Finding out if a domain name has been registered

You can use InternetPeriscope's Whois Tool to find out if a domain name has been registered, and if so, you can obtain contact information for the current owner (perhaps you are interested in buying the domain from them).

In this example, a user named "Wilma" wishes to find out if the domain "" has been registered.

To do so, she clicks on the Tools menu, moves her mouse over the "Whois" sub-menu, and then clicks on "Domain Name...", as shown in the figure.
Tools Menu

The Whois dialog appears. She enters "" into the Search String text box, and clicks on the Search button. Note that she entered "", and not "". "" is a Second Level Domain (SLD) name. SLDs have only one "." in them. Only SLDs can be registered with Network Solutions. It would not make sense to do a Whois lookup on "", as it is not a SLD (its has two "."'s in it).
Whois Dialog

The results of the query appear. At the top of the results is some legalese from Network Solutions. To find out if her domain has already been registered, she should scroll down in the results.
Query Results

After scrolling down, she sees that unfortunately, the domain has already been registered. However, she now has contact information for the current owners of the domain in case she wishes to ask them if they would sell the domain. Alternatively, she may wish to do a Wildcard Search to find out which domains that begin with the word "wilma" have already been registered.
Contact Info