Whois Proxy Servers
Technically a "proxy" is a person or agency who has authority to act for another. Whois Proxies act as an intermediary between a whois client and whois servers.
Now, why would you need an intermediary for doing whois lookups?
There are a number of reasons why a whois proxy is useful.
Uses of a Whois Proxy
- Whois proxies can act as a single point of contact between the whois client and whois servers. Instead of the whois client being aware of different whois servers it only needs to communicate with the proxy. The proxy takes care of deciding which whois server to connect to. This has the advantage that any required code changes may be made at the proxy (instead of updating every copy of the whois client on multiple computers)
- Whois proxies can cache the data reducing overall network traffic to and from whois servers. For example, if person A asks for specific domain record, the proxy first checks if a fresh data is available in the local cache. If it is not, the data is retrieved and supplied to A's whois client. The data is also cached locally. If after a few minutes person B asks for the same data, it is picked up from the local cache and supplied to B. No connections are made to the whois servers.
- If you are behind a firewall that rejects direct connects to port 43, you can try accessing a whois proxy that uses the HTTP protocol. Since HTTP connects are almost never prevented by a firewall, this method provides an easy way to overcome network restrictions.