Domain Whois Lookups Not Working?

Do you have problems when looking up domains? Are all the lookups failing or is it only for domains that are registered through certain registrars?

Whois lookup problems can happen because of a number of reasons. Before you go through the list below check if the failures happen for all domains or for only some domains (for example, domains at a specific registrar). This information will help you quickly determine the reason.


You have a firewall / proxy server that is blocking connections

Make sure that you have enabled connections through port 43 and that you are not blocking connections to certain addresses. Contact your network administrator in case you don't control the firewall or proxy.

Some anti-virus and security software installations (Norton, McAfee) may automatically block all outbound connections from the software. You will need to allow Internet access for the software from your security software interface.

Port 43 Access

All domain name lookup software including Domain Name Analyzer, Domain Punch Pro, Watch My Domains (Pro & ISP) require access to port 43. You will need to enable access to this port if you are behind a firewall or proxy. So ensure that the whois lookup problem is not because of a blocked port 43 before reading further.

Most of our software is highly configurable. For example, it is possible to change the port used for lookups to another port (instead of 43). So be aware of any changes you have made to the software configuration.

Tip: Use the diagnostic port 43 tool for checking connections to specific whois servers.

Data Refresh Interval

The software may not redo lookups on domains that have been recently checked. This is done to limit the number of whois queries from your system. You can adjust the time interval before a domain can be looked up again from the "App Settings" dialog. Set this interval to zero if you want to remove this limit.

Please see redoing whois for more details.

The registrar's whois server is temporarily down.

Please wait a while and try again. Check your registrar's website to see if there is a prior announcement of a down-time.

Network / Connection Problem

There is probably a network problem (your ISP, somewhere else). Check if your Internet connection is up, wait if necessary. If you are on a corporate network, contact your network administrator.

The whois server connections are timing out

Make sure that you are not making too many simultaneous connections to the whois server. The whois setup dialog has options to specify the number of simultaneous connections and the interval between two consequtive connections. Adjust them if necessary.

The registrar's whois server is blocking connections from your IP address

Please see whois usage restrictions. If your IP is being blocked you should stop all lookups immediately. Most registrars reset their ban list every 24 hours. So if you keep redoing the lookups your IP may be banned for longer duration.

You can also use the diagnostic whois tool to check if the port 43 connections from your IP address are being blocked.

The registrar's whois server is blocking connections from your ISP or entire IP block

This is a common issue with certain registrars and country code TLDs. In some cases you might just have to use another ISP.

You have a software configuration / setup error

Make sure that you have specified the proper whois servers, connection settings etc. within the software. Mostly this is done from the Whois Config (for Windows) or Preferences (for Mac OS X)menu option.

Please double or triple check the entries. Spelling errors in the whois server name are difficult to notice at times.

You can reset the whois setup for any TLD/ccTLD by simply deleting the TLD from the tld list in the dialog.