How To Find Out Who Owns A Domain
Why would you ever need to know the ownership of a domain?
Well, sometimes youre just curious about who owns a website but sometimes domain info can be much more valuable.
If you want to know how to find out who owns a domain name, then you need to start with a who is?
Stick around and we will show you how to find out the owner of a domain, why you need to check a domain, and how to search for a domain of your very own.
Build, brand, and grow your business with Zyro
How To Find The Domain Owner Name
We were doing a small research for a client and during that a question popped up who owns this domain name?. This questions is not uncommon among the webmaster communities. But why would you want to know who owns a particular domain name? There could be several reasons. Maybe you own the domain and just want to confirm if it is indeed yours! Maybe youre planning to buy an expired domain or planning to make a bid on a registered domain or probably you want to check the credentials of a website that you like. Whatever the need may be, you must first try to find out the domain owner name and the corresponding details. Domain owner lookup will help you verify:
- the registrar details,
- the legal domain owner or registrant credentials,
- the active Privacy Controls, and
- it can help identify issues that could result in disputes
You may own a domain name and you might even be paying the bills for renewing it but are you sure that youre the legal domain owner? If you are not the legal owner of the domain name, then someone else might be using it without your knowledge. Whoever is the owner of your domain name, has full control like the administrative rights and also the right to sell it. Therefore it is important to verify that really own the domain name.
In this article we will learn:
- How to search for a domain name owner and its corresponding details.
- Understand WHOIS Services.
- Perform a search using three different WHOIS lookup.
- Interpret the results.
Search Engines And Social Media
If current ownership information is not available through a WHOIS database or not directly shown on a site, it may be possible to track it down through other kinds of information, such as social media profiles or links to related sites. For example, a searcher might find the site owner through a Twitter account or LinkedIn profile, even if that information is not on the domain or in a WHOIS database. Even a Google search might turn up clues to a domain owners identity and contact information.
Recommended Reading: Transfer Domain From Godaddy To Shopify
Contacting The Domain Owner
In the US, Whois domain information often includes the personal contact details of the domain owner. In this case, as its easy to find out who owns a domain, you can simply contact the owner directly with any queries, such as questions about the availability of the domain.
There are however some notable exceptions. For instance, the EUs General Data Protection Regulation , which came into effect in May 2018, means that the personal data of domain owners based in the EU can no longer be published. As a result, if the domain youre searching for is owned by an individual or organization in the EU, their contact details may not be visible. In addition, US-based domain owners can also use a proxy or a domain privacy service to hide their personal contact details.
In such cases, contact must be established via the registrar, who can forward your request to the domain owner. You may wish to do this to inquire about technical issues or to report the possible misuse of a domain name.
What Information Shows Up In A Whois Lookup Result
Using our WHOIS domain lookup tool, you can see where a domain is registered, which DNS servers the domain name redirects to, its creation, renewal, and expiration dates, as well as other contact information, all of which allows you to contact its owner, or even transfer the domain name to another registrar if its one thats already in your possession.
However, not every piece of domain information is made public in a WHOIS lookup. Depending on the domain ending, also known as a TLD, you may be able to use WHOIS domain lookup privacy features that allow you to hide some of your domain name information in a WHOIS lookup. At Gandi, you can protect sensitive data from WHOIS lookup tools for all eligible domain names for free.
If you already own a domain, a WHOIS lookup is a great way to check what information is publicly visible when others do a domain lookup. Making sure everything that appears in a WHOIS domain lookup is accurate is also very important in a legal context, but also in order to facilitate future domain name transfers. WHOIS lookup is also an easy way to make sure your domain has been properly renewed since the domain lookup results will show your domain’s expiration date.
Recommended Reading: How To Get A Business Domain Email
Initial Considerations When Taking Security Over A Domain Name
At an early stage, a lender should conduct the necessary due diligence in relation to the domain name and evaluate its marketability and value, independent from the registrant company and in conjunction with the goodwill and other IPRs of the company.
During the due diligence process, the lender should require the registrant to furnish a detailed schedule of all its related IP assets. This will enable the lender to decide whether it wishes to take security over those assets as well as the domain name.
If the IP will form a significant part of the lender’s security package, it should commission an independent IP audit from a specialist. The audit should corroborate the details of the schedule of related IP assets received from the registrant and confirm whether there are any assets that are merely licensed, rather than owned, by the registrant. If any IP assets are licensed to the registrant, rather than owned, this would significantly impact the resale value of the security package, should the lender need to realise the security.
The due diligence exercise should also focus on uncovering any issues relating to the ownership, validity, use, infringement and renewal of the domain name and any other associated IPRs over which the lender may wish to take security.
How To Find Out Who Owns A Website Or Domain
You can also find out when it’s going to expire
Wouldnt it be nice to know who owned a certain website? Previously, I wrote about how you can find out who is hosting a website, but that only tells you where the server is located. If you want to verify the owner of a domain name or see when one expires , performing a WHOIS lookup is the way to go.
If you perform a search in Google for WHOIS, youll get a bunch of results, but normally the first one is whois.net. By visiting www.whois.net, you can not only find out who owns a certain domain name, but also when it was purchased and more importantly, when it is due to expire.
