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How to Find Out Who Owns a Domain Name

account_circle Network Solutions Team
Finding Domain Owner

Key Takeaways

  • There are many ways to find out who owns a domain name. 
  • The WhoIs directory provides contact information for the domain owner or details that can help you identify them.
  • You should have a contingency plan in place in case you can’t identify the owner.

Have you ever wondered who owns a particular domain name? Maybe you've set your sights on a domain that's already taken and want to purchase it. Perhaps you're curious about the owner of a website you visited, or you want to delve into the origin of an email address. Regardless of your reason, there are various ways to uncover the identity of a domain owner.

Before embarking on this quest, there are a few crucial points to keep in mind:

  • Unveiling domain ownership isn't always guaranteed. Due to privacy protection measures, some domain owners may choose to conceal their identities.
  • Domain registration is typically handled through domain name registrars, such as Network Solutions and must be renewed to maintain ownership. If a domain owner fails to renew their registration, the domain becomes available to the public.
  • Domain names can be registered for as long as 10 years at a time; so, if a domain is registered for 10 years, you would have to wait another full year before adding a year to your term. 

How to Find a Domain Name Owner

          1. Visit the Website

Your first step is to visit the website associated with the desired domain name. Often, websites provide contact information or an "About Us" section that may reveal the domain owner's identity. This method, while not always definitive, can provide valuable clues.. 

If the website offers no direct contact information, consider exploring public archives such as The Wayback Machine. This tool allows you to view historical snapshots of the website, which may contain contact details or other useful information.

          2. Conduct a WhoIs Directory lookup using a reputable online database

The WHOIS database is a repository of domain ownership information. It contains details such as the registrant's name, address, and contact information. To perform a WHOIS lookup, simply type the domain name into a WHOIS search tool like

However, it's important to note that domain owners can choose to keep their information private. In such cases, you may encounter a privacy protection service like Perfect Privacy, which masks the owner's contact details.

Despite these privacy measures, there are still ways to utilize the information provided in WhoIs. The email address listed in the private registration should forward to the domain owner, depending on their email settings. Additionally, WhoIs reveals the registrar with which the domain is registered, the date it was first registered, when it's set to expire, and its status. This information can help you assess the likelihood of the domain becoming available.

Inactive domains or domains nearing their expiration date have a higher likelihood of becoming available. Consider placing a domain backorder  to secure the domain once it becomes available. If the aforementioned methods fail, revisit the first step to check for any archived information. Otherwise, proceed to the next step..

          3. Contact the Domain Registrar

If all else fails, you can contact the registrar with which the domain name is registered. As mentioned earlier, WhoIs provides information about the domain registrar. You can find their contact information on their website or through a simple Google search. 

If privacy is enabled, you can use information included in the directory listing or look up the registrar’s contact information on their website. While registrars may not divulge all the information you seek due to privacy restrictions, they do have certain obligations to address illegal activities associated with the domain.

Exploring Domain Alternatives

If acquiring your dream domain proves challenging, don't despair. There are plenty of alternative options that can serve your online presence effectively:

  • Domain Name Variations: Consider exploring slight variations of your desired domain name, such as adding or removing hyphens, using different word combinations, or employing alternative spellings.

  • New Domain Extensions: Explore newer domain extensions, such as .co,  .tech, .io, or .app, which can offer a fresh and distinctive identity for your brand and have a greater likelihood of being available.

  • Branded Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords into your domain name to enhance search engine optimization and improve visibility.

  • Creative Branding: Embrace creativity in your branding strategy to differentiate your business even if your domain name isn't your ideal choice. With new tools such as our AI Domain Name Generator, finding the perfect domain just got a lot easier.

Remember, a domain name is just one aspect of your online presence. Your website's content, design, and user experienceall play important roles in establishing a strong brand and attracting visitors.

Domain Owner

You Found the Domain Name Owner, What’s Next?

Acquiring a domain name that's already registered requires careful consideration of the owner's expectations.  Utilize domain aftermarket platforms like the Network Solutions Domain Taken, or to compare prices of domain names for sale. 

Prior to approaching the domain owner, assess your own reputation. If you possess a strong online presence, the owner may recognize the domain's increased value, potentially skyrocketing the price from a thousand dollars to tens or hundreds of thousands. To maintain anonymity during negotiations, consider making a Certified Offer with Network Solutions or engaging a domain broker. This could provide an advantage in the negotiation process.  

If negotiations prove unsuccessful, explore alternative domain names. With hundreds of millions of registered domains and countless unregistered combinations, creativity and research can lead to the perfect alternative.

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Image Credit: Shutterstock