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domain name registrars
 


jbernstein Show this Post
2016-11-23 at 19:33 #9892   (1)
jbernstein
What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?

I had been with Network Solutions, with my site on auto-renew. Got a notice that my domain is "about to expire". When I checked, my account was in order, with auto-renew ok and payment options up to date. To double check I called Network Solutions and was immediately in an extended discussion with someone about setting up a Facebook page? It was only later was it clear that he was a salesman; in looking into it web.com had purchased networksolutions. Essentially they were scamming their customers to sell services. Networksolutions used to be fairly straightforward, but now I'd like to find another domain name registry for my site.

Any tips? My site is hosted by Pair - would they be a good choice for domain name management? Quite irritated by this time waster on the part of Network Solutions.


2016-11-23 at 19:44 #9894   (2)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?...
I would not recommend Register.com if you don't like lots of selling in your face, exhorbitant pricing and various other hassles.
I haven't tried Pair's (PairNIC?) domain registry but also have wondered about it, as I'm hosting there, too.
If you like Google, they also offer domain name registration services.


2016-11-23 at 20:23 #9896   (3)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?
I have my personal domain registered at Hover.com. They have excellent management tools and do not bother me with marketing.

I manage a domain for my condo, which is registered at Network Solutions. I receive at least three spam e-mails from Network Solutions every week. I will be moving that domain to Hover.


2016-11-23 at 22:18 #9904   (4)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?
...
Any tips? My site is hosted by Pair - would they be a good choice for domain name management? Quite irritated by this time waster on the part of Network Solutions.
Pair also runs pairNIC, I've used them for years and have never had a single issue.

In my experience Network Solutions is a PITA.


2016-11-23 at 23:01 #9907   (5)
I switched my domains to EasyDNS many years ago based on an article by Adam Engst in Tidbits.com. I've been very happy with their system.


David Grant Show this Post
2016-11-25 at 18:40 #9981   (6)
David Grant
(2016-11-23 at 23:01)David Blanchard wrote:  I switched my domains to EasyDNS many years ago based on an article by Adam Engst in Tidbits.com. I've been very happy with their system.
I second this suggestion. Been a completely satisfied customer for decades. Possibly the best customer service I've ever encountered.


2016-11-25 at 19:53 #9987   (7)
Name.com is great. They often have sales, too. In fact, today thru Cyber Monday, all dot com registrations are $3.99 for up to 50 registrations. The site is Mac friendly, as well.


2016-11-25 at 20:22 #9988   (8)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry? Any tips? My site is hosted by Pair - would they be a good choice for domain name management? Quite irritated by this time waster on the part of Network Solutions.
I use Pair for site hosting and have only had good experiences with them. Very good support, very professional. I believe they can register a domain name for you but am not certain. For that, I've been using Hover. Have had good experiences with them as well. They have a good web site that's simple and easy to use, and they don't try to sell you stuff.


2016-11-25 at 22:17 #9991   (9)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?
I have several domains registered with Google Domains and find them easy to use.

   https://support.google.com/domains/answer/4632243


2016-11-25 at 22:26 #9992   (10)
I took a look at FastMail.net to see if they provide domain registration (they do provide DNS services), and I found them recommending the Paris-based Gandi SAS, which I didn't know about.

FastMail wrote:https://www.fastmail.com/help/receive/domains.html

Note: FastMail does not sell domains. You'll need to purchase a domain from a domain registrar. A registrar is a company that manages the purchase and ownership of internet domain names. If you're looking for a registrar, we recommend Gandi.
Here's some more info:

   http://wiki.gandi.net/en/domains


2016-11-26 at 00:29 #9997   (11)
Guest
(2016-11-25 at 22:17)Scott wrote:  I have several domains registered with Google Domains and find them easy to use.
   https://support.google.com/domains/answer/4632243
I hope your domain isn't hosted by GoDaddy. Google partners with 3 companies for that - GoDaddy.com, eNom.com, and DomainDiscount24.com. In my experience of working several years for GoDaddy (I quit after 6 years there, too many bad changes on the way employees are treated, after they went public), if you run into any real issues it will be a nightmare to get anything done and will take you at least several calls.