Looking up a domain name on www.whois.net is very simple. All you have to do is enter in the web address you want to look up and presto all the information you wanted will appear. For example, if you look up the website address for the WHOIS site, you will find out some important information. In the screen shot below, we can tell that the domain name was purchased in 1997 and they have paid for it through 2018 .
While WHOIS is a great reference for when you want to find information about someone elses website, but it can be a problem when its the other way around. When purchasing a domain or even afterwards, most companies provide a private registration benefit that will remove any personal information about the owner.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Web Domain
How To Find The Whois Information Of The Given Ip Address By Using The Ip Whois Lookup Tool
To find the WHOIS information of a particular IP address. Perform the following steps.
- Enter a valid IPv4 or IPv6 in the “Enter any Valid IP Address” section.
- After entering the IP address, click on the “Lookup IP” button.
- The tool performs the IP WHOIS lookup and provides you the WHOIS info of that particular IP address.
Taking Security Over A Bundle Of Rights Associated With A Domain Name
A domain name, by itself, may be of limited value without other intrinsically associated IP rights and assets. Likewise, if a lender takes security over a domain name without taking security over those other rights and assets, that security may be of limited value.
Therefore, a lender should also consider, in addition to taking security over the domain name, taking security over those associated rights. This should ensure that on enforcement, the lender can realise the true value of the domain name.
Key examples of associated rights that might comprise part of the bundle over which a lender takes security are the following:
- The trade mark contained in the domain name.
- Any goodwill of the business relating to the domain name.
A lender should be aware of the practicalities of taking security over these additional IPRs. For example, when taking security over copyright , it would be prudent for a lender to carry out a search at Companies House to determine whether there is any pre-existing security over that copyright. Patents and trade marks, however, are registered IPRs so when taking security over them, a lender should carry out a search at the IPO, as well as at Companies House, to uncover any existing security interests.
Read Also: How Much Is Wix Domain
Some More Registrant Information Domain Server Information Domain Name Record Information
WHOIS performs the required task efficiently, however, at the same time it should be noted that the information available may be exploited or utilized for spam and other purposes. You may end up receiving emails and unnecessary information from different resources and start filling up your inbox. To get rid of this problem, there are certain tools to help protect your privacy.
As in the case of www.DomainSherpa.com, we are able to see only limited information about the actual owner as the information is camouflaged through a privacy protection service called domain name privacy. Many domain name registrars offer domain privacy to mask the actual information of the domain owner. The privacy feature helps display third party information to safeguard your personal information from publically available information. Personal information is collected by the registrar and is accessible only on request by following certain privacy rules and regulations.
Search For The Domain Name Youre Interested In
Now, simply type in the domain name you want to find out more information about into the search bar and press enter. Whenever a domain owner decides to register the domain, theyre required to include information such as their name, address, email, and phone number. A Whois lookup can also tell you which registrar the domain is at, when it was registered, when it could potentially expire, and more.
You May Like: How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Website Domain
Two: Check The Whois Directory
Every time someone registers a domain name, the domain registrar that processes the sale is required to collect basic contact information. In some cases, that information then gets submitted to the WHOIS directory, so that theres a record of who runs each website online.
The WHOIS directory is therefore our next stop for seeking out a domain name owner.
Put in the name of the domain youre looking for and scroll down to find all the data the WHOIS directory lists for it. In a few cases, that may contain the owners contact information. If so, you can skip the next step.
Even if not though, it will always include at least their domain registrar and domain expiration date. That lets you know if the domain will be coming up for renewal soon. If so, you may be able to snap it up for cheaper when it expires than if you buy it from them directly. But that only works if they dont renew, so youre taking a chance.
Either way, knowing the domain registrar enables you to take the next step.
Are The Domain Owner And The Website Owner The Same
In most situations, the domain owner and the website owner are the same. But technically, that doesnt have to be the case. So, who is the owner of a domain?
Businesses are a great example to look at. A business website is part of the company, which can be owned by a partnership or corporation. However, domains are usually registered to one individual.
When a domain is registered, it will have several contacts listed for it. These are Registrant, Admin, Technical, and Billing. The Registrant contact is the legal owner of the domain.
If you hired an agency to build your website, someone on its staff might have registered the domain. If its not under your contact information, you wouldnt be the websites legal owner.
And finally, sometimes, domain registration services retain ownership of your domain. If they charge you for managing your domain, such as updating MX or A records, then thats a good sign that you dont legally own your domain.
However, if you find the domain owner, it will be easy to get to the website owner and vice versa.
Lets look at five proven ways to find out who owns a website.
Also Check: Registering A Domain Name Cost
Hosting Checker: The Server Details
The first part of the hosting checker report tells you who hosts this site or what is your hosting company. The second tab answers the question Where is this site hosted?. There you will find its IP address, sites webserver location , and name of the organization managing it.
You might wonder why the server location is in the host lookup tool report. The proximity of the webserver is essential as it influences the loading speed. The closer the webserver is to the target audience the faster the data will transfer. Some web host providers even charge extra for choosing a specific webserver location. To check where a specific IP address is, try our Free IP Checker.
If you want to save the content of any tab of our host checker, you can do it in one click. Copy it to a clipboard to paste elsewhere, download it as a pdf-file, or share it on social media.