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Who's your favorite registrar?

Hi All,

I'm about to register a domain name or two. I've always used Network Solutions in the past, thinking that they're more stable and worth the premium. However, it's been a while since I've looked into this and it seems a lot has changed in the ICANN world. There's no use overpaying, but I want to make sure I'm with someone who will not end up holding my name ransom down the road when I need to make changes.

So, who do you guys use for domain name registration?

Thanks,

  --Josh

JWA
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

GANDI.net

Read the terms of service. I hope they haven't changed them for worse -  at the time, they were the most reasonable I could find -- absolutely reasonable, in fact (even without comparison to others, I mean). And not expensive (although not the cheapest either, especially since they charger 12Euro/year, which now translates to ~15$ - it was $10 when I regd).

Ori Berger
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Ive had no probs with godaddy.com, only $8.95 US at the moment I think. They seem to give you access to alot of things that other registrars charge for (particularly in australia - MelbourneIT wanted >$AU20 per year just for an email forward while godaddy gives 100 for free - you can also setup subdomains through their webinterface etc.)

HUGE DISCLAIMER: This was the first domain I ever registered, but since I did mine a few friends have used godaddy for theirs without hassle.

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

We switched from Network Solutions to Go Daddy and have been very pleased. 

We use them for domain registration, web hosting, and email hosting and are very pleased with all of their services.  We'll probably stick with them to host our customer support forum as well.

Joe Paradise
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I use www.freeparking.co.uk to host numerous domains and they seem good value and reliable. You can do email and web forwarding, set up sub-domains, etc and I think even host a small (templated) site.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I have used dotster so far.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Second for dotster. Like moving a decade forward from network solutions. I think these no-name registrars have some quirks, to be aware of. For example, if you don't renew within X days before the expiration, the renewal fee is higher. Buyer beware.

m
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I also switched from Network Solutions to Go-Daddy.  I can't believe I used to pay $35/year.

Oren
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

LOL me too.  $35/year is way to much.  As I was authorizing the domain transfer, the Network Solutions rep started bad-mouthing Go Daddy, saying their prices were artificially low and they would be out of business in a year.  Very unprofessional.

Joe Paradise
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

GoDaddy.com and ItsYourDomain.com - IYD is more expensive, but that's who I have my existing domain - the new stuff goes to godaddy; haven't had any problems so far.

Greg Hurlman
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Register.com does DNS hosting for you included in the $35/yr fee and has a nice way to edit your DNS records. How well does Go Daddy do in this regard?

dmooney
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

joker.com is $12 per year and offers free DNS service with a nice web interface.

Anonymous
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I second Gandi.net.  It works like a charm, and I've never had problems in the few years that I've been using them.

Andrew Hurst
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

namecheap.com, does everything I need.

Patterns Guy
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

domainmonger.com

Ethan Herdrick
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

GoDaddy, and dig their groovy "We'll register it for you as a corporation so your name and address don't end up all over the internet" service.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Pixin Interprises (https://secure.supernia.com/domains/).

We switched to DH Consulting (later merged with Pixin) because we found that changing DNS and contact information through NSI was extremely tedious and didn’t always take effect. For comparison, information through Pixin is very easy and practically instantaneous.

It's not like domain management is rocket science, so an easy to use and fast system is a must in my books.

We also became fed up with NSI's extremely poor customer service, all of which is “virtual” (automated response systems) and their extremely aggressive marketing tactics (sending us fake bills and "service interruption warnings" in order to try to scare us into renewing). One of our clients once noted that they received a bill for a domain name that NSI hadn't hosted for several years!

Finally, NSI charges a much higher price than many of registrars.  Or at least they used to - I'm too lazy to check. (Pixin charges US$15 per year)

I'm a fan of Tucows based registrars in general, but we specifically chose Pixin because it is run by my brother and thus I know where he lives...  And no, I'm not sharing that information. <g>

We like the services Pixin provides (meets our needs, anyway) and the lack of "in your face" marketing stuff, except for the part where we recommend Pixin, someone signs up and we don't get a commission.  Ah well.

