Businesses can’t afford to lose millions of dollars because of malicious domain names used in all types of domain-related attacks including domain name squatting, business email compromise (BEC) frauds or, more generally, spoofing and phishing scams.
That said, having proper domain & threat intelligence sources like WHOIS is key to protecting one’s organization from such cyber risks. In fact, WHOIS data can proactively support the early identification and follow-up investigation of suspicious domain registrations and their owners.
Why is that? WHOIS data is an inherent part of the domain name system, served from distributed databases of registries and registrars via the incumbent WHOIS protocol and the new RDAP. Today, WHOIS records are still essential pieces of information linking a domain to its owner.
However, the direct use of the WHOIS protocol and its database has many obstacles (i.e., amount and frequency limitations, absence of historic records, etc.).
It also only supports limited types of queries and does not allow, for example, reverse WHOIS searches.
For these reasons, various WHOIS data providers with more practical and thorough offerings have emerged; and here is a list of the best WHOIS domain name search and lookup tools that can help protect users and organizations as a whole.
Tool #1: WHOIS Search & WHOIS Lookup
WHOIS Search and WHOIS Lookup are straightforward research tools from WhoisXML API, the former being part of Domain Research Suite.
Both enable users to quickly retrieve key data points for a particular domain, such as its age, creation and expiration dates, registrar, owner, administrative and other contacts, and more.
WHOIS Search and WHOIS Lookup are one of the best WHOIS search tools in the market today, as the company’s long-standing relationship with registrars has allowed it to yield mostly complete WHOIS records for its users.
Tool #2: Reverse WHOIS Search
Reverse WHOIS Search (https://drs.whoisxmlapi.com/reverse-whois-search) is another handy tool from WhoisXML API’s Domain Research Suite. It allows users to discover all domains associated with a particular WHOIS record.
For example, you can use a phone number, an email address, or a company name as a query term to retrieve a list of connected domains and WHOIS records.
The volume of results that this tool can churn out is outstanding, making it easy to do background checks on domain owners and websites. The database has over 6.7 billion historical WHOIS records collected over the past ten years.
Tool #3: Bulk WHOIS Lookup
As far as features go, Bulk WHOIS Lookup does the job of looking at a large number of domains. It is an enterprise-grade tool that allows users to search for the WHOIS records of up to 500,000 domains or IP addresses at any given time.
It accomplishes this via a single RESTful API query over HTTP or HTTPS. The output comes in a well-parsed format of one’s choice (JSON or XML).
Users get 500 free WHOIS checks upon registration, which is ideal for small business operations.
Tool #4: Whois.net
Owned by NTT America, Whois[.]net has been around since 1999. To use the tool, users have to enter a domain to retrieve its WHOIS record. The research tool also claims to let users search domains by IP address.
Results are returned in a matter of seconds and provide users immediate information on whether domains are available for registration or are already in use, followed by their corresponding WHOIS records.
Tool #5: Whois Lookup
DomainTools is a known provider of lookup and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions for personal and enterprise use. Its Whois lookup tool is pretty decent as well and its outputs reveal related IP addresses and the number of sites hosted on a particular server.
Tool #6: Whois Domain Lookup
Whois Domain Lookup is a service offered by domain registrar WHOIS. It provides relevant information on a domain, including its registration status, expiration date, and name servers, just like the other tools on this list. It is predominantly featured on WHOIS’s homepage so that domain buyers can use it.
Tool #7: ICANN Lookup
Last but not least is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN)’s Whois Lookup tool. It provides users a simplified overview of a domain’s WHOIS record.
In its query results, ICANN shows users the queried domain’s internationalized domain name version, name servers, and authoritative name servers.
It also shows whether a domain has Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) enabled or not.
The domain threat landscape has evolved at an unprecedented pace and businesses need to keep up. Fortunately, new advances in cybersecurity have made domain intelligence more accessible to organizations of any size.
The abovementioned products are some of the best WHOIS domain name search and lookup tools that can aid IT professionals in protecting their companies from cyber risks.