How To Find Out Who Owns A Domain Name
Ownership of a domain matters to you if you are its registrant, and taking some easy steps to verify it may prevent confusion and disagreements. The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) authorizes registrars to issue and make changes to domain names. Wholesalers of domain names include eHost.com, iPage.com, Bluehost.com, FatCow.com, GoDaddy.com. and tucowsdomains.com. Verisign reports that more than 284 million domain names support at least 876 million websites, but the Atlantic Magazine estimates a total that is closer to one billion.
Understanding Some Reasons to Verify Your Domain Name
Verifying your domain name may reveal facts that can alert you to a need to resolve issues before they result in disputes. Your domain name may have four contact names associated with it, but only one can claim ownership as the registrant. You may serve as the administrative, billing and technical contact as well, or you can designate a separate person for each function.
Your domain is probably unlikely to face ownership challenges if you:
- file for registration only for yourself
- register as an individual and not as a company or organization
- have no business partners
- build your website yourself
- limit access to your accounts
- arrange for the transfer of ownership in a will
Preventing Loss of Ownership
An inscription on a statue in front of the National Archives states that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Preserving the rights to the ownership of your domain name similarly requires vigilance and awareness. Many circumstances may lead to the loss of ownership of your domain name. Unqualified individuals may inadvertently or overtly attempt to claim your domain name.
The people who serve as administrative, billing and technical contacts do not have ownership rights. Only you, as the legal registrant/owner, have the right to claim it.
- Former Employees
An employee who registers on behalf of an organization and then resigns can cause a website to go down. Inactive login information or defunct email addresses for an individual can result in renewal problems. When the registration includes only the employee’s personal information, proving that the name belongs to a company may present insurmountable obstacles. Losing a website as a consequence of improper registration can occur when an organization was not listed as the registrant/owner.
- Failed Businesses or Partnerships
In the aftermath of a failed business or partnership, ownership of a domain name may not appear at the top of a list of concerns. However, taking steps to ensure the smooth transition of domain ownership ahead of time is a simple matter. The name of more than one partner needs to appear on the domain registration and associated accounts.
Failed partnerships can result in diminished communication between owners and a lack of willingness to work collaboratively to resolve outstanding issues. Establishing efficient management of a domain name can enable an organization to continue operating a website and prevent it from expiring even when there is a change in administration or ownership.
- Website Creators
The creative individuals who design your website may inadvertently establish themselves as the legal owner of the domain that is rightfully yours. The account contact information must reflect the actual owner and not the site creator. You may designate them as the developers, but your information as registrant/owner must appear so that you can have primary account access. Developers have no right to claim your domain, and you can prevent it by making sure that your name appears on the account as registrant/owner.
- Death of a Registrant/Owner
The disposition of a will can include the cancellation of a credit card that supports a website, and the domain expires along with the cancellation of the site. Closing an account or verifying the authenticity of an alternate contact presents complications that are difficult to manage. Making sure to store account information in a secure location can ease the transition to an alternate registrant/owner.
Understanding the Purpose of the ICANN WHOIS Database
Finding the status of your domain name is as easy as typing it into a search box on the ICANN WHOIS site. Easier to understand when you separate it into “Who is”, the site lets you use it to search the database that contains every domain that has a current registration. It shows you who owns a domain, and you surely hope to find your own name when you search for your domain. Many users access it to find whether a domain name is available.
Looking up your domain name provides a chance to verify the accuracy of the information. Ensuring that you receive notice of renewal, your review can also make you eligible for special offers when they are available. If you want to own a domain name that belongs to someone else, access to the owner’s contact information can let you make an offer to purchase it. The database provides contact information for a variety of purposes, including these:
- identification of merchants or organizations that have an online presence
- establishment of contact with the network or web administrators for assistance in resolving technical matters
- diagnosis of registration problems
- protection of intellectual property rights through contact with a domain name registrant
- enforcement of regulations requiring accurate registration data
- investigation of computer or Internet attacks
- investigative leads for law enforcement
- resolution of spam violations
Remember that the information that you provide is public, and anyone can find your name and address as well as your email address and phone number. However, you can protect your personal data by choosing to use a private registration.