Phibian
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Mark,

What happens to the domains if  GoDaddy goes belly up? How difficult will it be to recover the domain? Potentially the creditors can put a claim on all GoDaddy assets. Any opinions?

coresi
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Another satisfied GoDaddy customer here.

The NSI guy was lying about their pricing. GoDaddy's price isn't artificially low; NSI's price is artificially HIGH.

Chris Tavares
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've been using godaddy.com for about a year now, they have great/cheap products and excellent customer service.

steve
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

DMooney: "How well does Go Daddy do in this regard? "

Well I know pretty close to nothing about DNS records (I just have mine set to forward to my ISP free space) but it does have a complete control panel where you can specify DNS servers and edit records etc. So I assume it would do everything you need, maybe one of the other posters who use it might be able to answer better?

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

> What happens to the domains if  GoDaddy goes belly up?

In the unlikely event You lose Your domain name registration to a third party solely as a result of DBP&#65533;s negligent actions (and absent fraud or other negligent or willful misconduct committed by a third party), You may be insured against such loss through DBP&#65533;s Professional Liability Insurance Policy, which is currently underwritten by American International Insurance Company.  Of course, every claim is subject to the then-carrier&#65533;s investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding such claim.  In the event You have reason to believe that circumstances exist which warrant the filing of an insurance claim, please send a written notice (specifying the basis for such claim), via certified mail, return receipt requested, to:

Domains By Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Road/Suite 160
PMB 353
Scottsdale, AZ  85262
Attn:  Insurance Claims

- http://www.domainsbyproxy.com/LegalAgreement.aspx?prog_id=#

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've been using Gandi, but just this week switched to GoDaddy to take advantage of the weak US dollar (I'm in Australia). The currency difference makes GoDaddy about half the price of Gandi for me right now. Gandi is probably still good value for Europeans, though.

Both have offered excellent service.

Darren Collins
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've had good experiences with http://www.directnic.com/

J. D. Trollinger
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I've used both Directnic and GoDaddy and both are comparable.

The "private" registration service mentioned by Marktaw which is offered by GoDaddy basically causes your domain record to be placed in the name of a holding company, very very nice in the $10/year range.

Now, one important difference between the two exists.

Directnic and Godaddy both have the concept of parking a domain, and both allow you to forward email received by a parked domain. This is handy in case your web host imposes a restriction on the number of domains you can host directly on your site. You can park domains at the registrar and redirect them to your own "real" site or a sub page.

The main difference is email forwarding...

Directnic allows you to forward *all* email received at a domain with a catchall wildcard, without purchasing an extra service.

GoDaddy only allows you to forward one email address on the parked domain.  If you want to forward more than one specific email address, you must pay for a separate email hosting service provided by GoDaddy.

This alone may be worth paying a few bucks a year extra for Directnic service. However, Directnic does not offer private registration (last time I checked, anyway).

My guess is that both Directnic and Godaddy will be around for a few years.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

gandi also offers parking services.
http requests will get redirected with a 300 class redirect, so if you have example.com mapped to example.org, http://www.example.com/foo/bar will redirect to http://www.example.org/foo/bar. You can even redirect to http://www.example.org/~example_com/foo/bar.

They allow a few (5?) email addresses + a catchall, though there is a limit (1MB?) on the size of the redirected message.

the real question is, why on earth would anybody ever use NSI/Verisign? They're the most expensive and have the worst record of service and threats.

mb
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Your right, Godaddy's e-mail is kind of sucky, but I get all e-mail from my registered domains, and I think in the advanced DNS settings you can set the e-mail servers.

I just park all my domains on my existing hosting service.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Bored,

I think you may be incorrect on the email forwards, I am with GoDaddy.com and I have 100 free email forwars plus a catch all - of which I am currently using only 1.

From their website:

FREE
with every domain!
Change of Registration
Parked Page
Domain Locking
Status Alerts
New! Forwarding / Masking
New! "For Sale" Page
New! Total DNS Control
New! 100 Email Forwards


You only need to pay extra if you actually want a real SMTP/POP address hosted by them, I just have it forwarded to my ISP and Hotmail email accounts.