2016-11-26 at 02:47 #10004   (12)
I second the Hover.com recommendation. I switched to Hover from Network Solutions several years ago and have not regretted it.


2016-11-26 at 10:25 #10014   (13)
I have experience with multiple registrars:

Recommended:

Gandi.net (which was also mentioned by Ric Ford) - They are a full-price, quality registrar. I moved a few of my domains to them because I wanted to try out DNSSEC. Few registrars support DNSSEC. When I signed up, Gandi.net followed French (France) law. Last year (?) they set up a wholly owned US-based subsidiary which follows US law. They offered customers the choice to keep my domain registrations with the France-based parent or the US subsidiary. I chose the latter, since I live in the US.

There are two drawbacks to Gandi.net - (1) Despite charging a full "premium" price, they do not offer phone support. In fairness, they have been very responsive by email. (2) They insist on your full name for domain registrations, even "private" ones. In a Gandi.net private registration, your full name appears, but your contact information (email, phone, address) are hidden. I felt that it obviated the utility of a private registration, where you would not want to be identified as the owner of a controversial "free speech" type website. I had a long discussion with them regarding this concern, and they were nice enough to escalate up to senior people in their legal department. To sum it up, they believe that they are following the rules to ensure that you can retain ownership of your domain in case you face challenges to it. I respectfully disagree, but also respect their position.


Not Recommended:

AIT.com (also AITdomains.com) - I started with them in the mid-1990s and still have some domains registered with them. Despite their longevity, they seem very amateurish. I am particularly unhappy with how they handle private domain registrations. The private registrations point to one common email address, which they ignore. If someone wants to contact you about your domain (buying it, disputing it, whatever), don't count on AIT to read the inbound email message at their common private email address and then notify you. I tested it. It won't happen. In theory, I could lose my privately registered domains that are still with them. I plan to move all of my AIT-registered domains elsewhere before they expire next year.

GoDaddy.com - Too many bad experiences to list. I find myself dealing with them frequently, through customers who signed up with them before I was involved. In a typical situation, GoDaddy salespeople sell expensive services to non-technical people who do not understand and have no need for them. Their salespeople have no scruples, nor does the company as a whole. I have direct personal knowledge of horror stories where GoDaddy screwed over their own customers in various ways.

Network Solutions - The original domain registrar. Now owned by Verisign. I have used them in the past, when they were the only choice. When they were a monopoly, they abused that power in so many ways. I won't use them on principle. They have no principles.

Register.com - In my opinion, they are not much different than Network Solutions in pricing or service. I used them when there were a very limited number of alternatives to Network Solutions. Once more choices opened up, I never looked back.


Also Avoid:

Any "free" domain registration that comes with your hosting service. There are countless horror stories of unscrupulous hosting providers who will hold your domain registration hostage because it is tied to your hosting service. I have always kept my domain registrations and hosting services separate and independent. I never regretted it. It helps especially if you must switch to a new domain registrar or a new hosting service.


Final Comments:

In some ways, domain registrations are a commodity. Your choice of domain registrar may depend on how you use domains and how many domains you have. Large companies need services and reliability that may not be necessary for a MacInTouch reader who wants a simple family domain for email and a personal blog. For a small family domain, price may be the best differentiator. Many domain registrars run special offers, especially around Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Sorry for the long-winded response, but I hope it helps.


