The Ultimate Guide to the WHOIS Database
The Internet is a vast cyber landscape. And it’s growing by leaps and bounds every single day. While this is often a good thing, it can also make it very difficult for those of us who are interested in learning more about specific domains. Often, simply using the website’s “Contact Us” form doesn’t elicit a response from the owner, so we’re left in the dark.
Domain names in the public domain
There aren’t enough registered domains to go round for every person on the planet, but we’re certainly getting close. At the latest estimation, the number of WHOIS records for domains ever recorded has passed 5 billion. That’s one domain for every single person living in China, India, US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Ethiopia, Philippines, Egypt, and Vietnam combined.
Downloading bulk WHOIS data: why and how?
In spite of all of its known deficiencies, WHOIS data still play a crucial role in e.g. IT security, marketing research, scientific investigations related to the Internet or the World Wide Web and the domaining business. They provide essential information on the ownership and registration details of a domain, including relevant dates such as that of registration and expiry.
Cumulative reports on domain names
The amount of data that can be possibly generated, collected or processed with computers is well beyond our imagination. In high-performance computing applications, such as, e.g. in weather forecast calculations, the size of data sets is of order of petabytes. But what are we interested in, after all, when looking at a weather forecast? A few lines of information describing what the weather will be like in the next few days. Or, maybe, a weather map which is a file still not bigger than an average family photo. This illustrates that in many cases we need a huge amount of data, but the data size of the real information we need to get out of it is really small. Of course it does not mean that we do not in fact get very much information from this small-sized result dataset.