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What Alternative Domain Registrants are out There? 145

Zigg asks: "With the story on NSI's webmail "service" and the rant I posted therein, I got a little more information with regards to alternative registrars that have apparently been around a few months now, thanks to ICANN. I was hoping that Slashdot readers could contribute stories of their experiences with some of these guys, to see if any of them really are better than NSI or are just worth checking out because they're not NSI?"
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What Alternative Domain Registrants are out There?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    From Freenetname terms and conditions []...

    You agree that we can advertise and operate promotions by way of banner advertisements on your web space at no charge.

    We may, on one month's notice, introduce a charge for the service. If we introduce a charge you will be able to terminate your use of the service before you become liable to make any payment to us.

    The domain name remains free only if you remain a user of our service. In the event that you are not still a user of our service on the second anniversary of the domain name being registered, Nominet UK may invoice you for the applicable renewal fee at the appropriate rate.

    In the event that you wish to remove the domain to another service provider we will charge you an administration fee to effect the transfer, currently £94 (inc.VAT).

    Small print indeed....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am very impressed with the service at My host had a screwed up DNS file but insisted that everything was fine. When I e-mailed about it they immediatly replied, pointing out the file my provider had messed up.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have had some bad experiences with Perhaps they have changed, since this was done within their first week of offering services.

    As a side note, I register 100+ domains a month with NSI.

    Went through the process of registering a domain with them and found they don't even give you the option of specifying your DNS servers. I thought that was odd as a domain is useless without DNS. I went to their web update form, logged in with the account I had just created, and noticed the reason they didn't ask is because they assumed I wanted them to provide DNS for the domain. So, I click on the change DNS servers button to find the message "You are not authorized to make changes to this item."

    Very Interesting and also starting to get wary of these guys. Poke around the web site for about 10 minutes and find they don't even list a phone # to contact them! Now I am starting to get even more wary. I go to their tech support page where they claim that if you fill out their form they will get back to you within 24 hours. Sent a message humbly requesting they change the domain to my DNS servers. 72 hours pass, no response. My thought now is "what a bunch of scumbags, they stole my domain!" I start doing queries and looking things up and find that they registered the domain with themselves as all the contacts! Now I go back to the tech support page and sent a slightly more heated message to them demanding that they release the domain to me. I start procedures with AMEX to dispute the charge on my card. About a week and a half later I finally get a response from them that they have changed the DNS servers. However, I still cannot make changes via their web form and they still list themselves as the contacts on the domain.

    This outfit is very shady and VERY clueless. Their customer support is non-existent. NSI makes some mistakes and you may have to wait on hold for 20 minutes, but at least you can talk to a person. Its also fairly easy to escalate to a clueful person, such as Chuck Gomes. NSI has been doing registrations since the beginning. I will be sticking with them for all registrations.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 1999 @12:19AM (#1632198)
    I recently registered three domains trough

    They use the same prices as NSI, but their service is much better:
    - They provide free DNS services, but you are still able to run your own DNS servers. (A combination is also possible)
    - You can update your domain settings trough a web interface and updates are therefore almost instant (and not three months like NSI).
    - Tech support is very knowledgeable and usually responds within a few hours (even outside office hours!!).

    The only bad thing I have to say is that their upstream provider had some connectivity problems a few weeks ago and because their free DNS servers are on the same network my whole domain did not work. However, these issues seem to be resolved and of course you are free to add one of your own DNS servers to theirs.
  • I've registered a couple of domains with Net Wizards [], and really like them. They're $10 cheaper than NSI, and very fast.
  • My domain registration was very easy. Just use their web-form, reply to their confirmation email... wait - and you've got a domain. Their web based tools to handle DNS have come in very handy. They're clear, easy-to-use... I can't think of any reason why not to recomment these guys.
  • I registered a couple of domain names through MelbourneIT recently. They were quite a bit more expensive than NSI, but the service was much better (it couldn't be any worse :).

    But then again I am a Melbournian, so I may be biased :)

    My sister registered a domain through NSI - they screwed up the delegation and ignored three months of attempts to fix it.
  • This is close to what I want, thank you. But more importantly, I want a service that will hold my email for X amount of days when my domain goes down. If not for that, I could do the rest myself.
  • I registered my domain with My experiences with them have been fine. I've never had a domain change take more than 24 hours, their domain change page is nice and simple and the fact that they take care of domain parking and dns for you is really nice.

    They do cost the same as NSI (70$ for two years), which isn't the cheapest, but isn't that bad.

  • If their web hosting business is anything like their domain services, they suck ass.

    9 months ago I asked if I could add a delegated subdomain to one of the domains I was hosting there. After 5 or 6 e-mails of clarification (they couldn't figure out what I was asking), their answer was "yep. just let us know."

    3-4 months later I asked again, just to be ABSOLUTELY sure they could do this before I went out and bought hardware to act as name server for the delegated subdomain, etc. I've had experience in 2 other past instances where they've said "yep" one day and "sorry you were misinformed" the next, so I felt it crucial that I be totally certain that they understood what I was asking and could do what I needed. Again, their response (after another 5-6 clarifications) was "yep. no problem. just let us know."

    So a couple of weeks ago I say "OK, I'm all set up on this end, please add this to your name servers.."

    "Uhh, sorry for the past misinformation, but we can't do that."

    WHAT?? I just spent several hundred dollars going on information you'd explicitely given me in the past, and now you can't even offer me the courtesy of a single line in my domain's zone files? They wouldn't budge. As soon as DNS fully updates for all of my domains, I'm cancelling my accounts.