2016-11-26 at 10:34 #10016   (14)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  I had been with Network Solutions, with my site on auto-renew. Got a notice that my domain is "about to expire". When I checked, my account was in order, with auto-renew ok and payment options up to date. To double check I called Network Solutions and was immediately in an extended discussion with someone about setting up a Facebook page? It was only later was it clear that he was a salesman; in looking into it web.com had purchased networksolutions. Essentially they were scamming their customers to sell services. Networksolutions used to be fairly straightforward, but now I'd like to find another domain name registry for my site.
Are you sure that it wasn't a phishing email (spam)? I get them all the time - they appear to be about my domain registration (and may appear to come from my domain registrar), but if you look carefully, you can usually tell. They use information in the whois database to locate you. Often they are "invoices" for search engine optimization (SEO) services, carefully written in a way to look like a domain registration renewal.

Any tips? My site is hosted by Pair - would they be a good choice for domain name management? Quite irritated by this time waster on the part of Network Solutions.
See my previous note about my experiences with various domain registrars. Pay special attention to my recommendation that you should avoid registering your domain with the same company that does your hosting. I believe that you should keep your domain registration and hosting separate and independent of one another. That advice has proven useful to me over the years.


2016-11-26 at 14:27 #10029   (15)
Iʻve had DirectNIC for years after moving away from Network Solutions back in 2003 or 2004.
Never had a problem.
Except from scammers telling me my account was about to expire and offering me all sorts of benefits... but I had to hurry because someone else was trying to register my domain....
That stuff doesnʻt work. I know exactly, every year, when my renewal is due.


2016-11-26 at 14:58 #10031   (16)
I have used Joker.com (Swiss) for many years for my primary domain registrations (I have several dozen).

And while I don't use then for domains, I might put in a plug for NameCheap for SSL certificates, which are a must these days. On Cyber Monday you can get a basic 1-year Comodo SSL certificate for $0.88 (yes, less than $1), and a 3-domain EV Comodo certificate for $45.


2016-11-26 at 15:16 #10033   (17)
I've been using namecheap.com for several years to register my personal domain. I've been happy with the service.


2016-11-26 at 16:28 #10039   (18)
I have had to deal with several registrars when helping clients - most were a hassle (Godaddy was the worst).
I Googled and, having only one domain, am using
   https://iwantmyname.com/

They may be too simple and easy for many users.


2016-11-26 at 16:56 #10043   (19)
(2016-11-26 at 15:16)Tom Edson wrote:  I've been using namecheap.com for several years to register my personal domain. I've been happy with the service.
I second that. I used to use Dynadot, which had an easier interface, but I found Namecheap far easier for SSL, so I moved everything to Namecheap. They also have two-factor authentication and good service.

“Anyone but Network Solutions!” I had to transfer a name out of Network Solutions, and it took weeks. The owner was helping, and it was a very slow hands-on process and Network Solutions squeezed more money out of us along the way. They are expensive and give you nothing in return for crazy rates.


2016-11-26 at 19:08 #10054   (20)
iDunno
Moving from NetSol for domain registering, one feature you might not have previously had is owner protection; this gives a buffer address when someone does a whois on your domain, so that you don't get spammed about bogus renewals, which are really transfers to overpriced registrars.

Namecheap offered this, and it worked, but in a weird way, as an add-on that is "free" but lapses at a diffferent date than the registration, so that you need to renew or pay extra for the protection to continue for the full term of registration. I moved to Hover, who include the protection free with matching expiration dates and no upsell attempts. Very simple.

I stopped getting renewal spam when I left NetSol; they were awful back then, abusive and pointlessly minatory. I moved to Joker in the early oughts, in those days had to fax ID to Dusseldorf to transfer registration. They are very serious and nice enough but domain admin was complicated, easy to get lost in the layers to get something changed. I despised their admin, although it did work.

Of all of them Hover has been the best. Its pricing is reasonable, the protection works and is seamless, domain admin (like changing host DNS or other details) is easy to access and do. They send an occasional email to ask how they're doing, and if I have an issue, they respond quickly, but it's so easy to adjust things I don't need their help. If they made an operating system it would be better than macOS is right now.

Meanwhile, years after leaving them, Namecheap is still sending administrative emails about changes in regulations; I don't think they are quite all there.


