allow private registration.

Why Do Companies Choose to Keep WHOIS Data Private?

Companies might choose to keep WHOIS data private for any number of reasons, including:

  • A home-based business that doesn’t want or need the public to know its exact physical location or phone number.
  • Some companies use WHOIS data to look for prospective customers. If your WHOIS data is private, you can avoid receiving these sales pitches and emails.
  • Criminals can use WHOIS data for identity theft and other forms of fraud. Keeping the data hidden can help prevent this.
  • Ahead of an upcoming merger, Company A takes ownership of Company B’s domain. By keeping the WHOIS data private, they keep observers from learning of the merger before it’s made public.
  • Companies can choose to keep WHOIS data private for a variety of strategic reasons. For example, they may want to make it harder for competitors to see how many or which domains they own and use.

What If You Keep Your WHOIS Data Private?

If you keep your registration data private, you should offer some other way for the public to contact you. You can do this by publishing general contact information somewhere on your website. You can choose to include:

  • Business contact information: A must-have for local businesses, but important for all, contact information helps customers and prospective customers get in touch.
  • Webmaster/IT contact information: This makes it easy for visitors to report website problems, and have them go straight to your IT team (or managed service provider.)
  • Corporate identity: If your company owns multiple sites or brands, identifying the parent corporation on each lets visitors know when they’re on one of your sites.

Ready To Launch Your Business Website?

If you’re ready to launch a website for your business, these tools can help you take the next steps:

Business name generators: These online tools help brainstorm new ideas for your business name. They’re a great place to start for owners having difficulty finding the perfect name for their business.

Domain name generators: Do you have a business name but can’t find a good domain name? These tools are very helpful, suggesting a wider range of creative domain names and extensions to choose from.

If you already have a business name and a domain name, you’re ready to select a hosting provider:

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