    They even advised me not to post copies of the e-mail correspondence I've had with their techs on a web page. Embarrassed? I do think so. Then they started talking about slander and libel and how they take that sort of thing very seriously. Hell, all I wanted was to post verbatim copies of the e-mails. I think they speak for themselves nicely.

    *Horrible* tech support in general, 2-3 day tech support runs. Their *phone* support isn't even staffed by the techs that answer your e-mails. You can't ever contact them by phone in the event you need something resolved quickly.

    I should not have to be suspicious (and correct in my suspicion) that the tech that answered my e-mail thought I meant "Perl" when I said "mod_perl."

    I have had nothing but bad experiences with Alabanza.

    Now, of course, their domain registration services might be operated completely differently, but somehow I doubt it...
  • Any DNS change takes 2-3 days to fully propogate through the 'Net. This is based on the TTL setting in your name servers, which determine how long other name servers should keep your DNS info cached (to avoid excessive/redundant lookups). Once the TTL expires, the information is refreshed from an authoritative source, and propogation is complete.

    If you change your name server settings for your domain, it's just another DNS change (but at a top level) and will require 2-3 days to fully propogate.

    If you know in advance you're about to make a major change, sometimes it helps to adjust the TTL values in your name server a few days beforehand so that things refresh more quickly. You then avoid the lengthy propogation period.

    I've never used Register.Com, but it is a bit unfair to pin this on crappy service from them.
  • What is the proper etiquette for registering your family name with a TLD?

    There has been none. Its a finite physical space, or address that must be unique. That may be why the price of land in areas, such as San Jose, are so high. Just like TLD's, computers have an affinity to give each item unique addresses.

    I was too late to get, so I am happy with an org. With the current trend of sue happy people in the USA (the US seems to have an inordinate amount of control over the internet,) I'm sure I'll find someone of my last name trying to assert rights over the address I have chosen.

    Last names cause conflicts in the telephone book too. My mom has a business in her maiden last name in Kansas City (I won't mention it here, because credit card companies use maiden names like passwords!) Its not a popular last name, but there happened to be another business in the city of that name. She had the first entry in the telephone book.

    I'm aware of other Attaway's on the internet, musicians (my sister is one,) teachers, scientists, and one Attaway-Electronics beat me to getting a trademark.

    People and nations go to war over land. I'm sure that attitude will infect the internet too. Hopefully there will be enough productive discussion to cure this ill.
  • What many people don't realize is that domain name registrar competition is largely illusory. NSI [] still holds a monopoly for the database holding the com, org, and net top level domains. All the other registrars still pay NSI $9/year per domain for access to this database.

    Thus, the only real competition is in billing and customer service. Given NSI's track record on these matters, the "alternative" registrars have a wide-open opportunity to do better, and I think this is a good thing. But the fact that NSI retains the monopoly on the database itself suggests that we're not going to see fundamental improvements any time soon.
  • You may check .nu [] and .to [] NICs.
  • There is nothing wrong with, they are top notch. For the same price as NSI, they also will provide you with Nameservers, a web interface for changing most of your information and and the tech support.... I've never seen a better tech support staff. You email them and they get back within 3 hours, any time day or night. If you want to change something at 3am, send an email and it'll be changed by the time you wake up. Once I even recieve a personal call to make sure everything was ok. (It was a particularly drawn out q&a back and forth between me and them.) PLUS, they sponsor The Granite Canyon Project [], which provides free DNS Services. That's the reason I went with them to begin with, but they won me over with their service.
  • Won't do you much good. Dispute resolution is uniform and extrajudicial (ie by ICANN), and, for judicial proceedings to be worthwhile, the complaint has to be filed where the main database is stored -- in the US. A judiciary outside the US wouldn't have jurisdiction over the DB. Just because you write the annual check from another country doesn't mean the domain is owned in another country.
  • "PS - If you've had good or bad experiences, please post them. A friend of mine is about to register and wants
    to know which company to go with. Price, quality, etc. - post the details. It will help us all."

    Ok, here ya go... my company recently upgraded bandwidth, our old provider couldn't handle what we were doing, we changed our DNS to a new company through NIS. This has been over a month now, and our DNS is _still_ pointing to the old servers. I've been sending an email per day to NIS with absolutely no response at all. Nothing. This is service? No, this is bullshit -- and there's nothing I can do. We can't receive email (the MX records are still pointing to the old provider, and we're doing our own mail in-house now but our old provider has dropped us) people can't get to our web-site (for similar reasons) and all in all nothing is working except being able to browse, etc. Anyone have any idea what I can do in this situation?
  • Here's what I'd like to do for my family:

    I have a registered domain, say; I don't have a permanent connection to the net, with a static IP and 24/7 reliable equipment, so I need a company to host the domain, which would not need web server space. I would like to be able to set up forwarding rules and member's actual ISP address; no email store & forward involved at the company hosting my domain, just an easily configured forwarding service.

    Does anybody know a company that would do it at a reasonable cost?

  • I seem to remember, once upon a time, stumbling upon a website which was promoting a grassroots approach to the problems of domain name registration: namely, persuading enough ISPs to point to other DNS servers than the 'official' TLD ones, and thereby siezing control. I bookmarked it, but Netscape Ate My Bookmarks, so I never got round to reading how they intended to avoid the 'some animals are more equal than others' scenario.

    Does anyone know what I'm talking about here? Could someone please point me to it?

  • are doing this in the UK. And its operational. And it works. Pretty crappy ISP though, but a free domain name is a free domain name all the same. Watch out for the small print though. There are a few catches therein.
  • I think it's more an issue of technical difficulties than anything else. If every nameserver had to carry a list of where to get information for all tlds, and you could have any tld that you wanted, dns servers would soon become overloaded unless a new system was in place.

