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Who Maintains The WHOIS Database

Posted on February 20, 2019
Who keeps WHOIS database up to date

WHOIS is an extensively utilized Internet record listing that establishes the identity and contact information of the owner of a domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regulates the registration and ownership of domain names. Over the years, the records in the WHOIS database have developed into an essential asset in maintaining the veracity of domain name registration and ownership.

What Is In A WHOIS Record?

Each year, millions of businesses, individuals, organizations and government bodies are registering new domain names. Every time a domain name is registered, certain information must be provided to the domain registrar. This information will include contact details such as the name, address, email, telephone numbers and administrative and technical contact details, which must be accurate and reliable. It is the responsibility of the person registering the domain name (the registrant) to ensure this information is kept up to date. This is generally referred to as "WHOIS data", which is stored within the WHOIS system. Although it is envisioned as a single central database, the data is actually managed by a group of independent entities know as "registrars" and "registries".

Registrars & Registries

Registrars are companies and organizations that have ICANN accreditation and are registry certified to sell domain names. They must abide by the rules of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN and also by the agreements they have with the registries. Registrars are responsible for ensuring the WHOIS data is maintained, submitting the data to the registries, allowing the public to access the information and complying with the RAA conditions. Domain name registrants may choose to register their domains through resellers who are associated or under contract with registrars. These resellers often offer other services such as web hosting and email. Although resellers are not ICANN accredited, the registrar for whom they are re-selling will remain accountable for any domain name sold.

Registries have the responsibility of maintaining the registry for each top level domain, .com, .net, .org etc. This includes accepting requests for registrations, keeping a database of the domain name registration data and providing name servers giving the location of the domain names throughout the Internet. Registry operators keep a reliable and trustworthy master database for all top-level domain name registrations.

Who keeps WHOIS data accurate

Who Keeps WHOIS Accurate?

ICANN requires that all WHOIS information be accurate for the life of the domain registration period. Prior to 2013, registrars were not required to be proactive and verify or validate the information provided by domain name registrants. Now, under the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), registrars must notify registrants annually of updating their WHOIS information, which plays an essential part in ensuring the database is accurately maintained.

With the millions of domains being registered each month and the millions already on the internet, Domain Name Stat has an abundance of information related to domain names and data stored in the WHOIS database. The in-depth analysis is designed to allow you to glean everything you may need to know about domain names.

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