Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

What's the most reliable Whois out there?

Author:Matthew Haughey
Posted:11/2/1999; 12:11:15 PM
Topic:What's the most reliable Whois out there?
Msg #:12626
Prev/Next:12625 / 12627

Recently, I've been searching for a snappy domain name for my personal consulting business. I wanted something short and it had to end in a .com.

To start out, I checked out an old site that checked the NSI whois db against a standard american dictionary ( It listed all the words in the dictionary that are available as .com's.

When I found a few interesting 3 and 4 letter domains, I checked NSI to make sure they were actually available. Some of them were, so I was pretty happy. I've had enormous problems with NSI in the past, so I intended on registering the new domains at To register there, you first have to search for the domain. I put in my choice, and realized it was taken. Not only that, but it was taken over 2 months beforehand, and registered at

Ok, so it seemed like might have their own db that combines the NSI one with their own. I started using's whois and after trying hundreds of names I finally found a good one that was available.

By the time I finally found a domain name, I had also heard about offering domain registration for only $20 per year. I checked for my domain, and it was indeed still available. I bought it, pointed it at my name servers, and it worked! I noticed when registering the forms were a bit different and I ended up with a new handle, a CORE handle.

Then I went back to NSI and to check the domain I had just purchased. NSI had (and still shows) "No match", while showed no match for about 3 or 4 days, and now it displays my info that is stored at CORE's servers.

I posted this as a tip to a discussion list and some members mentioned that had not completely covered all the whois servers and could not be counted on for accurate domain availability.

So now, I'm wondering with all the new domain registrars, which whois db is the "master" database? Is there a reliable whois query that ICANN approves of? Is there an easy way to query the CORE databases?

By the way, Dave, I noticed that the site suffers from the same shortcomings as the NSI one (do a search for "", which was registered long ago by someone at If anyone knows an easy way to pass queries to a different whois db, maybe the userland whois could be that ultimate whois tool I'm looking for.


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