  • What I would like to see is a proper centralized whois database. doesn't carry information for domains registered with other providers. For example, to find out information about a .com, .net or .org domain registered through, you need to query That sucks.

  • A good company in England to go with is twelveNET []. You can register domains with them and they have a hold service if you don't want to do anything with your domain right away.

    You can get free domains with freenetname []. Since Nominet reduced the fees for members to 5 UKP, all hosting companies offering .uk domains have dropped their prices incredibly, resulting in a free isp that gives you free web space, free connection and a free domain. Pretty cool, if you ask me.


  • Are you thinking of alternet?

  • is only 5 UKP...

  • Alabanza are absolutely AWFUL. They are one of the worst companies I have ever come across. Taking over THREE MONTHS to provide proper reverse dns, an incredibly simple thing to do (especially when provided with correct db files they need!) is unacceptable. No offence to you or your friend, but do not go with them.

  • - They provide free DNS services, but you are still able to run your own DNS servers. (A combination is also possible)

    Combinations are *not* possible. I tried in vain to change the 1st nameserver but not the second, but they refused to process this. They will not host just the secondary DNS. It's all or nothing.

    The web interface seems pretty cool though, and the response times for support have been great in my case.

  • A lot of the common text comes straight from their agreement with the registry (still NSI!) which they are fronting, methinks.

    That language, in turn, has been very much shaped by the ICANN discussions - see the ICANN website [] for the details.

  • I bought three domain names from []. Despite the name and the somewhat clunky interface, they gave me my domain names within 24 hours.

    Considering their prices (DM80/USD$40 for the first 2 years) they are a no-frills provider, so you'll have to take care of the DNS hosting, etc, yourself.

    however, at least I don't have to worry about my information being 'owned' by NIC.

    Anyway, for .com, .net, or .org, I say go with

  • ugh, dudes. from what i have heard you must pay to update your DNS info after x time after the initial registration, plus you have to give them your information just the same.
    Andrew G. Feinberg
  • I recently registered for me and my family to use. At the moment its registered through DomainDirect/Tucows so we only get 5 email addresses, but in the future (when I finally get an always-on connection like ADSL (hurry up BT) or Cable modem) I'll probably host it properly at home.

    Then I probably would offer an email forwarding service to other similarly-named folks. I guess having an unusual name does have its advantages sometimes (although and .net were long gone).

    I like the idea of a register of family-name domains - could get a bit big though!
  • It took me several weeks, but I've finally registered a domain through CoreNIC. Here's how it works.
    1. Go to [] and find a registrar. I used NetWizards, []. They've been quite good -- they even answer the phone!
    2. In their words, "Name servers MUST be already registered with InterNIC or use CORE-registered domains." You can do that somewhere on the Network Solutions [] site. Don't even bother trying unless you meet those conditions.
    3. If you have an InterNIC-registered nameserver, it then has to be registered with CoreNIC. NetSol apparently isn't sharing their databases.
    4. After the CORE nameserver registration goes through, you can register your domain(s).

    Unfortunately, there's currently no way domains from InterNIC to CoreNIC except to let the contract run out and then snap it up again when your domain goes dead. Extremely suboptimal.

    What do you get in return? Cheaper registration ($60/two years), real customer service, and an explicit antispam policy.


  • I use .nu [] and have been pretty happy with them. $25/year, or as low as $20/year if you register for five years. The only catch is that they charge you $10 for each change, but my DNS servers rarely move so this isn't an issue for me.

    I dumped in favor of, even though the suffix is much less well known -- the difference in service between the folks at .nu and NSI was that significant.

  • Many persons here are saying that the .com, .net, .int and so on are to split the load of the databases. That is really stupid. There is *NO* need of those top level domanis.

    Hint: Now, split the database into 26 different databases and use the last letter to know which to use.

    I have always found the .com, .net, .org and the like stupid. Wouldn't it be easier for the average Clueless User to just type Microsoft or perhaps www.Microsoft, billgates@Microsoft and the like in their telnet/web/ftp/mail/whatever software?

  • by Azul ( 12241 )
    You are right if you implement things the stupid way. You can still use a tree with no need for .com, .net, .edu, .mil, .int, .gov, .org and the like, just use the last letter in the domain name. Voila, you have a tree starting with 27 (including the `-') nodes. You could even group them. See? That's all it takes.

  • Do a whois lookup on just about any proper name. Check .com, .net, and .org. has designed half of their business on selling email addresses and URL redirectors with proper names.
  • every dealing i ever had with NSI, was truely a pain, once i discovered the alternate registrars, i decided to check excellent, response time was great, i liked the idea that they parked the domain for me for nothing (the day NSI would do that is the day hell freezes probably), i recommend myself.. very smooth, and i didn't have to fight with them over my pgp key (like i did with NSI), or my email changing, etc..
  • We no longer use them. Worse service then NSI, impossible to really allow multiple people to easily work on the domain data, slow global updates that piss our clients off etc etc. For the net savvy its an ok choice, for the marketroids out there its just a tad to delayed.

    We stick with NSI for now, we register ~40 domains a month and they do great.
  • After a little but of trouble at first with sorting my DNS servers out - have been superb.

    Suggestion though, stick to your country's TLD - I'm in the UK so 99% of the domains I register for myself or .uk's. It helps people figure out where I am, add to the fact Nominet just plain rock when it comes to domain name registration :-)

  • Wow - that's REALLY annoying.

    As an aside, does this not count as domain name squatting? Purchasing a domain name for the intent of selling (or in this case renting) it later?

    Just a thought...
  • There is a company around here called Alabanza. My friend works there, and he assures me that everyone knows what they're doing, and that nobody there is a moron. Try here [].