2016-11-27 at 09:27 #10074   (21)
(2016-11-23 at 19:33)jbernstein wrote:  What would the community recommend as to a domain name registry?
Strongly recommend the non-profit registrar Gandi. Their motto says it all.

Been with them for a long time now. I also have an experimental server there. Happy with their service.


2016-11-28 at 16:03 #10131   (22)
I host my website with Zen Internet http://www.zen.co.uk - I also have my domain name them. All I can say their service and knowledge of Mac's is excellent. Zen have many awards in the UK - not certain if they will register a US user.


2016-11-28 at 17:49 #10142   (23)
I didn't see any recommendations for DreamHost, so I'll add them as a decent option, since I've had domains registered there ever since Network Solutions lost their monopoly and have never had an issue.

DreamHost is more hosting-oriented, but you can do just domain registration if you want, their prices are fairly reasonable, the auto-renewal (or don't) options are straightforward, lock/unlock/transfer is all automatic so it's painless to switch away if you don't like them, you of course get full DNS record control, their support is fairly responsive, and I've never gotten any sort of hard-sell or commercial marketing from them.

Other places I've tried:

As others noted, Network Solutions is an abomination. Leaving aside their monopoly abuse back when they were the only game in town, their prices are ridiculously high to this day--$35 for a single .com domain if you pay yearly. You literally need to pay for 20 years of registration in advance before their prices become even remotely competitive--even renewing for 10 years, they charge $18/year for a .com.

They also have aggressive junk mail once you're a customer, and last time I tried, made it memorably difficult to move a domain away.

Their only advantage I'm aware of is if you want to pre-pay for 100 years of domain registration, it's only $10/year for a .com. That's assuming the DNS system or civilization as we know it lasts that long, of course.

GoDaddy, also as others said, is pretty bad. Their phone support is good, but none of my other experiences with them have been positive, and for SSL services they've been ratcheting their prices up substantially the last year or two.

007Names.com is one of those funky super-cheap registrars that I tried at one point, and they actually seemed okay at the time. The prices were certainly good (still are from the looks of it), and they didn't do any particularly aggressive sales tactics, nor was it hard to move a domain away when I eventually did. That was a few years ago, though, so it's possible things have changed since.

On an related note, has anybody noticed a decrease in the physical junk-mail scam-registrar attempts recently? These are the ones where they send you an "invoice" for a domain coming up for renewal soon that is really just a transfer request and contract designed to trick companies who don't know who their domains are registered with into accidentally switching to the new, scammy, overpriced registrar. I used to see those with alarming regularity, but they seem to have petered out in the last few years. Maybe just me, though.


Todd Bangerter Show this Post
2016-11-28 at 18:53 #10148   (24)
Todd Bangerter
I have been using namecheap.com since moving from GoDaddy, but I am now considering moving everything to namesilo.com. They are cheap, full featured, and WHOIS privacy is included for free. Clean, simple interface, and no upsell tactics.


selasley Show this Post
2016-11-28 at 23:40 #10170   (25)
selasley
I used Xeliux.com to register a few domain names. One is being used with a DigitalOcean droplet for a low traffic website. No problems so far.


2016-11-29 at 09:42 #10187   (26)
(2016-11-28 at 18:53)Todd Bangerter wrote:  I have been using namecheap.com since moving from GoDaddy, but I am now considering moving everything to namesilo.com. They are cheap, full featured, and WHOIS privacy is included for free. Clean, simple interface, and no upsell tactics.
Todd's comment about "... Clean, simple interface ..." hits the nail on the head.

I have seen so many domain name registrars, and each one has their own unique configuration interface. There is no standard, other than the fact that they all use a web browser. Quite frankly, most of them are awful.

Here is an example: Even though Gandi.net is recommended by me and others, the user interface for configuring DNS zones is horrible. Very very stupid. You may want to use their DNS servers to point your domain or subdomains (such as "www...") at your servers' IP addresses. If you want to make a change (say, point a subdomain to a different IP address), you must create a new DNS zone version for that domain, then make that new version active. At Gandi, you can accumulate zone versions, or delete old ones if you wish. It is so very not intuitive.

