Many groups from law enforcement agencies to banks to payment processors can protect themselves against fraud through the use of accurate, inclusive data. Domain Whois data has for many years been invaluable for those who work in fraud detection. At heart, a query and response protocol, Whois data is used for querying databases that maintain the registered assignees or users of a given internet resource like domain names, IP addresses, and more. There are multiple Whois services available, all public resources, that provide users with access to information about organizations, IP number resources, points of contact (POCs), and more that are registered with them. Thanks to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, the Board of Directors at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have put out a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data to try and make the Domain Name System (DNS) and Whois compliant. Until all of the issues can be fully and satisfactorily resolved, there may be inconsistencies and confusion among available data sources. Information provided by one Whois service may not be offered at another. As a result, agencies and organizations who use Whois data will need to carefully research possible services to see which has the precise information they seek the way they want it at a reasonable cost. A Guide to Domain Whois Data Services WhoIs XML API Headquarted in Los Angeles and founded in 2010, WhoIs XML API has years of experience in collecting Whois data records for nearly all ccTLDs and gTLDs. The data provided is consistent, error-free, and well-parsed, offered via real-time APIs, database downloads, and research tools. WhoIs XML API Whois Database offers inclusive domain name and DNS data, both historic and real-time, that is structurally formatted and available as JSON and XML. They offer a comprehensive set of tools and services to include APIs, data solutions, basic research tools and more. Their clients include agencies who specialize in fraud detection and cyber security including cyber crime units, domain name resellers, government agencies, marketing specialists, registrars, and others. WhoIs XML API offers several options to meet the specific needs of a large number clients. Their services include: Brand Protection Solutions: Brand Protection Solutions: In an ongoing effort to help brands fight against infringements, either knowingly or unwittingly, and other malicious schemes, WhoIs XML API helps brand managers to prevent the damage that copycats and fake domain brands can inflict on established names. Their solutions help brand managers keep an eye out for possible imitators early on. Cyber Security Data Solutions: Cyber Security Data Solutions: Having accurate, in-depth data is a necessity for cyber security specialists who prevent and study online crime. Whois data is very important in their work and with their cyber security data solutions, clients receive a wide-ranging set of historic and current data with tools to help make thorough analysis quick and easy. Domainer Solutions: Domainer Solutions: For professionals who deal in the assessment of domain names for price negotiations, purchase, or sale, WhoIs XML API offers accurate information that is relevant to the situation. They offer a well-developed package specifically designed for domainers that will do much of the back-end work for them. Fraud Detection Solutions: Fraud Detection Solutions: These solutions were designed by WhoIs XML API for those who work to prevent transaction fraud like banks and payment processors. By providing a precise, comprehensive package of data, both historic and current, the data offered helps find what is needed and quickly. Investment Fund and Banking Solutions: Investment Fund and Banking Solutions: Fraudulent transactions can also occur within the realm of web asset acquisitions and transfers in and around corporations. To help banks and payment processors investigate possible fraud and monitor for such, WhoIs XML API provides data that can be used to thoroughly study companies involved in large transactions and transfers. Law Enforcement Solutions: Law Enforcement Solutions: Government and law enforcement agencies have long used Whois data to monitor and verify both domain names and IP addresses. The records WhoIs XML API provides to them offer very useful information like registrant names, country of origin, contact details, record creation date, and more that can be utilized during investigations. Marketing Research Solutions: Marketing Research Solutions: With so many people and businesses all over the world connected to it, the internet and how it is used is the focal point of many marketing research specialists. These specialists strive to understand what consumers are looking for when they make purchases on the web. In using Whois data, they analyze for trends within the world wide marketplace. WhoIs XML API provides research to match their specific criteria so they can understand and devise strategies for various brands and clients. Registrar Solutions: Registrar Solutions: Domain name registrars offer customers the ability to register domain names quickly and easily. To offer such services, the registrars require data and WhoIs XML API offers two packages for domain registrars to make their jobs quick and easy and so that they can provide the same ease to their own customers. Overall WhoIs XML API provides an outstanding WhoIs database download for a variety of uses providing the best data quality and most historic volume. Domain Name Stat Domain Name Stat is a fairly new service venue offering current data along with the analysis of domain names to its customers. They provide domain statistics like DNS servers, IP addresses, mail servers, domain name registrants, registrars, and registries, along with name graphs, TLDs, and Whois servers. Domain Name Stat offers current historical data on domain names, DNS, name server details, and Whois information and makes it easy for clients to search for current as well as previously registered domain names which can be invaluable in certain investigative arenas. They offer many breakdowns and graphs of domain name statistics that include active name servers, highly-ranked domains, and repidly-growing registrars along with details on domain transfers processed that