A Service of Softnik Technologies

What is Whois?

Whois is a protocol used to find information about networks, domains and hosts. The whois records normally include data on the organizations and the contacts associated with these networks and domains.

Whois services operate through a whois server. Any one can connect to a whois server and send a query. The whois server will then respond to the query and close the connection. Any one can run a whois server. For example a company could run a whois server that provides information about its various departments and employees.

The most common use of whois is for finding information about domain names. For example, you can find information on a domain (eg: microsoft.com) by querying the appropriate whois server.

Whois Lookup using Telnet

Let us assume you want to find the domain registration details regarding "softnik.co.uk"

The whois server for UK domains is whois.nic.uk. So all we need to do is connect to whois.nic.uk on port 43 (the standard port defined for whois requests) and then send the string softnik.co.uk followed by a carriage return linefeed pair (by pressing the <enter> key on your keyboard).

You can try this on your own!

From the Windows Start button select 'Run'. Now type

telnet whois.nic.uk 43

and click OK.

The telnet window will open up and briefly show a 'connecting..' message. Once the connection is made the window will be blank. Now type in any UK domain (e.g. microsoft.co.uk) and press the enter key (please note that the telnet window will not display the text that is being typed in)

You should be able to see the unformatted raw domain record in the window.