Where is My Domain Name Registered?
To understand where a domain name is registered, you need to know who owns domain names. You, as the owner of the website, actually do not own your domain name. Wait, backup. What exactly is a domain name? A domain name is the written version of where your website is on the Internet. Computers speak in numeric numbers, such as IP addresses; however, we as humans do not speak in numeric numbers. The domain name system - or DNS - was created to help people get to web addresses withou trying to remember the long string of numbers that the computer needs to find it.
Think of it like a phone number. When your friend calls, it doesn't come up on your phone as 349-498-3456, it comes up as Pete or Mary; that's how the DNS works. Instead of typing in the numerical IP address for a website, you would type in www.brighthub.com or www.google.com. When you sign up for a web hosting site, they take your website name and its address and place it within the DNS directory. This is how you 'register' your website.
Your domain name is actually registered with the hosting company that you signed up for. This can be anyone from Go Daddy to DreamHost; these companies are usually accredited by ICANN - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - which coordinates the DNS. When you sign up with a hosting company, such as Go Daddy, will ask for information from (contact info) and then registers your website through their company.
When you want to know who the register is, you can do a search by going to WhoIs.com. WhoIs is a search directory that lists where certain websites are registered. For instance, the picture above is the register information for SPANTENNA.com, my personal website. The site itself is registered through Go Daddy, though it is hosted by another company; however many hosting companies also provide domain name services.
Image content @ author, S.P.A.N.T.E.N.N.A