    "I'm not gonna say anything inspirational, I'm just gonna fucking swear a lot"
  • Yup,

    The company I work for is registered with Nominet. To register a domain, we fill in an e-mail form, PGP sign it and send it to their 'automaton'. Five minutes later, we get an automatic confirmation that the name is in their database and available to be replicated throughout their nameservers. The whole process usually take 1-2 hours.
    Even better is the wrapper script I've written arounf the mail bit that means that I basicayyly input what name we want, what it's for and then our PGP passphrase. You cannot get any easier or quicker.
    Needless to say, modifications and transfers are just as easy. NSI, and just about every other registration service I have seen can learn a lot from Nominet!
  • by GC ( 19160 ) <> on Thursday October 07, 1999 @01:35AM (#1632237)
    My understanding for the categorisation was that they represent separate databases. When a server resolves a name it checks to see which database it should look in, it then strips off the .net .com or whatever and searches that database for the relevant string.

    Because the database is split up into smaller components the search is faster than it would be if there was no categorisation.

    Strangely this means that the most obscure top levels should resolve fastest...

    Back to your point if we didn't have any structure and anybody could register a top level domain then our Internet would be practicaly unusable. Besides you would proabably find that you would be responsible for the authorative resolution of your .shmoe domain. Which would mean you would have to have a server connected and maintained for your domain to even work.

    Now what is this TLDNS stuff? The web link you gave me doesn't seem to really explain what it does and I'm hardly one to blindly install software I download to find out what it does.

    PS I did echo "hmm" > .sig in Winnt and it worked for me.

  • AFAIK, there are no guidlines. If it's your name, and you've registered it first, a company will at least have a hard time getting it of you without your consent. Once it is yours, you can do with it what you want.
  • by LL ( 20038 ) on Thursday October 07, 1999 @03:03AM (#1632239)
    I think there are some major fundamental problems here that having multiple DNS root servers will just paper over. The major issue is that certain vested interests want to turn addresses into property rights (with associated price and thus shareholder value). Unfortunately it fails one fundamental test in that a name is not unique. Thus while a physical property has well defined boundaries as recorded by land deeds (remember that your forefathers fought for this by carving out a homestead in the wilderness), there is no natural constraints on a name/address pair. If the impact of the participants weren't so serious on the rest of the world, it'll form the basis of a Monty Python sketch ...

    {humor on}
    News Flash: The McDonald clan descended on the embattered hamburger chain waving haggis and yelling war cries, claiming the appropriation of their proud Scottish ancestry by a burger flipping clown was an insult to their heritage and the direct cause of the 75% unemployment rate in the internet economy. PR spokeman declinced to comment noting that kilt-wearing assistants would lead to an immediate decline in sales ....

    Switch to Hospital Bedside: Expectant mother .... "I'll like to name him Bill Gates the CCCLXVII", "sorry, all booked out until DCLXV". "How about XYsaer sfgyuer". "No can do, apparently reserved for a punk rock group sometime next decade. Those music companies are really getting desperate nowadays to come up with half a good idea". "Sigh, OK, looks like I'll have to settle for a random lottery draw instead. "Will 345694857 do?"

    The conflict is that NSI is wanting to act simulatneous roles of registrar (usually government fixed-fee recording service), data developer (in holding onto its yellow pages database for perhaps advertising purposes) and judge/jury in resolving name conflicts (with associated legal vigorish). There are specific reasons why land property rights have evolved separate functional groups as it has been found to be a workable solution for the last 500 odd years. Asking a bunch of companies to divvy up a name space limited by the number of recognisable English words of 7 characters or less (let's face it, most people can't remember much more than 1-2 syllables) is a sure way to degrade the language (yeah, invent more useless buzzwords). I expect a patent any day for adding new letters to the alphabet :-). Frankly, the role of branding has gotten way out of control like a hydra on amphetimines. Whether it is one variety of sugared water or another variation on a PC is becoming too mind-numbing to keep up. If the Net doesn't collapse from sheer marketing hype, the collective ennui from watching the same ads day after day will turn people off. If there was sanity in the world, I hope another Postel-in-training comes up with a naming distribution system that is not dependent on centralised roots. Alternatively emigrate to the far side of the moon just to get away from the cybernoise and pollution.

  • I used recently and found the process pretty painless. I then moved the primary and secondary DNS entries to Granite Canyon's (free) Public DNS Service [] and set up my own RRs there. As a result I didn't need a whole lot of interaction with, but everything went smoothly enough.

    There's a sponsorship agreement between The Public DNS Service and If you're going to use and might use the Public DNS Service, follow one of the links from the Public DNS Service to so they get credit (and hopefully money) for the referral.

  • I'm an English person living in Sweden and I'm looking to get a .org domain in the next week or so (birthday present :-)

    If anyone has a recommendation for the best way to reserve a domain from the UK or Sweden that wouldbe appreciated. The problem is that someone in the UK will be paying for the domain, but I want to be listed as billing contact to make the future payments.

    I'm looking for the best price I can find (of course) and hopefully the possibility to pay by cheque (UK) or Postgiro (SE). I will be hosting the domain on a friend's server so it's simply name reservation I am looking for.

    Thanks in advance for any tips.

  • What is the proper etiquette for registering your family name with a TLD?

    I don't believe there is any etiquette involved with this procedure but a company called has registered almost all last names of British origin as dot net.

    They sell email addresses and subdomains. Myself and several friends have tried to register domains only to find them all taken by Mailbank :(

  • With other registrants out there, are there alternate whois sources? I'd love to alias my 'whois' command so it queries a server without all that legal B.S. In terms of registration, I had a good experience registering both my domains, & with [], which is the Christmas Island top-level domain. They were about $30 US for two years for each, although you have to pay with a credit card/in UK pounds. They helped me out a few times when I lost my registration handle like a moron, responding very quickly to my email. Plus, you can visit their website and dream about a tropical island vacation.
  • [I was the one to start this thread, but I forgot to login]

    I asked tech support and after they manually added a record of my nameserver in the root database I was able to add the server.