Chris Ormerod
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

If you go to the info page for those extra services, it says this about the email forwarding:

"Set 100 variations on your basic "@domainname" email address. A single mail box was never so flexible!"

This with a graphic of a bunch of envelopes going down to one. Does this mean that you can setup 100 aliases to one single address? The way it's worded on the front page you'd think it would be 100 separate aliases each pointing to any address you like.

Can anyone confirm how it really works? (I know, I'll as them directly too...)

  --Josh

JWA
Wednesday, January 21, 2004

typically you can map blah@yourdomain.example.com to anything you want, and can map up to N addresses. you can map them all to the same address. plus there's a catchall.

gandi offers (I think) 5 redirects; sounds like whoever you're looking at offers 100.

i imagine my setup is fairly common:

on my 'aux' domain, the catchall goes to a single address through the parked site @ gandi.

on my 'main' domain, i have a hosting account, gandi is not involved except as registrar. my hosting account has a similar feature: a few of my addresses forward elsewhere (I'm not sure there is a limit), plus I have two mailboxes (I think I have 25), one called 'spam' which addressses which now just get spam are forwarded to, plus the 'normal' one which the catchall gets forwarded to.

mb
Thursday, January 22, 2004

The way GoDaddy works is the following:

(Note: I have the cheapest possible option of domain only and no hosting so other plans give you more stuff.)

100 free redirects means I have my hotmail/ISP accounts as normal and in the GoDaddy control panel I can setup upto 100 <alias>@<mydomain>.com and redirect each one to *any* other SMTP address on the planet - even multiples (blah@blah.com; otherblah@otherblah.com)

At the moment I have just chris as my main alias and junk as a catchall alias, and I did have setup work that redirected to my work address just as a test.

Chris Ormerod
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I just registered three new domains for a future project with GoDaddy. It sure was sweet paying $24.95 total rather than $105 like I usually would have with NSI. If everything is good with them it'll be a nice savings transfering my current domains over to GoDaddy when they're up for renewal.

Thanks again,

  --Josh

JWA
Thursday, January 22, 2004

"What happens to the domains if GoDaddy goes belly up? How difficult will it be to recover the domain?"

I wondered this also and checked on it briefly a while ago. My understanding is that any registrar registers the domain with the official registry for the period of time for which you paid, and from that day on it doesn't matter what happens to the registrar company until it's time to renew the domain - you always retain ownership of the domain (barring any other issues such as trademark infringement or lawsuits). When it's close to the time to renew your domain, you can renew with any registrar, and it doesn't matter whether your original registrar still exists. The only (temporary) disruption to your domain might be if the DNS servers directing traffic to your domain are shut down because they belong to the registrar that went out of business. Of course, most registrars offer services apart from registering your domain (email, web hosting, etc) and these will be affected if the registrar closes down.

This assumes that the registrar actually paid the fees to the official registry for the entire period that you paid for, and is not doing anything shady like just pocketing your money. Make sure that the registrar you choose is "ICANN Accredited".

Philip Dickerson
Thursday, January 22, 2004

>you always retain ownership of the domain

No, we're talking about a service where DomainsByProxy buys the domain on your behalf. This way your contact info never shows up when someone does a WhoIs.

So technically they own it and administer it on your behalf. What happens if they go belly up?

Since all these domains are available in the GoDaddy interface just like normal domains, as long as their website was still up (who knows if that would happen) you should be able to transfer ownership.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, January 22, 2004

And if that's really a concern, don't use the DomainsByProxy option. You can just buy a domain name from them outright.

Of course, then your information is public. Ahh, the engineering world of tradeoffs is everywhere... :-)

Chris Tavares
Thursday, January 22, 2004

I've always used 000domains.com - price is slightly high at $13.50 but certainly not unreasonable. I've never had any problems at all and their CS department is very responsive when clients lose their passwords etc.

In fact recently they changed from just being an OpenSRS reseller to a true ICANN accreditted domain registrar which can only be a good thing.

James Ussher-Smith
Saturday, January 24, 2004

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