How are whois-records for nameservers handled?

There are websites with searchfuntion for whois-nameservrs, like: https://who.is/nameserver/

  1. How do I get my own nameserver to be searchable?
  2. Why should I want my nameserver to be searchable?
  3. What problems can I expect if it's not searchable?

Didn't know that there was whois-records for nameservers, until I got a complain from a registrant, where i wanted the domianname handled by my nameservers.

  • my domains and my nameservers are in diferent zones, example puggan.se are using nameserver ns1.puggan.com, and puggan.com is using the registrars nameserver. – Puggan Se Nov 30 '15 at 11:20

The whois information for domains is handled by the domain registrar, maintained by icann.

The site you listed pulls possible domains that use your name servers, similar to harvest or robtex.com, utilities common in research and information gathering.

The functionality of your nameservers is irrelevant to the results on that site, the only thing that matters is you are the owner of your domain.

Update: I think law and I have two different answers to two different 'takes' on your question.

To further agree with Law's answer, if you are hosting DNS for someone else, you should configure GLUE records for those nameservers, and BE SURE TO UPDATE THEM if your IP/A records change.


There is a chicken-and-egg problem with nameservers. The registry-registrar protocol (well, EPP nowadays) permits a registrar to configure a domain by indicating which nameserver name is the nameserver for a given domain, but the domain configuration does not include the nameserver IP. It is possible to fake this by putting the nameserver in another domain that has other nameservers, but somewhere someone has to provide an actual IP to start with, so faking just pushes the problem farther away and slows down resolution of your IPs.

So, there is another object in the registry-registrar protocol that is the nameserver, with its IP(s). When the registry's DNS servers are asked for your domain's name server name, they then also provide additional "glue" records with the nameserver's IP, and that solves the chicken-and-egg problem. Those nameservers are searchable in whois (whois is basically a search interface to registry or registrar information).

If your registrar is well coded, it should not let you define a nameserver for your domain that is not actually defined as a nameserver at its registry, but even if your registrar did that it is hard to deal with a nameserver in another TLD which is deleted or whose domain expires. So, if the nameservers for your domain are in your domain, you should declare their IPs with your registrar who must declare them with the registry, and if the nameservers for your domain are in another domain then the owner of that domain should do it.

Source: I ran a registrar for five years and implemented RRP and EPP clients for different registries.

  • You only need glue records if you host your dns with nameservers in the same zone. – Jacob Evans Nov 29 '15 at 17:29
  • "If your registrar is well coded, it should not let you define a nameserver for your domain that is not actually defined as a nameserver at its registry", thats my porblem, still not got any clue on how to solve question 1. – Puggan Se Nov 30 '15 at 11:24
  • @Jacob Evans sure, but your outofzone name servers should be declared – Law29 Dec 2 '15 at 2:55
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    @Puggan Se you have a domain, say example.com, if your ns is something.example.com you need to declare it. If it belongs to someone else then that someone should have declared it. – Law29 Dec 2 '15 at 2:58
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    @Law29 oh absolutely, however... people like our 'friends' at godaddy, tend to skip them, pdns05.domaincontrol.com for example. – Jacob Evans Dec 2 '15 at 3:03

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