    If you do not believe it: go and have a look at one of my domains, for example

    > set type=ns
    Server: localhost

    Non-authoritative answer: nameserver = DNS4.REGISTER.COM nameserver = CYPHERPUNKS.AI nameserver = DNS3.REGISTER.COM

    Authoritative answers can be found from:
    DNS4.REGISTER.COM internet address =
    CYPHERPUNKS.AI internet address =
    DNS3.REGISTER.COM internet address =
  • Sending emails to NSI is no use. It never works. The only way to have them fix things is to call them on the phone. You get to stay on hold for a half hour (great for overseas calls), but in the end you get an operator who will fix things. It's happened to me a few times, and phoning them has always resulted in an immediate fix.
  • Well, all I can say is that I agree.

    On the first of Feb 1999, NSI transfered my domain to The Times.

    The Times got someone to fake me and forward a false RNCA ( Registrant Name Change Agreement) form to NSI. NSI then transfered the ownership of the domain.

    So I was essentially robbed.

    Take a look at what The Times is doing with my domain now

    Everytime I emailed a NSI official about this issue, they told me that someone in the Business Dept was looking at the matter.
    But I still have not heard anything from them

    Heck, they have been looking at the issue for 3 months now.

    Why did I register ? I don't know,
    there was a Times in London. But isn't there a London in Canada and other countries ?

    Anyway: sounds like a good option.

  • Oh, this would be a wonderful idea.

    Instead of the limited cost of registering a name with the few standard extensions, we would need to register every possible combination to protect the names we have.

    The registrars would get rich collecting fees from companies trying to protect their names from misuse.

    And don't think for one minute that companies like microsoft wouldn't try to scoop up the, etc., names to ensure they are not given to anyone else...

  • Nameit allows you to do all your changing of info online, in a password based, secure server setup. I am preparing to transfer all domains under my management to them (about 30). Luckily i have convinced my customers (myself included for two of those domains) that the $34 transfer fee is worth it.



    This just makes me so happy, I can't stand it.
  • I have used these people too and was quiet surprised at how simple it was.

    I have a DNS of my own sitting on a BSD box here at my office, but there was no nead to even throwing my new Zone into the DNS.. handled -EVERYTHING- for me.

    They have such a simple interface in managing your domain name, even the most stressed novice could figure it out. (Where where these guys 2 years ago!!!)

    I recomend them to anyone that wants a no-hassle deal in setting up a domain name. I have read earlier that is a beat cheaper.. but I don't shirk one bit in paying the extra 30 $USD for great service.

    BTW, you can redirect your domain to sit on another DNS if you choose.. but it is all handled through there Web interface.. NO MORE EMAIL TAG NSI!!!!! :)

  • I use Tonic. (they register in the .to domain )

    The differance between dealing with tonic for my .to domains and NSI for my .com and .org domains is night and day. On Tonic, I do everything over the web, my changes appear the next _day_, and they don't bother me. Their service is wonderfull. I hightly reccomend them.
  • It was really easy to register a domain with Joker.

    They processed my order within 24 hours and with their web based DNS configurator (I paid extra for Joker to do DNS) my web site was available by name in an additional hour.
  • We had a bit of a bad experience with ... my fiance has a thing for 2 letter domain names, and wanted, which he could get through So, he reg'ed it, I used my credit card to pay for it, and all was well.

    Or so we thought. A few days later, the DNS has reverted from us to another company in texas... was unable to help us, and finally we contacted the people in Texas, and found that they had registered two days before we did.

    After finally convincing of this fact, they refunded my credit card... but due to lousy exchange rates, (it's a canadian card) I ended up getting gypped nearly $1. Pah.

    Despite having lots of issues with NSI ... it's preferable than actually losing money, no matter how small, for someone elses screwup.

  • Notice there are lots of recommendations for from people not hiding behind AC.

    I suspect this guy has a boatload of NSI stock or some other financial interest in libelling

  • I'm also looking at moving several domains from NSI to It's straightforward if you have the same postal address on your driver's license as in the registrant address of the domain in question (not contact addresses). Otherwise you will have to either update the domain with NSI to your driver's license address first, or provide other convincing documentation.

    Click here for the not-easily-found page at [] with instructions on transferring a domain to them. Good luck!

  • Geektools offers a whois proxy and web interface that first queries a registry database to determine the registrar whois to query for the domain in question. Note that other registrars don't use NIC handles, or at least, only NSI NIC handles can be found via geektools.

    Try it out: []

  • FWIW, the registry fee may drop from $18/$9 to $12/$6 effective January 15, 2000 with the tentative agreement between NSI and ICANN. It's not clear to me if this is final now or not.

    See Appendix B of the tentative agreement [].

  • I've registered only a few domains, I'm not an ISP. But my experience with NSI has been a continuing nightmare, since I'm not big they ignore me and in particular I cannot get updates processed without many repeated attempts and followups, despite careful checking that authentication was correct. Worse, the notifications they constantly claim to be sending to listed contacts are never sent (for the last few months anyway). on the other hand has been exemplary. Most changes I can make online, and when I've resorted to customer service (only once, via email) the response was fast and the service good.

    I'm considering transferring all my domains to, but that's complicated by the fact that they all use a private mailbox postal address which I cannot easily document belongs to me (I get no bills there, it's not on my license, etc.) Once I find a way to provide documentation that that postal address belongs to me, I'll go ahead and transfer them, even though I lose over a year on several of remaining registration. (You pay again and start the 2 year period over when transferring.)