Sorry for picking on Gandi.net. The honest truth is that every domain name registrar I have encountered lacks the most basic user interface design skills. They give you the bare minimum to configure your domain, and then throw beginners into the deep end. They could save huge amounts of money on support if they would only focus a few resources on making their user interfaces easy and intuitive for all users, but after over two decades of experience, I have seen little change.


2016-11-29 at 14:49 #10207   (27)
(2016-11-28 at 17:49)M. Marshall wrote:  ...On an related note, has anybody noticed a decrease in the physical junk-mail scam-registrar attempts recently? These are the ones where they send you an "invoice" for a domain coming up for renewal soon that is really just a transfer request and contract designed to trick companies who don't know who their domains are registered with into accidentally switching to the new, scammy, overpriced registrar. I used to see those with alarming regularity, but they seem to have petered out in the last few years. Maybe just me, though.
I just received one last week, but it reminded me that, yes, they seem to have subsided a bit.


2016-11-29 at 16:13 #10221   (28)
I thought I would try some of the ideas here.

First I tried the nonprofit Gandi, but the site was slow from here, and as someone noted earlier, it's pretty complex for DNS. Then I tried name.com which is okay, but charges an awful lot for the anonymity service, and has a fairly clunky site which focuses on sales rather than servicing existing domains.

Hover has nice prices, basically net-normal but with free anonymity. Namecheap is good but anonymity is an annual extra. For one domain it's not a big deal; I don't have one domain. That said, Namecheap has an easy interface for the most part.

Hover.com is a tucows project (remember them?) which is odd, since I thought Namecheap or Dynadot was also Tucows. I found Dynadot in the past to be good for domains, less so for SSL. Times change, and I could be wrong.

Hover.com is the fastest registrar I’ve ever used for a transfer, sending out confirmations instantly, but like Gandi, the DNS is pretty much for experts. There are a lot of providers doing good work, even though, as someone pointed out last night, there’s no standardized interface.

Correction: I discovered there are two DNS interfaces in hover.com, one you see while transferring, the other is conventional and appears once the domain is established at hover. The conventional one is indeed easy. They do charge for forwarding, which is normally free, but overall, I'll probably be switching to Hover for DNS and using Namecheap for SSL.


Kurt L. Show this Post
2016-11-29 at 19:25 #10233   (29)
Kurt L.
Another vote for hover.com. Reasonably priced, reasonably comprehensible web site. I like the free anonymity feature on my domains. They also offer two factor authentication, which was reasonably easy to set up and use.


2016-11-30 at 13:04 #10276   (30)
I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned pairNIC (http://www.pairnic.com). They are part of Pair Networks, who are a very solid web/email/domain hosting provider. I've used pairNIC for years and they do the job with no fuss, no stupid stuff, and reasonable pricing. I highly recommend both Pair and pairNIC (no affiliation, just a satisfied customer).


2016-11-30 at 13:16 #10277   (31)
I'm wondering if anyone here has any insights on the implications of the pending transfer of internet control from the US government to an international body. Is the expectation "business as usual" or "new ball game"?


2016-11-30 at 21:55 #10326   (32)
(2016-11-30 at 13:04)kschendel wrote:  I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned pairNIC (http://www.pairnic.com). They are part of Pair Networks, who are a very solid web/email/domain hosting provider. I've used pairNIC for years and they do the job with no fuss, no stupid stuff, and reasonable pricing. I highly recommend both Pair and pairNIC (no affiliation, just a satisfied customer).
I mentioned it back on November 23. Further proof that I'm just a nobody in the sea of humanity...   ;)

I always recommend Pair and PairNIC. I wish all companies provided such robust service/products.

That said, Ric just got hit by a rare Pair failure...