Whois.net is a relatively plain looking web site but offers several very useful features, including a search tool with wildcards so that you can step through lists of registered names. As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover.
One of the key features of Whois.net is the deleted domain search, which lets you search through a huge database of previously registered domain names that are in the process of being deleted.
Using the advanced search option, you can specify certain characters or words at the beginning or end of a domain name. For example, you could choose to search on free and get a list of all deleted domains beginning with free. This tool helps you to pick up some real bargains, as it is amazing what great names other people have thought up, registered, and then allowed to expire.
A major downside to the Whois.net service is that in many cases the domain name has already been re-registered, since Whois.net only updates its database every few days. Still, this site proves to be an extremely useful tool for those looking to register expired domains.