    Anyway, unless you already have a volume relationship with NSI that you're happy with, and especially if you're not going to be registering dozens of domains a year, I can recommend from personal experience.

  • I seem to remember some organization, giving away names "for free". And another organization who did the same with's. Anyone know if they're still in business?

  • We are using

  • Actually, the reduction in prices has created a huge rip-off market, where most sellers are selling for a huge amount, or making you pay a lot for a service with many catches (the catches for freenetname are mentioned elsewhere on this page, but they primarily charge you a tonne if you wish to leave their service and keep your domain name - i.e. you aren't the owner of the domain name, the ISP is, and they loan it to you. When you wish to leave their services, they charge you a tonne for you to get it.)

    I reckon it is a better idea in the UK to wait a few weeks for the market to calm down following the cheaper Nominet rate, and then check out some of the smaller companies that will be offering more personalised services for not much money.

    I rung up one company a couple of days ago, enquiring about registering a domain, and asked them what the standard nominet fee was, and they said £80!. I think it was Virtual Internet. They were selling a no-catches service, yet they were secretly making £75 by preying on people who didn't know about domain registration prices.

  • It may be £5 for an ISP that is registered with Nominet (which costs a lot) to register a domain name for someone else, but when you consider that if all you want is a domain name (e.g. to stop someone else getting it) then there are no ways to get it for £5.

    Companies have to make a profit somewhere, and then there is VAT on top of it all, then there is the hassle of having to run a Primary and Secondary DNS for the names you register. Then those DNS's have to be connected to the internet 24/7 which costs a lot in the UK, as leased lines cost an absolute bomb compared with the US. ISPs don't offer cheap Domain Name Registration only, they want to get your business for years to come, by tieing you in with webspace or adverts and a lot of other things which are too much hassle to change for most people.

    So you can't get a domain name of your own, no strings attached, in the UK for £5.

  • There are a number of prospective new TLD services, maybe it was The SuperRoot Consortium []?
  • by Betcour ( 50623 ) on Thursday October 07, 1999 @03:25AM (#1632263)
    I think people should register with a non-US registrar - expecially if they are not American either. Since most people who get sued by large companies over their domain names are sued by US companies, having the registrar abroad will put them out of reach from the US laws, and make the trial complex, long and costly. In many countries your familly name is yours, no matter if it is copyrighted, so a US company with your familly name would be in trouble to get it back if you happen to have a registrar in one of those friendly nations.

    BTW Does anyone know if it is possible to transfer a domain from a registrar to another one ? I want to leave NSI as soon as possible.
  • One thing I have noticed is that a nice catchy domain name nowhere near reflects the effort people put into the websites. Some people slap domain names on web sites that are worse than most angelfire or geocities pages, and vise versa. If you're gonna pay x$ for a domain name, why can't you spend time putting up a decent site behind it?
  • The main reason is to give a hierarchy for authoritative lookups. You could certainly place all domains in a unified namespace (bear in mind that the namespace would shrink proportionally), but you'd have to have a single authoritative register.

    Um, no thanks.

    The way it is now, NSI has .com, .org, .net, .edu, etc etc, but they don't have to - they could just as easily spin off the edu's, for example, to the NSF, and that would work seamlessly. You could even have one company holding the authoritative server for one tld and one tld only - no problem there. When you *don't* have tld's, on the other hand, you have to figure out some other method to apportion and split authority, or you have to stick them together.

    Remember that the existence of tld's may not be (and isn't) an advantage when it comes to database searching, but it's certainly an advantage when it comes to determining the proper progress of nameserver authority. And that's the sine qua non of DNS - the existence of a proper progression of authorities for any given name.

  • I'd be wary of this. What they are saying is that they resent anyone else having this control over certain TLDs, so they're going to set up their own 'rogue' TLDs which are only accessable if your nameserver includes reference to these, and which are managed by THEIR guidelines. This sort of thing is not new, not organised or well thought out, and not beneficial to anyone but themselves. These TLDs will cause much conflict, and run in these small operations, mean relying on shonky root nameservers, bad organisation and no sort of union or guidelines. It's hypocritical enough (and also very humourous) that they bitch about some government-endorsed group control the common TLDs, and then want to put any other TLD whatsoever in the hands of any person who wants to! They fully administor an ENTIRE TLD, if you can imagine the potential there - not everyone will want to register a .sex TLD, but if chubby down the street points .sex at his nameserver running on his 386 with his cheap cable connection, and even 1% of the .com population have a .sex TLD, performance isn't going to be real good.
  • by Lucius Lucanius ( 61758 ) on Thursday October 07, 1999 @12:58AM (#1632267)
    If you go through the details of the policy statements, you encounter some annoying details:

    1) If you have problems with the credit card, the registar may take a look at the domain name and decide not to register it, even if you can pay them. And if you do, there's a 200-300 $ "reinstatement" fee (pricey for a $35/year contract).

    "We will reinstate your domain name registration solely at our discretion, and subject to our receipt of the initial registration or renewal fee and our then-current reinstatement fee, currently set at US$200."

    2) They "own" your telephone # and other details:

    "You further agree and
    acknowledge that we own the following information for those registrations for which we are the registrar:

    (a) the original creation date of the registration,
    (b) the expiration date of the registration,
    (c) the name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and where available fax number of the technical
    contact, administrative contact, zone contact and billing contact for the domain name registration"

    3) A 7 day notice to cancel your domain:

    "You also agree that shall have the right in its sole discretion to suspend, cancel, transfer or otherwise modify a
    domain name registration upon seven (7) calendar days prior written notice, or at such time as receives a
    properly authenticated order from a court of competent jurisdiction"

    I find a 200 or 300 $ reinstatement fee quite high (my auto insurance takes a 10% reinstatement fee, and for domain names, it's more than 600%?), and the other details are also quite demanding. Sure, you may argue that they are not likely to enforce it, but that's not the point - the agreement shouldn't be such a sell-your-soul and expect-us-to-cancel-when-we-want deal.

