WHOIS is a network protocol and client/server system used on the Internet to look up the names, IP addresses and owners of server computers.
Several Web sites allow you to search the WHOIS database for information about Internet servers. Depending on the type of search, you will need to choose a site appropriately. The following Internet organizations offer official WHOIS lookup support:
- arin.net for searching North American IP addresses
- InterNic and Uwhois for searches by domain name
- lacnic.net for other searches involving Latin American / Caribbean servers
- ripe.net for other searches involving European servers
- apnic.net for other searches involving Asia servers
Unix based computers also include a built-in whois command line client that provides the same information as Web site searches. No equivalent client ships with Microsoft Windows or Macintosh computers. However, you may prefer to download and use any of the various free command line or graphical (GUI) 'whois' clients available for free on the Internet.