WhoIs Masking: Is it worth it?

“Should I mask my contact details on the WhoIs record?” It’s a question we’re quite often asked when someone buys a new domain with us.

Before we go into any discussion about whether to mask your details or not, it’s worth covering a few terms that we’ll refer to in this blog:


What is the WhoIs record?

The WhoIs record is a record/document which contains details about a domain name.

What details are held on the WhoIs record?

  • The domain registrant details – the name and address of the person who registered it.
  • The domain name provider – i.e. Broadband Cloud Solutions
  • The nameservers in which the domain points to (ie. your web hosting server address)

Who can access the WhoIs record and how can they do it?

The WhoIs record can be accessed by anyone. They can visit a WhoIs Lookup Site, similar to this one.

Can I mask or hide my details?

Yes! Nominet (The UK Domain Registry) allow users to mask their WhoIs details for FREE! However, ENOM (The Global Domain Registry) charge for detail masking. If we provide your domain, simply email us and we can arrange this for you.

With regards to whether you should mask your details or not, there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s down to you. Some people prefer to keep their details private, especially if you are registering the domain as an individual. By regulation, your address and name is listed as public, when you register a domain. This is a rule which is outlined by both Nominet (UK) and ENOM (US) domain registries.


So why keep my details public on the WhoIs Record?

Well it can be pretty useful sometimes! Some tech-savvy individuals may want to find out where your business is located and use the WhoIs record to check. However, most sites now display their address and contact details on a “Contact Us” page.

Masking your details can seem odd, especially if you are an established business. What does your business or organisation have to hide? If a customer asked where you were based, would you deny them such information over the phone? No? Then why do it online?

Also, if you were going to buy something online, would you buy from a website that had masked their business address?

It’s worth noting that some people openly look to buy domain names. You may have a domain name that another person wants and in turn, is prepared to pay over the odds for! Typically, such people will scan the WhoIs record for a contact name and email address, to then submit an offer to. If you have masked your details, you could miss out! Some domain owners have made millions by selling their domains! In 2010, Insurance.com was sold for $35.6! But domain selling is a blog for another day!


The Verdict…

Like we said at the start of the blog, there’s no right or wrong answer. A general rule of thumb could be just to leave your details public, unless you really need them to be kept private. However, only you can make that decision. Either way, we’ll be happy to help!



Have a question about WhoIs masking or want to mask your details with us? Email us or drop a tweet to @BroadbandCloud on Twitter.


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