Using the WHOIS Database
ICANN offers a straightforward approach to WHOIS lookups with a search tool that is easy to use. To get started, click on your computer’s Internet connection.
Step One: In the long bar at the top of your Internet browser, type WHOIS.net, and press Enter.
A search box appears.
Step Two: In the search box, type the name of the domain that you want to look up.
For example, try using our own by typing www.WHOIS lendvo.com.
Step Three: Provide CAPTCHA information if it appears.
You may need to verify that you are a human and not a computer trying to access the site. CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans.” To satisfy its requirements, type the word or symbols that it displays in the box that appears below the text.
Make sure to type the letters exactly as they appear.
Step Four: Review the results.
The first line of results shows that “lendvo.com is already registered,” and the next line shows that our registrar is GoDaddy.com.
Domain Name: LENDVO.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 146
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Name Server: NS05.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS06.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientRenewProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientRenewProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 26-jul-2016
Creation Date: 02-dec-2014
Expiration Date: 02-dec-2018
Trying an Alternate Approach
As a shortcut, you can type www.whois lendvo.com in your browser’s address bar. The search results let you choose an address that produces results similar to these:
Registrant Org LendVO LLC is associated with ~21 other domains
Registrar GODADDY.COM, LLC
Registrar Status clientDeleteProhibited, clientRenewProhibited, clientTransferProhibited, clientUpdateProhibited
Dates Created on 2014-12-02 – Expires on 2018-12-02 – Updated on 2016-07-26
Name Server(s) NS05.DOMAINCONTROL.COM (has 40,419,590 domains)
NS06.DOMAINCONTROL.COM (has 40,419,590 domains)
IP Address 188.8.131.52 – 1 other site is hosted on this server
IP Location – Arizona – Scottsdale – Godaddy.com Llc
ASN AS26496 AS-26496-GO-DADDY-COM-LLC – GoDaddy.com, LLC, US (registered Oct 01, 2002)
Domain Status Registered And Active Website
Whois History 9 records have been archived since 2014-12-02
IP History 3 changes on 4 unique IP addresses over 2 years
Registrar History 1 registrar
Hosting History 1 change on 2 unique name servers over 2 years
Whois Server whois.godaddy.com
Website Title LendVO
Server Type Apache/2.4.18
Response Code 200
SEO Score 79%
Terms 615 (Unique: 284, Linked: 48)
Images 2 (Alt tags missing: 0)
Links 14 (Internal: 5, Outbound: 4)
Whois Record ( last updated on 2016-08-21 )
Domain Name: LENDVO.COM
Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Registrant Name: LendVO LLC
Name Server: NS05.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS06.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
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Reviewing Some Domain Name Concepts
As an expert or a novice user of the Internet, you are sure to know that the .com extension is the most popular choice. In the early days, it was a simple matter to get a .com extension for your top-level domain in the United States. However, the demand for it exceeds the supply, leading to the option to choose .net or .org. While those extensions are effective, it is important to include your complete domain name in your publicity because most people assume that .com is your extension.
Experts recommend using .net as the best option when .com is unavailable. If you have a foundation or a non-profit organization, then .org is an excellent choice. To make sure that you can get the highly desirable .com extension, consider making minor changes to your domain name. For example, if contemporarybuilders.com is unavailable, try variations like these:
Considering Some Alternative Options
Your search for a domain name on WHOIS shows you the owner’s name, giving you an opportunity to inquire about purchasing it. Many entrepreneurs buy domain names with no intention of using them, and those are frequently for sale. If you are intent on having a domain that belongs to someone else, you may choose to hire a broker to do the negotiation for you. The advantages include access to experience and resources that you may not have, but the existence of few regulations in the industry may introduce unexpected problems.
Domain names do expire, especially if the owner does not check with WHOIS at least once a year. Remember to make sure that the contact information is accurate and capable of receiving renewal notices. Getting the domain name that you want can make a difference in the amount of traffic that visits your site. With persistence and creativity, you can find the domain name that is perfect for you.