took place with dates and registrar details included. Domain Name Stat also offers detailed data on trends within domain names along with options to bulk search for current and historically registered domain names. Considering that they also offer APIs and many great search options that can easily be customized, one can see what Domain Name Stat is a popular choice for Whois Data. The company supports all domain name extensions to include ccTLDs, gTLDs, and Tlds. IQWhois IQWhois is another reputable service offering Whois data in the form of database downloads, reports, and useful tools. They offers over 300 million current domain name records that are regularly updated. Their services include: Brand Protection: Brand Protection: They offer data that can be used to help brand managers prevent copycats and fakes from stealing intellectual property and doing damage to established brands. Cyber Security: Cyber Security: They offer several great features for clients in a variety of fields. They offer database downloads that can be analyzed and customized to be used in the detection and prevention of fraud. Law Enforcement: Law Enforcement: With information provided about all connected domain names, IP addresses, and websites, government and law enforcement agencies will be able to do their jobs more efficiently. Marketing Research: Marketing Research: Marketing specialists are provided with the data they need to create marketing strategies for SEO marketing efforts and more. It should also be noted that following the implementation of GDPR, IQWhois decided to try to and take compliance into their own hands by launching a mechanism for EU residents that gives them an opportunity to request to have their Whois information removed from IQWhois website. Their press releases also stated that they recently added billions of historic Whois records to further enhance the information they provide to their clients. JSONWhois JSONWhois provides current and historical Whois database downloads, partial and full, in a fully customizable way. They provide active Whois records for ccTLDs and about 1,000 gTLDS including extensions .com, .net, .org and many others. They claim to have nearly 300 million active domain name user records that is added to daily. They offer both parsed and raw Whois data available in database dumps (MYSQL or MYSQL dump) and comma separated values (.CSV) Their information can be formatted and used for cyber security analysis work and fraud protection. They also provide information to registrars, law enforcement agencies, marketing specialists, brand managers, and others. They offer single transaction downloads for groups who may just need one time data but they also offer subscription services for those who will be using such data perpetually in their occupational needs. Their data includes registration dates, expiry dates, domain name renewals, seller/owner names and contact details, pertinent IP changes, ownership history of the domain name, and any relevant changes over time to the domain name. WDD WDD provides parsed Whois data for newly registered domain in daily download form. With their service, each day users get newly registered domain names along with their Whois records. They include instant access to 30 days of historical data, the 30 previous days, when you subscribe to their service. WDD collects and manages Whois data for nearly all ccTLDs, gTLDs, and Tlds. The information is well-parsed and error-free along with great tools like real-time APIs, downloads of Whois data, and more. They offer support for all domain name file extensions and offer the purchase of domain name extension specific data with their Whois database downloads. The Whois database downloads offered by WDD can be partial or full historic domain data that can be fully customized to suit any individual business needs. The database downloads are provided in CSV format and are sent with the Whois records of all domain names that they have ever monitored. Individual records contain any parsed fields of a given domain's Whois data. They offer samples of our downloads so potential clients can see for themselves if the data might be something that they could indeed use. Domainindex.com Domainindex.com offers clients a download of their Whois database in MYSQL dump file form. Records aren't older than the last 4 months and most of them are fully updated at the time of the download. Data is raw and parsed. Containing complete Whois data for many TLDs including .com, .net, .org, .us, .biz, .mobi, .info, .tel, .name, and .pro, they boast having about 135 million records to offer for uses including cyber crime analysis and prevention, fraud detection and prevention, marketing research, and more. The company also monitors to ensure that clients don't have ill intentions in buying their data. If they think your intentions are ill, they will decline the sale to you. Domainindex.com is less automated than some of the other services. Once you've made your purchase, you will be contacted by someone from the company to discuss terms of inclusion and transfer and they are upfront in letting you know you need a certain level of expertise to use their products and will need to have a server infrastructure in place as well. They don't offer refunds, even if you bought their product not realizing you didn't have the know how to use it, so consider everything carefully before you buy. In Conclusion As can be seen from the above list of Whois database download services, each venue is a bit different in not only what they offer but in how they provide the product. Wise domain name researchers should first determine what their specific needs are and then begin the search for a venue where they might acquire that information. Asking questions and doing your homework on any potential vendor, particularly with the changes since GDPR, is crucial. Before making any purchases, understand exactly what you will be receiving, understand what possible formats the information will be made available to you in, and take a look at support and refund options. It's always important to set procedures so the unthinkable doesn't happen. Contact potential vendors directly with specific questions before you buy. Doing so will not only save you a tremendous amount of time, it could also save you money, and a lot of frustration.