Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are many horror stories when people checked domains, found not occupied, but when came back to register the best one, all of them appeared to be registered by someone else. So, what is the safest way to check domains for being occupied?

share|improve this question
    
Ah, yes... An all-too-familiar extortion scheme... –  Aeo Dec 20 '10 at 14:51
2  
I'm likely to be downvoted for this, but I've never had this happen with GoDaddy and I've been researching and purchasing domains from them for a little over 7 years. –  GregD Dec 20 '10 at 14:53
    
@GregD: I have to agree. While I don't doubt that this has happened, I do doubt that it's a widespread occurrence. I could spend all day worrying about what may happen to me based on things I read and hear but at the end of the day, I have to go out and live a productive life. –  joeqwerty Dec 20 '10 at 15:01
    
@joeqwerty: I actually had this happen about 5-6 years ago. There was a big push for .be domains. Some website (the name escapes me) was running a special on the .be domain and I looked up and tried registering bumble.be or bumbl.be. By the time I got to paying for it (within minutes of looking it up), it had been registered out from under me and the website offered to "sell" the domain to me at an inflated price. –  GregD Dec 20 '10 at 15:09
    
@GregD @joeqwerty: Supposedly it's no longer a problem since they changed the domain tasting/kiting rules. Too expensive to run this kind of scam in any large scale. –  pehrs Dec 20 '10 at 15:11
add comment

3 Answers

Go to the source. whois domain@whois.arin.net or alternatively go to http://www.arin.net and whois from their website. ARIN isn't going to steal your domain.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Don't use a website. Use the whois command as this should go directly to the registry (not registrar) whois service. It will only refer to the registrar's whois if it is already registered.

whois doesthisreallyactuallyexist.com

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for "DOESTHISREALLYACTUALLYEXIST.COM".
...snip...

You can explicitly set the whois server and query type if you wish:

whois -h whois.verisign-grs.com domain doesthisreallyactuallyexist.com

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

No match for domain "DOESTHISREALLYACTUALLYEXIST.COM"
share|improve this answer
add comment

I use domaintools.com to do all of my whois lookups. They provide excellent information on the domain beyond the whois details and they do not run a registrar so they won't be registering your domains.

In the past this has been an issue, but typically a registrar quickly gets banned if caught doing such things.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.