WHOIS vs RADP: What's the difference?

When a web developer wants a particular domain name and wants to check if it is not already in use, they can look up the registered domains using WHOIS or RADP.

Editorial Team 15 February 2022

One of the important tasks of making a website along with choosing your hosting is buying the perfect domain name for the website. When a web developer wants a particular domain name and wants to check if it's not already in use, they can look up the registered domains using WHOIS.

WHOIS is a protocol that allows web users to access the details of registered web domains


Every time you register your domain with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), your personal information is submitted to WHOIS.

WHOIS is a protocol that allows web users to access the details of registered web domains. It was the only protocol to look up domain name and IP address registrations for the last three decades.

The WHOIS protocol worked completely fine, but sometimes the data would not be correct. The data available in WHOIS can be accessed through the website or a single command line.

Since its creation 35 years ago, the Internet has grown exponentially. Websites GUI has changed drastically over the years. WHOIS is now unable to handle the large amount of data and has been deprecated.

Whois drawbacks

1) NO STANDARDIZED FORMAT: Each record has a different text output, which makes it very difficult to interpret the data.

2) LACK OF IDENTITY VERIFICATION: There is a lack of control over who sees the data, so the privacy and security of the domain name and owner are at risk.

3) NO INTERNATIONALIZATION: Since each registry has a different text output and different countries have different language data, it is almost painful to interpret.
4) LACK OF SECURITY PROTOCOLS: WHOIS is not secure in absolute because there is no verification, authentication or established protocols.

ICANN recognized these limitations of WHOIS and collaborated with the IEFT (Internet Engineering Task Force) to overcome these problems. They came up with RADP to replace WHOIS.

RADP (Registration Data Access Portal)

RADP was developed by the IETF in collaboration with ICANN to replace WHOIS. Allows users to view domain registration information on a more secure platform.

It is a protocol that delivers registration data to users but in a standardized format, provides a secure platform to request data and is also compatible with the international data format.

RDAP will not change the way the data is viewed, but it will change things in the background. The algorithm of how it works will change, but the interface is the same. Users will be able to access data the same way they used to via WHOIS.

Since WHOIS has been in the game for a long time and there is a large amount of data available, complete replacement by RADP cannot happen instantly.

It will take some time before WHOIS is a thing of the past.

Characteristics of the RADP

As mentioned above, RADP was developed with all WHOIS issues in mind. RADP was designed with the goal of keeping it simple.
The main features of RADP are:

RADP's built-in security feature provides more secure access to data.

The data available will be in a standard format that can be easily understood and interpreted on all platforms.

RADP delivers data by machine code, unlike WHOIS, which delivers in text output format.
4) We can search for data available from multiple registrars.
5) It will also help us find the most authoritative server quickly.


RADP is being implemented to overcome the challenges facing WHOIS. Although WHOIS served its purpose and functioned effectively for quite some time, it was not created for mass data management. The Internet has changed dramatically over the years, and over the years, privacy and security started to become major issues. It has become obsolete.

ICANN recognized these problems and immediately asked another IEF team to write another protocol that would fix all the problems. They wanted the protocol to be simple, standardized, to support internationalization. And, RADP checks all the boxes. It also provides more secure access to data.


RADP is just an updated, first-level version of WHOIS. Although the entire algorithm will completely change the way the data is displayed and the WHOIS GUI will remain, only the process of retrieving this data will be changed. Users and website owners do not have to worry about the interface. It will be easier to use. The information on the website will also not be changed.

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