    Also interesting is the fact that all the terms and conditions for the various registrars are almost identical, word by word. I think this field still needs a lot of competition.


    PS - If you've had good or bad experiences, please post them. A friend of mine is about to register and wants to know which company to go with. Price, quality, etc. - post the details. It will help us all.
  • I agree. I foolishly jumped in without examining it too closely. I liked that they would provide dns service for free and weren't pushing a bunch of other services on you, but they don't even list an email address to get in touch with their tech support! How do I change my registration? What security do they provide?

    They have potential, but they need to invest in their own system before I would recommend them.
  • It appears that the "meta registry" is at All the domains are listed there, and for further information, it specifies which registry's whois server to use.
  • a main dns server for every tld and the net would slow to a halt with all the traffick going on trying to resolve hostnames to ip adresses.

    Every hostname already gets resolved to ip address surely. There's already tons of DNS packets (one day I'll work out what's making my NT box go for every time I log in).

    The annoying thing currently is how even the root domains are abused. What domain name do I want for my own personal site? I'm not a commercial company (.com /, I'm not an oragnisation (.org), I'm not academic (.edu / and I'm not network related (.net).

    I know that here in the UK at least we now have the idea of a 'personal' phone number, and I 'spose that a mobile number is effectively going to be mine and unchanged for the duration, so what should I have for my own personal net presence (that's more memorable than a string of numbers). Maybe I should share with all those unrelated people who happen to have the same surname, or should I have to be part of some on-line community (and then what happens when that community goes bust?).

    Erm, well that's got me thinking at least.

  • Unfortunately, there's currently no way domains from InterNIC to CoreNIC except to let the contract run out and then snap it up again when your domain goes dead. Extremely suboptimal.

    And extremely dangerous. If it's a good domain, someone else will snap it up before you do.

    Never let a domain expire if you want to keep it.

  • Check out [] for info on how to register country-code domains.

    Following their link, you can find Registration of .eg domains [] by the Internet Society of Egypt.

    Note that many countries impose considerable restrictions on domain registrations (must be a resident or have a local business presence, etc).

  • If you're gonna pay x$ for a domain name, why can't you spend time putting up a decent site behind it?

    Because ugly sites make more money []... and anyways, many of the folks who have good domain names are just hanging on to them for the resale value.

    If you send your website visitors off to [] at 3 cents/click, you'll almost always make more money than you ever would with nice, useful content. Unfortunate, but that's just the way it is with the current economic model...

  • Hi,
    We can do your .org registration, but as you
    may be aware, the registrars now want payment upfront. So with less than
    a week to go, youd better get your freind in England to arrange payment
    with us toot sweet

    "Have a gorilla?"
    "No have one of my monkey's, they're milder" ------ Spike Milligan

    drop me an e-mail to
  • I'll second that too!
    They even answer the phone and help you straighten out problem over disputed ownership etc.
    I can't get sensible automated responses to internics own forms even for something as simple as changing an admin handle.

    When are internic going to get their act together?
  • I'll second that too!
    They even answer the phone and help you straighten out problems over disputed ownership etc.

    I can't get sensible automated responses to internics own forms even for something as simple as changing an admin handle.

    When are internic going to get their act together?

    Glad to get that off my chest, thanks all!
  • Actually, nominets RRP (recommended retail price) for a domain IS still £80. To get one for a fiveryou have to be a nominet member. This enables companies such as the one you mention to offer "free" domain registration for £80. Unscrupulous -yes. Illegal-no.
    Let the buyer beware.......
  • Monolith ( is no longer offering free 'domain' names but a group of ex-monolith employees started their own free service
    check out you can select from or

  • Does anyone have any negative things to say about I am considering using them in the near future...


  • I have a question which I'd like yer opinion on:

    What is the proper etiquette for registering your family name with a TLD?

    That is, say my name is John Doe. I could register, and then my email could be However, what if someone I don't know at all wants to be Why should she be denied that priviledge? Is it alright if I let anyone who shares my last name to get email forwarding for free? Or should I leave it alone and become

    Related to this, are there any efforts out there to start a web directory for doing this sort of family-name-registration forwarding-for-free type of activity?


  • I wrote to customer support at and this is what they had to say about the "hidden fees" claims.

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    The rumors that you've heard are not true. There are no hidden fees after you've registered your name, we offer free dns transfer and you can get free parking on our servers as long as we are your registrar.

    Thank you for using, the first step on the web.

    Customer Support, inc.

    So, it seems that you were misinformed, and they do offer the services as advertised.


  • After months of crap, and little or no response to my emails from Network Soluations I found and nmow I want to do all my work through them, they are much better, easier to use, more secure (they use SSL) and exactly the same price.

    If anyone's thinking about registering, use them!

    My one criticism is that my other domain is stuck in NS clutches, and I don't know how to transfer over to the new service provider. Anyone got any ideas?

  • mainly because tld's don't work like that. when you want to access, your computer has to translate that into the host machine's ip adress, so your tci/ip stack asks the .com resolver which machine is in charge of the .something subdomain of .com - goes to the machine in charge of and asks for the ip of host www in the something domain. id you could have any tld .inc .hippo .conartisist etc you'd need a main dns server for every tld and the net would slow to a halt with all the traffick going on trying to resolve hostnames to ip adresses.
  • I might've been a bit unclear here -
    the way hostnames are resolved today is that a query for would go to the root server for .com wich in turn would send you to the nameserver for which would in turn see if there is a host in that domain named www and then return the ip adress to the original requester.

