How to Find Out Who Owns a Website or Domain
25 November 2021
If you want to verify the owner of a domain name or see when one expires (so that you can purchase it), performing a WHOIS lookup is the way to go.
If you perform a search in Google for WHOIS, you’ll 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 (so no luck trying to buy it out from under them anytime soon!).
While WHOIS is a great reference for when you want to find
information about someone else’s website, but it can be a problem when
it’s 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.
I recently did an experiment where I purchased two new domain names and set up email accounts for each domain name using the format firstname.lastname@example.org. I then let my personal information be displayed on www.whois.net for one of the sites and purchased the security feature for the other site. (Note: The security feature displays a third party’s information instead of your own, like the one for Domains By Proxy shown below.)