The Importance of WHOIS Information and How It Resolves Domain Name Issues
The WHOIS database is a frequently ignored part of the infrastructure of the internet. This database helps to keep track of all registered and non-registered domain names. It is more than just a record of millions of names and owners. The WHOIS database is also a neutral, non-profit arbiter of who owns what on the global, sprawling network known as the World Wide Web.
How it works
The WHOIS database functions as a repository for all of the domain names in existence. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the owner and administrator of the WHOIS database, serves as a clearing house between individuals and the entities that run different extensions such as .org. Individuals work either directly with a registrar or through a third party such as GoDaddy when they want to buy a domain name. The person interested in registering a domain name gives reliable contact information to the registrar who works with ICANN and WHOIS. The registrar consults WHOIS information to ensure that the domain name in question is not already owned by another party.
They will suggest alternatives or provide an opportunity to buy the domain name if it is owned already. If the domain name is not occupied, ownership is assigned after the payment of a fee and the individual can secure SSL certificates for their website. SSL certificates allow users to create a secure connection between their computer and the site. Such a connection is required for the now-standard use of https. Websites without https protection are often flagged as unsafe and ignored by many users of the internet today.
Why it is important
The WHOIS database is important because of the internet's heavy reliance on domain names. Domain names are critical to an individual's or company's identity. They help one establish a brand and bring relevance to their company. There must be a person or entity in charge of keeping domain ownership organized. Having an organization like ICANN in charge of the WHOIS database is also critical to ensuring WHOIS privacy and freedom of the internet. There are thousands of companies and dozens of countries that would jump at the chance to have control over the basic framework of the internet.
Those groups could downgrade or otherwise hide domain names for reasons that they disagreed with or competed against. On the other hand, WHOIS is run by a non-profit with years of experience in fairly handling the registration of domain names. Companies and individuals can trust that the domain name registration experience will provide WHOIS privacy when working with ICANN.
How to utilize WHOIS today
Anyone interested in buying or selling a website or domain name needs to familiarize themselves with the WHOIS database and WHOIS information. They need to know the process for securing a domain name and who they should contact. In addition, they need to know what standards they have to meet to stay in good standing with ICANN. Keeping a healthy relationship with a key part of internet architecture is critical to any successful business in the 21st century.