Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

3.12. How do I find out whether a certain organization has a computer on the Internet?

There isn't a simple or reliable way to find out whether a specific organization is on the Internet. Your best bet is usually to phone someone at that institution and ask.

You can get some information about Internet sites using the Whois database maintained at the DDN NIC at Network Solutions, Inc. To use the DDN NIC (Defense Data Network, Network Information Center), Telnet to and type Whois at the login: prompt. The Whois database lists many Internet sites, but does not include every site and organization on the Internet. Type host followed by the company name to search. Type help at the whois prompt for information on using Whois.

Here's an example. Is Apple computer on the Internet? Whois says so:

Whois: apple
Apple Computer (APPLE)          [No rolemailbox]

   Hostname: APPLE.COM
   System: VAX-8650 running UNIX

      Fair, Erik E.  (EF16)  FAIR@APPLE.COM

   domain server

   Record last updated on 12-Apr-89.
You can also try asking on the Usenet newsgroup news.config, or reading the newsgroup comp.mail.maps, where maps of the Usenet and the UUCP network are posted.

You may also want to check one of the following references: !%@:: A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing and Networks by Donnalyn Frey and Rick Adams; The User's Directory of Computer Networks, by Tracy LaQuey; and The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide, by John Quarterman.

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