Whois this Web Site From?

By Tom Worthington FACS

29 December 2002 (Updated 8 January 2003)

This is a short note on how to find who owns a web site. This can be useful when deciding how credible the information on the site is.

Domain Names

Each web page has an Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), for example http://www.tomw.net.au/

The part of the URI after the WWW is a Domain Name. In this case the domain name is "tomw.net.au".

Domain name registries

Domain names are registered in Domain name registries. The last part of the domain name ("au" in the case of "tomw.net.au") is a Country Code Domain, ("au" for Australia). There are also Generic Domains, such as .com, .gov, .net, and .org). An organisation called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority maintains a list of the Country Code and Generic Domains, and what organisation administers that domain. Australia (au), is administered by an organisation called .au Domain Administration (auDA).


Each domain name registries has a database of its domain names, which can be queried via a service called Whois. Entering 'tomw.net.au" into the Australian Whois Gateway at produces:

Domain ROID: D0289642-AR
Domain Name: tomw.net.au
Last Modified: 02-Aug-2002 11
Registrar ID: R00010-AR
Registrar Name: Melbourne IT
Status: ok

Registrant: Tomw Communications
Registrant ID: OTHER N/A
Registrant ROID: C0868920-AR
Registrant Contact Name: THE MANAGER
Registrant Email: tomw.communications@tomw.net.au

Tech ID: C0868922-AR
Tech Name: unknown
Tech Email: unknown_contact@ausregistry.net.au

Name Server: galileo.powerup.com.au
Name Server: oldent.powerup.com.au

Most of the information is technical in nature, but the Registrant is useful in establishing who owns the web site. The registrant name can be cross-checked against the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's National Names Index. to find details of companies, business names and other organisations.

Other domains, such as COM may have more information available. For example about "melbourneit.com" using Melbourne IT's Whois: it is possible to obtain the organisation's address, telephone and facsimile numbers:

WhoIs Result For melbourneit.com @ whois.melbourneit.com

Domain Name melbourneit.com
Creation Date 1999-04-05
Registration Date 2000-05-23
Expiry Date 2011-04-05
Organisation Name Melbourne IT Ltd
Organisation Address Level 2, 120 King Street Melbourne 3000 VIC AUSTRALIA
Admin Name Host Master
Admin Address Level 2, 120 King Street Melbourne 3000 VIC AUSTRALIA
Admin Email hostmaster@melbourneit.com
Admin Phone +61 3 8624 2300
Admin Fax +61 3 8624 2499

See also:

Tom Worthington © 2002