When the concept of the Internet was still young and domain names were still a privilege rather than something common, the concept of domain name ownership was first introduced. Just like when getting a license plate for your car, when purchasing a domain name you have to fill in a lot of additional information about the person or organization, owner of the domain. This information is known as WHOIS information.
History of the WHOIS
Back when the Internet was just ARPANET, there was a single organization in charge of domain name registrations - DARPA. Due to the centralized administration, all domain names had an easily accessible WHOIS information database. The fact that there was only one organization managing both domain registrations and their respective WHOIS details made WHOIS queries very fast and easy.
Slowly, with the evolution of the World Wide Web, domain name registration and WHOIS management shifted away from the DARPA and could now be administered by several 3rd party companies. At the same time, the number of domain names had grown a lot, which also increased the number of the publicly available private details of the domain name owners. With the rise of the spam and phishing attacks popular at the time, and with the problems with the WHOIS queries, the WHOIS protocol was revised, and wildcard searches, available until the moment, were prohibited.
WHOIS query clients
The WHOIS query clients allow the user to the check the WHOIS information of a domain name from his own computer. Just like the DNS tools, the WHOIS query clients are divided into two types - command line WHOIS clients and graphical, online-based WHOIS clients.
Command line WHOIS query clients The command line in a Unix or Unix-based OS presents a very powerful way to control the machine. In a Linux terminal, the “whois” command signals a WHOIS query and it must be followed by the domain which is to be queried. The results are presented without any formatting. A WHOIS client is embedded in almost every Unix-based distribution and works with most of the popular TLDs.
Example of a WHOIS query in Linux:$ whois ntchosting.com
Domain Name: NTCHOSTING.COM
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Referral URL: http://www.enom.com
Name Server: NS1.NTCHOSTING.COM
Name Server: NS2.NTCHOSTING.COM
Updated Date: 17-may-2009
Creation Date: 15-jul-2002
Expiration Date: 15-jul-2015
Registration Service Provided By: Supreme Center
Domain name: ntchosting.com
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Online-based WHOIS query clients
For anyone not using a Unix-based system but wanting to perform a WHOIS lookup, the option is to use an online-based WHOIS query tool. These tools are able to present the information in a much more clear way, since they generate an HTML formatted output. Such tools are freely available for usage on several websites dedicated to DNS and WHOIS lookups.
WHOIS protection is vital in today's world, since it allows the owner of the domain name to hide his personal information from the public eye. This way, he is protected against spam or phishing attacks. WHOIS protection is available for the following TLDs: .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .me, .tv, .asia, .cc. For all of these TLDs, WHOIS protection, also referred to as ID protection, can be ordered directly from our web hosting order page upon a domain name registration or transfer. The protection is activated as soon as the domain name is registered or transferred, hiding your personal information right from the start.
WHOIS management with NTC Hosting
We, at NTC Hosting, have worked hard on our domain hosting platform in order to present our clients with a very potent domain management solution. With our advanced Domain Manager you can easily modify your WHOIS information or your domain's name servers. You also have control over the DNS settings of the domain, including the CNAME, A and MX records.