Aller au contenu Aller au menu principal Aller au menu secondaire Aller au pied de page

Find a domain name or a holder using Whois

Home > Domain names and support > Everything there is to know about domain names > Find a domain name or a holder using Whois

Find a domain name

You want to create your internet address, buy a domain name, check its availability or find information on an already registered domain name, use our Whois tool:


As Registry and in accordance with the French Post and Electronic Communication Law, Afnic has to collect from registrars the data needed to identify domain name holders in order to constitute the whois database (whois database).

The whois database is protected by the provisions of the French Law of the 1st of July 1998 transposing the European Directive of the 11th of March 1996 on database legal protection in the Intellectual Property Code.

The French state is the only entity to hold the producing rights of the databases as substantial investment, quantitative as much as qualitative, that were used to achieve this database. Afnic has the license to use and protect the rights on the whois database. Complete or partial reproduction and/or use of the AFNIC's database without the express permission of the AFNIC is strictly forbidden. Afnic reserves the right to initiate any procedure of any kind to protect the database whois from fraudulent uses.

Any breach to these rules can carry penal sanctions as counterfeit, without prejudice of a potential damages request from the AFNIC. The whois database user commits to use the published data according to the laws and rules in effect. Moreover, the user is bound to respect the personal data protection framework and in particular, the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 applicable from 25 May 2018 (hereinafter 'the European Data Protection Regulation "or" GDPR"). The infringement of the personal data protection framework can carry penal sanctions. As the user will access personal information, the user must refrain from collecting or misuse this information. In a more general way, the user must refrain from any act likely to infringe the privacy or reputation of individuals.

The specific search engine for the domain name database, Whois, the contraction of “Who is?”, contains administrative and technical information associated with a domain name.

Whois: the database of domain names and holders

Whether you’re looking for information on an existing domain name or looking to register one, the Whois database is the indispensable tool that enables you to:

  • Instantly test the availability of a domain name or its alternative spellings;
  • View useful information on a name that has already been registered: holder, administrative contact and technical contact, registrar, expiry date of the current registration and associated technical parameters (website, nameservers, etc.).

The domain name allows the identity of a brand, a person or even a project to be expressed on the internet. We therefore recommend that you take your time in checking the available addresses and testing the spelling variants before taking the plunge. For businesses, it is customary to reserve several names (with a hyphen or accent, for example) in order to protect a brand, since the ‘first-come-first-served’ rule applies to domain names.

View our tips for creating a domain name

Data accessible in Afnic’s Whois

Afnic’s Whois allows you to conduct searches for domain names ending in .fr or .re as well as in .tf, .yt, .pm and .wf and to access the following administrative and technical information:

  • Status: inactive or active, i.e. associated with one or more active Internet resources such as a website or an email address
  • DNSSEC: inactive or active in order to secure the processes of domain name resolution against malicious online activity (identity theft, cyberattacks, etc.)
  • Registrar
  • Creation and expiry dates
  • Nameservers (DNS): servers in charge of resolving domain names, allowing an IP address to be found from a domain name
  • Holder: the natural or legal person at whose behest the domain name was registered and is maintained. The holder holds the rights and responsibilities associated with the domain name
  • Administrative contact: this may be the holder or a third party (natural or legal person, including the registrar). It is mandatory to designate an administrative contact upon registration and throughout the life of the domain name
  • Technical contact: this will generally be the registrar

In order to protect the privacy of natural persons, the name and contact details of private individual holders of domain names are masked by default in the Whois database. In practice, it is up to the registrar in charge of the domain name to apply the masking by default and without charge at the time of registration. Information on the technical contact is always public, while information on the administrative contact is public only if the contact is a legal person. It is possible to submit a request for disclosure of personal data, under certain conditions, to our teams.

Holder: your rights and obligations

Afnic has published a practical guide for holders to help you better understand the essential steps in the life cycle of your domain name.


Afnic associated services

Whois is an essential tool as it enables us to respond to two of the five essential services entrusted by the French State to Afnic, namely:

  • The directory service allowing information associated with each domain name to be found;
  • The trustee service to ensure continuity of access to .fr data, which belong to the State and de facto to the French people.

We therefore pay very special attention to this in order to ensure availability rates close to 100%, and have developed several associated offerings: