Difference between RWHOIS and RIR WHOIS

What is the difference between RWHOIS and RIR WHOIS database

RWHOIS and RIR WHOIS are two different systems used for querying and obtaining information about IP address allocations and Internet resources. IPinfo offers structured and clean RWHOIS and RIR WHOIS data as data downloads and through Snowflake.

Database schema for IPinfo WHOIS database

While RWHOIS and RIR WHOIS serve a similar purpose, there are some differences between them:

Regional Internet Registry (RIR) WHOIS:

Regional Internet Registry or RIRs are organizations responsible for the allocation and management of IP address resources within specific geographic regions. The five RIRs are -

  1. African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) serves Africa
  2. American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) serves Antarctica, Canada, parts of the Caribbean, and the United States
  3. Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) serves East Asia, Oceania, South Asia, and Southeast Asia
  4. Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) serves most of the Caribbean and all of Latin America
  5. Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) serves Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and West Asia

RIR WHOIS is a centralized database maintained by each RIR to store registration information about IP address blocks and related resources assigned to organizations within their respective regions.

It provides information such as the organization’s name, contact details, IP address range, and other relevant details. RIR WHOIS is primarily used for querying IP address assignments and resource allocations within a specific RIR’s jurisdiction.


RWHOIS is an extension to the standard WHOIS protocol that provides a distributed WHOIS database service. Unlike RIR WHOIS, which is a centralized system maintained by the RIRs, RWHOIS allows organizations to maintain their own WHOIS databases containing information about their IP address allocations and resources.

With RWHOIS, the responsibility for maintaining and updating the WHOIS information is delegated to the organization that holds the IP address resources. It provides a means for these organizations to manage and control their own WHOIS data, including updating contact details and managing reverse DNS information.

RWHOIS servers are interconnected and communicate with each other to provide a comprehensive view of the WHOIS information across multiple organizations. This distributed nature of RWHOIS allows for localized and decentralized management of WHOIS data.

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