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Our web hosting checker tool gives detailed WHOIS ownership and hosting information about a website, including the host’s IP address, registration details, contact information, and more.

How Do You Look Up Who Is Hosting a Website?

Using our WHOIS search tool, you see website information. If you’re trying to register a domain, you can find out who owns a domain and their contact information. WHOIS information can be helpful if you want to register a domain someone else owns. If you own a domain name, you’re ready to select a hosting provider:

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What Is WHOIS?

WHOIS is a general term for the ownership data of every registered domain. It’s often referred to as “WHOIS data,” “WHOIS information,” or “WHOIS record”.

When you register a domain name for your business website, you’ll be asked to provide basic WHOIS data. This will include 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 and there is no single, centralized WHOIS database, ICANN does write the rules which all domain registrars must follow.

What Is WHOIS Information?

Our WHOIS tool gives information about a website or domain’s:

  • Hosting provider: A web host manages the servers where a website 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. While ownership details are sometimes 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.

What Is a WHOIS Database?

WHOIS databases hold the records of all whos information, including DNS, domain names, and nameservers. You can access public WHOIS databases and get information about who owns and hosts a particular domain. While there isn’t a central WHOIS database, ICANN regulates the collection of WHOIS information.

You can use a WHOIS search tool, like Digital.com’s to access a Whois database.

What Is a Domain Registrar?

A domain registrar is a company 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 a web hosting provider. In these cases, the web hosting company also acts as the registrar.

Large businesses sometimes host websites on their own servers either onsite or in the cloud. These companies don’t need web hosting services and can purchase domains directly from one of many domain registrars.

Can You Keep Your WHOIS Data Private?

In most cases, you can keep your WHOIS data private by paying an extra fee when you purchase a domain either through a domain registrar or web hosting company. Domain privacy fees typically run about $10 to $20 per year per domain.

There are exceptions to domain privacy, such as the .us domain extension that does not allow private registration.

Why Do Companies Choose WHOIS Data Privacy?

Companies might choose to keep WHOIS data private for several reasons, including:

  • Personal privacy: A home-based business may not want its address or phone number publicly disclosed.
  • Spam: Sharing WHOIS data could invite sales pitches and emails, as some companies use WHOIS data to look for prospective customers.
  • Fraud: Criminals can use WHOIS data for identity theft and other forms of fraud. Keeping the data hidden can help prevent this.
  • Confidentiality: Businesses may not want competitors to see which domains the company owns, or may want privacy ahead of a merger as a new company takes ownership of its domain.

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.