Have you ever searched for a domain name, discovered it was available, only to see it vanish (or drastically increase in price) a couple of hours later as you were about to buy it?
Registering a domain can unexpectedly turn into a frustrating game of cat and mouse. This is mainly due to a practice known as domain name front running where a domain name Registrar registers domains purely for the purpose of reselling them or earning revenue from a landing page created for that domain. This practice exploits the perfectly legal domain tasting five day trial period in which a domain can be locked without payment.
Often times inside information is used which could include your actual searches for a domain name. Unfortunately there’s no simple solution for overcoming this other than to be ready to purchase a domain when you search for it. Another option is to search for available domain names using the WHOIS database rather than a domain name Registrar’s search function. This is because it’s very difficult to know which Registrar is involved in this questionable practice.
A simple command line tool for querying this database can be installed on Ubuntu using
sudo apt-get install whois . Unfortunately the Registry database contains only .com, .net and .edu domains and Registrars.
To lookup a specific domain name, simply type
whois domain-name-to-search.com. Below is an example output from searching for the google.com domain name.
Domain Name: GOOGLE.COM Registry Domain ID: 2138514_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.markmonitor.com Registrar URL: http://www.markmonitor.com Updated Date: 2019-09-09T15:39:04Z Creation Date: 1997-09-15T04:00:00Z Registry Expiry Date: 2028-09-14T04:00:00Z Registrar: MarkMonitor Inc. Registrar IANA ID: 292 Registrar Abuse Contact Email: email@example.com Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.2083895740 Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited Domain Status: serverDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#serverDeleteProhibited Domain Status: serverTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#serverTransferProhibited Domain Status: serverUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#serverUpdateProhibited Name Server: NS1.GOOGLE.COM Name Server: NS2.GOOGLE.COM Name Server: NS3.GOOGLE.COM Name Server: NS4.GOOGLE.COM DNSSEC: unsigned URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form: https://www.icann.org/wicf/ >>> Last update of whois database: 2019-10-05T12:19:40Z <<<