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An IP (Internet protocol) address is like the telephone number of a computer on the Internet. In IP version 4 (which is most common on the Internet today) this 'telephone' number is made up of 4 numbers, seperated by a dot. The numbers range from 0-255. An IP number thus could be 192.168.0.1 or 126.96.36.199. In order for a computer to speak to another machine over an IP network it has to know the IP number of the remote machine. Because people are better at remembering names than remembering numbers we have DNS. DNS is the whitepages of the Internet. It looks up (or resolves) the IP address for a DNS name. Thus the DNS name www.abc.co.uk resolves to the IP number 188.8.131.52. Just like domains IP addresses also needs to be registered. They are normally grouped in a block of IP addresses and blocks are assigned to organisations such as ISPs. The information of the organisation is contained in whois information of the IP block.
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(whois) Additional to the value (which is the IP number) whois information is also stored. This information is only obtained once a transform requests it.