    If you had a million tld's you'd need a million root servers, and your request for www.foobar.perty would have to be sent to all of them ( instead of a few requests today you send out a million requests )cause you wouldn't have
    any hiearchy ( tree structure ).
    right now the domain name structure is like a tree with a few root servers ( .com .org etc ) on top delegating requests to the appropriate domain name servers (, etc ) which keep records of hosts ( etc )
  • Has anyone moved thier domain from NS to say I'm looking into doing that in April, and maybe as soon as now for another site.

    Is there a safe way wo do this? or am I locked to NS forever?
  • They have marketed to me a lot but I have not tried them. They call thensevles eNIC
  • I've registered a domain with, in hopes that they wouldn't be NSI. However, all I got in return is lackluster service and domain updates that take 3 days to propigate throughout the net.

    However, registering with NuNames was a wonderful thing. If they nixed their $10 service charge for domain changes, it'd be a perfect deal: $40 for two years! Hells yeah!
  • What if I fill out the web forms to register the same domain at 2 different registrars? Ex. NSI is taking forever, so I just go to and do it.

    oooh! The fun! The havoc!
  • I think it is silly that we even HAVE top level domains. Sure, it is an easy way to split the database into a finite system, but that should have minimal performance improvements (remember your big O notation gentlemen, linear factors are irrelevant).

    Why should I have to get,,, just to prevent my competitors from stealing my web traffic? Should'nt there be ONE www.mycompany?
  • I recently discovered an URL where a company stated they we're letting people register a domain name for free. There are some commercial activities (like; when setting up an homepage you will have some header with ads on them) but nevertheless; your own (free) domain name sounds cool to me.

    This offer is in an experimental / testing phase at the moment and they are planning to begin at the end of this year. You can register .org .com .net names only. I'd say; check it out... You can find this at I allready registered my domain name hoping it will work out.

  • appears to be alright, however I registered some domains with them well over 36 hours ago and still don't have access to enter/change the dns info. After writing them, they said that they hadn't even billed my credit card yet and thus couldn't give me access. Shouldn't this all be automatic? Maybe in a week or so I'll actually get to use my domains!!
  • "The Internet Namespace Cooperative" is trying
    to subvert the whole system by setting up an
    alternet set of root nameservers that point to
    the current roots, but also allow them to set
    up their own top level domains, e.g. ".sex", etc.


    -------------from ----
    We are a group of internet users who have decided to try and put an end to the conflict of interest
    inherent in having the "root zone" (the list of servers of the top level domains) managed by the
    same organization that runs the largest registries.

    What We Are Doing

    We are currently providing an alternative to the root name servers. These alternative root servers
    point to all of the top level domains that the internic currently lists, and also contains additional top
    level domains that meet the guidelines we have developed. These are only pointers, the
    organizations responsible for the domains themselves remain in control. The service we're
    providing is simply a disinterested third party integrating the traditional and independent name
  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <> on Thursday October 07, 1999 @12:44AM (#1632300)

    Everyone is fighting over .com addresses...the dumbest, most ambiguous endings possible. What the hell is "com" supposed to mean? Commercial? What the hell kind of category is that? It more likely should stand for "common". If I have to spend money, I should be able to get an address that I really


    Or for famous corporations...

    Or for specialized products...


    WHY WHY WHY is it that ICANN and/or Network Solutions still feels it is necessary to try and group things into categories?

    It's all BS. No one respects the categories. A big company like Microsoft is going to have If you create a .web top level domain, Microsoft will demand this one too. If you created a top level domain .tractors there is a good chance that Microsoft would try to take it, even though the law allows for two companies to hold the same trademark, if they are in unrelated fields.

    On the other hand, if there ARE no stupid categories, and you can have infinite choice, then companies can register their LEGAL name (like Microsoft, Incorporated is and I can do get or whatever else I want. There are simply too many possible domain combinations for TLDNS [] ( is trying to accomplish. If we could get major browsers to automatically install TLDNS support then suddenly the Internet would be a whole new world overnight.

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • NSI sucks. But I still recommend them to clients! And it's not just the "nobody was ever fired for..." syndrome. They have some terrible policies, have been corporate jerks, and can take months to resolve simple change requests. But with NSI, I know pretty well how much they suck, and in what areas they suck, when I register.

    I've used three alternative registrars for .COMs: [], [], and [] in Spain. Unless the name contains a dirty word that NSI won't register, I'd stick with NSI. They offer the best security options to prevent unauthorized domain changes, and seem the most stable of the companies. On the downside, they can be slow making authorized changes as well, which can be a big problem.

    Concerning stability, is losing money, although like many big .coms, they expect a turnaround soon, and hope to go public in a year or two. offers $60 2-year registrations, unlike NSI's $70. But what happens if a goes out of business? I suspect some solution would be worked out, but it would be a sticky situation, and if your domain name is important to you, it represents a risk.

    You also need to worry about domain heists, either transferring administrative ownership, or merely redirecting the DNS listings (this is done to successful sites to steal traffic for a while). Some of the "off-brand" registrars initiate changes based solely on a form or e-mail request! Some e-mail back for confirmation, some use encrypted passwords, and so on. NSI, of the four companies I've used, is the only one that offered all those, plus PGP-encrypted change requests. Of course they still have plenty of thefts, since they don't > require you to enable good security.

    To date, I don't believe there's a secure means of transferring domain names between registrars, so wherever you register, that's where your domain stays.'s web site suggests this will be changing in the near future.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn