Cautionary Tale: Registrars get rich by screwing you out of money

My first foray into web design included a site with a handful of issues. The original designer/developer created it as a one-off and he didn't bother to mention to the owner that the name would expire in 2 years.

When I stepped in to take over, the name had expired and the registrar (InterNIC) was charging $250 USD to get it back. The site at the time was a general static business site that didn't have a big enough following to warrant the price of the .com name so we opted to move to .net. All in all, it took 5 years before the registrar finally released the name so we could finally recover it.

tl;dr: Don't trust registrars.

Considering the emergence of Domain Front Running:

This is where a domain registrar or an intermediary (like a domain lookup site) mines the searches for possibly attractive domains and then either sells the data to a third-party, or goes ahead and registers the name themselves ahead of you. In one case a registrar took advantage of what's known as the "grace period" and registered every single domain users looked up through them and held on to them for 5 days before releasing them back into the pool at no cost to themselves.

I have good reason to distrust 3rd party registrars. To compensate, I only use the whois of the TLD owner to do domain searches.

I have been using verisign to look-up .com/.net domains for years now but what I'd like to know is:

Who owns the following TLDs and where can I find their Whois search:

  • .com - Verisign Inc. - whois
  • .net - Verisign Inc. - whois
  • .org - PIR - whois
  • .edu - Educause - whois
  • .biz - Neustar - whois
  • .pro - Registry.Pro - whois
  • What happened to community wiki? I don't need the rep. I'd rather have good reference that others can edit. Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 20:14
  • The wiki toggle was removed for a few reasons you can find covered here. You can request a question be converted by flagging for mod action.
    – Su'
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 4:04
  • @Su' Good to know. It turns out that one answer is enough to cover the question so a wiki is unnecessary. Thanks. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


The list of each authoritative WHOIS server is available in the IANA database. For example

and so on.

  • Nice. That's exactly what I was looking for. Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 2:25

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