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Website Stalking

July 17th, 2008 Posted in Internet   Print This Post Print This Post   Email This Post Email This Post

detectivecomputer Website StalkingLet’s face it; we live in a world that puts information at our fingertips thanks to the internet. Most people know how to find information about a specific subject, or trying to find their friends (or enemies) on MySpace or Facebook; however, not everyone knows how to find out information about internet domains. So if you are interested in finding out who owns your favorite websites, I will give you the tools to figure it out and a little lesson on the domain registration process.

What are Domain Names?

A domain name is what you type in the address bar of your favorite web browser, for example, to get to my site you type in “www.veritablelife.com.” You will notice that there are three parts to what was typed in: www, veritablelife and com; each part is a part of the domain.

  • www – third-level domain
  • veritablelife – second-level domain
  • com – top-level domain

When purchasing domains, companies and/or people will typically purchase second-level domains. Once owner of a second-level domain, you can create multiple sub-domains, third-level domains, through DNS: although this is a whole new discussion. Our main focus will be on the second-level domains.

How to Obtain a Domain?

While on the topic of domains, I’ll just through this in there. Purchasing a domain is an extremely simple task, broken down into three steps:

  1. Go to a Domain Registrar, I prefer MyDomain.com from my guide to being a webmaster.
  2. Search for the domain name that you desire.
  3. Select an available domain and pay for it.

Be aware that most of the common words and names are already going to be taken, so you may have to search for multiple names before finding one that you like. To make this process easier, most Domain Registrars will offer a bunch of similar domain names for each search.

Back to the Stalking How-To

Now that you have some background on what domains are and how to go about getting a domain, it’s time to learn about the WHOIS service. WHOIS is like the phonebook for the internet. There are a plethora of WHOIS websites out there, my favorites are from Network Solutions, DNS Stuff and Domain Tools; however, a quick Google search (or your favorite search engine) for WHOIS will result in plenty of services to choose from. Once you find a service that you like, all you have to do is type in the domain name and hit “Search.” It’s that simply.

Example of WHOIS Search

Example 1

Here is an example of a WHOIS search from Network Solutions, you will notice that there isn’t that much information provide since I did private registration.

Registrant:
c/o VERITABLELIFE.COM
P.O. Box 821650
Vancouver, WA  98682
US

Registrar: NAMESDIRECT
Domain Name: VERITABLELIFE.COM
Created on: 20-MAY-08
Expires on: 20-MAY-09
Last Updated on: 20-MAY-08

Administrative Contact:
******@privacypost.com
c/o VERITABLELIFE.COM
P.O. Box 821650
Vancouver, WA  98682
US
+1.360-449-5933

Technical Contact:
******@privacypost.com
c/o VERITABLELIFE.COM
P.O. Box 821650
Vancouver, WA  98682
US
+1.360-449-5933

Domain servers in listed order:
NS1.POWWEB.COM
NS2.POWWEB.COM

Example 2

You will notice that the same search, but for Google.com, provides some more information that wasn’t available to people searching veritablelife.com.

Registrant:
Dns Admin
Google Inc.
Please contact *************@google.com 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
US
*********@google.com +1.6502530000 Fax: +1.6506188571

Domain Name: google.com

Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

Administrative Contact:
DNS Admin
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
US
*********@google.com +1.6506234000 Fax: +1.6506188571
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
DNS Admin
Google Inc.
2400 E. Bayshore Pkwy
Mountain View CA 94043
US
*********@google.com +1.6503300100 Fax: +1.6506181499

Created on…………..: 1997-09-15.
Expires on…………..: 2011-09-13.
Record last updated on..: 2008-06-08.

Domain servers in listed order:

ns3.google.com
ns4.google.com
ns2.google.com
ns1.google.com

Stalk Away

Now that you know how to use the WHOIS service, go out and stalk away. Look at the owners of your favorite blogs, companies, friend, whoever. And remember that next time you plan on registering a domain that this information will be available unless you purchase Private Registration.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Website Stalking”

  2. By victoryv on Jul 17, 2008

    “purchase Private Registration”— i did not know that. Thanks for sharing the info.
    http://www.webfathom.blogspot.com/

  3. By jeferrer on Jul 17, 2008

    Hi! thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. Nice post and topic I was actually thinking of writing a similar article about domain registration I might just have to refer my readers to your article.

  4. By free iPod Touch on Jul 22, 2008

    Thankfully NameCheap (http://www.namecheap.com) offers free Whois guard protection with each domain name that you register. This way all your contact information is hidden. GoDaddy has that option too but they charge you for it. NameCheap offers it to you free for the first year, but it’s still cheap when they start charging you.

    Nischal Shetty Reply:

    Yeah, I agree with what you say. You can always mask your info and let the company with whom you register have their details show up.

  5. By beau71 on Jul 23, 2008

    Great find. Free private registration is pretty nice for first time domain buyers.

  6. By Nischal Shetty on Aug 30, 2008

    hey… you forgot WHO.IS

    It’s what I use when I want to search for domains. Clean interface and gives you just what you need :)

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