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How to get the owner of a domain

NDUKWE CHIDERA K.

Introduction

The internet is a very big inter-network of computers and other computing devices all over the world.

Each of these devices have an address by which they are reached on this giant network.

You need to reach a device on the internet in order to communicate and exchange data with it.

So, when a website is created and hosted on a server which is connected to the internet, there is an address given to this website. This particular address is known as the domain name of the website.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the address entered into the address bar of a browser in order to access a website on the internet.

These addresses are host names which are resolved into IP addresses that are more appropriate for use by the browser. The browsers use this address to locate the server on which your website is hosted on the internet and also give access to the website it holds.

This simple process explained above combines many technical processes which I am not going to bore you with right now. But the image below conveys a visual explanation of what happens when you enter a web address like www.youtube.com on the web browser address bar.

How do you get a domain name?

Getting a domain is really easy and anybody can get one.

To get one, simply go to any domain name registrar such as A2, GoDaddy, Namecheap, and so on.

Enter your domain name of choice, which should connect to your purpose of purchase and must not be registered by anyone.

Next is to pay a fee for this, and and your domain name is ready.

Note: A domain name is different from web hosting. One simple difference: for a domain name you pay only once, but for hosting you have to keep renewing your subscriptions at different intervals.

Why you may want to know the owner of a domain name

  • You may wish to buy a domain from the owner for your own use.
  • You have a need to verify the authenticity of a piece of information you found on a website, so you want to know who is behind it.
  • There are signs of scamming and information phishing from the site the domain points to.
  • You wish to know who is behind an email you got from a website.
  • Do not spam or harass a domain owner when you finally find them.

How to know the owner of a domain name

There is no guarantee of getting the real owner using any of the various means available. This is because I can own a site registered for me by someone else. That notwithstanding, you will get the details of whoever registered it, who is considered to be the legal owner of a domain name.

1. Using the contact information on the website associated with the domain name

You have to type the domain name into your browser’s address bar to visit the website it refers to. Look out for the “About Us” or “Contact Us” section of the website. This section should get you the basic information you may need. If this is not good enough, follow the second process.

2. Searching the WHOIS directory

Domain name registration all over the world is regulated by an international organization ICANInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

All domain name registrations are regulated by ICANN, which mandates that certain information be provided with the registration of any domain name. Such information includes the name, email, mailing address, and phone number of the registrant.

The WHOIS database is used to store the information provided, and it is made publicly accessible on the internet. Searching the domain name on this directory by visiting the whois website will get you the domain owner’s details.

However, owners of domain names can choose Private Registration to keep their information private.

When domain names of such private registrants are searched for in the directory, you can only get their email address. You can send an email to this address with your legitimate concerns, and you may get a reply.

These are a few ways to find the owner of a domain.

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