WHOIS is a TCP-based query and response protocol that is commonly used to provide information services to Internet users. It returns information about the registered Domain Names, an IP address block, Name Servers and a much wider range of information services.
In Linux, the whois command line utility is a WHOIS client for communicating with the WHOIS server (or database host) which listen to requests on the well-known port number 43, which stores and delivers database content in a human-readable format.
Whois is a widely used Internet record listing that contains the details of who owns a domain name and how to get in touch with them.
The contact details can be for both the domain’s registrar or the web hosting company providing space or storage for that specific website.
You can find multiple Whois lookup tools on the Internet – like everything else, the best tool is the one that meets your needs or requirements.
Sometimes we only need a couple of details so any Whois lookup tool can do the job, but if you are looking for extensive information then you should try using one with a good historical record.
1. Visit the following URL: http://whoisdomaintool.com
2. When the page loads up completely, you will see an interface where you can insert the domain name or IP address you need information from. [see Image 2.1]
Image 2.1. Main interface where you can insert the domain name or IP address. You can whether insert it into the small field on the top right or the big field with yellow button in the middle.
3. Insert the domain name you want to find information about and press the yellow button “Lookup”. For the sake of this guide, we are going to use our own domain name as an example www.microlancer.com [see Image 3.1]
Image 3.1. Insert domain name and hit the button “Lookup”
4. After hitting the button “Lookup”, you will be redirected to a screen where you’ll see lots of details such as registrar, registrant, email address, name server, etc.
The details you’ll find on this screen will be part of the tab “Whois Record”. We’ll check the other tabs later. [see Image 4.1]
Image 4.1. Whois record tab with lots of details about the domain name.
Let’s take another look at the Name Server of Microlancer.com
Unlike previous examples, these names look a little more complicated, but there is always a solution for this problem. Let’s move on to step 5.
5. Press the tab “Server Stats”, you’ll see a new screen containing very helpful information about the server or company providing the storage for that website. We now have an IP address, ASN, IP Location and status of the domain. [see Image 5.1]
Image 5.1. Server Stats tab with additional information about the domain name.
6. In the previous screenshot we already have a clue on which company is hosting the website, it’s Amazon. We can see that by reading the ASN or Autonomous System Number line. But we should double check, we don’t want to send a mistaken DMCA to Amazon.
Click on the link containing the IP Address (188.8.131.52) and we’ll get an extensive report about the hosting company or the server associated to that IP Address. [see Image 6.1]
Image 6.1. By clicking on the IP Address you can see more details about the company currently hosting the website.
The purpose of this guide is to help you find more information about the specific company which is hosting a website infringing your rights. This tool must be used responsibly, sending a false or wrong report can have legal consequences.