WHOIS Checks

About WHOIS Checks

WHOIS (pronounced as the phrase who is) is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying domain registration information like administrative contacts, nameservers and domain expiration dates.

When to use WHOIS Checks

WHOIS Checks should be use to receive alerts before your domain expires. They should also be used to ensure your domain registar has the proper nameservers configured for your domain. You can also use it to verify that your administrative and technical contacts haven't been tampered with (highjacked).

For those running WHOIS services, You can monitor your WHOIS server by specifying it in the check. We will send you notifications when your WHOIS server is unavailable or responding incorrectly.

Using WHOIS Checks

To set up a WHOIS check,

  1. Select WHOIS from the Check type drop down.
  2. Give it a friendly label to identify this check in lists and notifications.
  3. Set which geographical region you want the check to run from. The default is your account default region.
  4. Set how often you want the check to run in the Check Frequency field. The default is once a day, the shortest is every 4 hours due to query throttling by WHOIS servers. If you're monitoring your own WHOIS server and can whitelist our probes from throttling, we can modify the interval for your account down to 1 minute. Please contact support and request this feature for free.
  5. Enter the target FQDN (domain name) you want to check in the 'WHOIS Query' field. It must be a valid FQDN:
  6. Optionally set the number of days in advance of the domain expiration you would like to be alerted. The default is 15 days. *Note* Some WHOIS servers do not reply with expiration information (I'm looking at you, .au) and will fail when you set this field to anything other than blank or 0.
  7. Optionally enter the WHOIS server FQDN or ip address (ipv4 or ipv6). If you leave this blank, we'll choose the appropriate whosis server for your query.
  8. Optionally if you'd like us to connect to the WHOIS server on ipv4 or ipv6 addresses.
  9. If you'd like to verify that particular words appear or do not appear in the WHOIS response, type the words you're checking for into the optional 'Response search' field and set it to either 'Contains' or 'Does not contain'. The match must be exact (case and line breaks included) in order to pass. Leave this blank to skip searching the response.
  10. Set a time out. The default 5 seconds works fine for most situations.
  11. Set the Sensitivity. High is usually appropriate but if you're seeing occational timeout errors, set it lower.
  12. Set the notifications for this check. More information about notifications.

Other considerations

Because of WHOIS query throttling on nearly all WHOIS servers, the interval can only be set to 4 hours or more (default 1 day). If you are monitoring your own WHOIS servers and would like shorter intervals and are willing to whitelist our probes from throttling, please contact support and we can allow your account down to 1 minute intervals.

Some WHOIS replies do not include domain expiration. The check will fail if you've set the 'warning days' option and no expiration information is found.

If you have any questions, get in touch at, or use our Contact form.