If only Google were in the registrar business...
January 1, 2009 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Need recommendations for a registrar with a soul

I'm looking for a new registrar for a few personal domains. After I've transferred the domains, I want to be left alone: No promotional offer spam, no up-selling of extra services, and no pimping my contact info to third parties. The only "extra" I want is the ability to withhold my personal information from the domain record. I don't need hosting.

Previous questions have focused on cheap registrars, but I don't mind paying a few extra bucks to a company that respects my privacy.

Any suggestions?

(I've used Network Solutions and GoDaddy in the past; they are the antitheses of what I'm looking for)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl to Computers & Internet (24 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I had a pretty good experience with Homestead.com. They did call me the day that I created my account, but I actually found it refreshing because they were simply calling to answer any questions I may have had, etc etc. After the initial phone call they left me alone for the most part, and their software is pretty badass too.
posted by big open mouth at 2:04 PM on January 1, 2009

I have, for years, used easydns.com. They have never sent me a lick of spam or anything else, for that matter, and their site is very easy to use. When there is a problem they are responsive and helpful and appear to be staffed by (Canadian) geeks. They are one of the few service providers I have found over the years that I can recommend without reservation.
posted by The Bellman at 2:09 PM on January 1, 2009

Dotster.com has been fantastic to me. I've got two dozen domains or so with them.
posted by Jairus at 2:09 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been happy with gandi.net. The only time they contact me is when it's time for renewal.
posted by needled at 2:19 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've been very happy in all those respects with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET.
posted by limeonaire at 2:22 PM on January 1, 2009

I second dotster.com - been with them since 1998, have 100+ domains with them. Easy to use and no hassles. They're slightly more expensive than other registrars, but they don't hijack your domain (making them the owner / admin contact etc.), and they don't charge you for any changes. Other registrars either don't let you - or charge you an arm and a leg to - change your ownership info, for example. Dotster? No cost. Highly recommended.
posted by nometa at 2:35 PM on January 1, 2009

I always use (and recommend) namecheap.com
posted by misterbrandt at 2:40 PM on January 1, 2009

PairNIC is ethical, fairly priced, and doesn't send me spam. I do host domain names with them, but I did that before I started using their domain name registration services. I receive a monthly newsletter, because I want to, from the hosting part of the company. I'm pretty sure I can stop this any time.

The hosting company is primarily good people who are in charge of several web sites: web developers. Since these people are generally pretty savvy, the company doesn't do dumb stuff. Really. I moved to them from another company that _used to be_ good, but then sold itself to a concern that immediately outsourced tech support to... I'm not even sure. Russia mostly?

But I'd been keeping an eye on Pair for years, and when it was time, I jumped. They've not disappointed.

Oh yeah - they also hosted one of Barack Obama's sites, barackobama.com, if the latest newsletter is to be believed. The name record looks like it's at GoDaddy now, though.

Here's their info about anonymous domains, the one feature you said you wanted:
Yes, we allow you to keep your contact e-mail addresses private from domain name registration listings such as WHOIS. You can enable e-mail privacy when you register a new domain name or later via our Domain Name Management interface...

We do not offer a way to hide the postal address from WHOIS. The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires that accurate contact information is presented on domain names. pairNIC must comply with these regulations to continue offering domain name registration services.

Some registrars work within ICANN's regulations by creating a company that acts as the domain name owner. That company's e-mail address and mailing address gets listed in WHOIS. However, this practice raises some potential problems in ownership disputes over domain names since the customer is not technically the owner.

If you have other questions about e-mail privacy and private registration, please feel free to contact us .
direct link to registration agreement.

They don't talk about being "not evil". They also don't just charge nickels for their service; they charge a fair price for a well-run company. There is a special at the moment, though, where domains that are moved from another registrar are transferred at $10/year.
posted by amtho at 2:43 PM on January 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I registered at dotster, because that's where Metafilter is registered. When I sold a domain name, the buyer used godaddy - they were a big pain, and got nothing done.
posted by theora55 at 2:57 PM on January 1, 2009

Pretty much any registrar is better than NetSol or GoDaddy.
posted by rhizome at 2:59 PM on January 1, 2009

gandi.net or joker.com, for years. Leave it to the French and Germans.
posted by kcm at 3:05 PM on January 1, 2009

I use GKG.NET ....and never get spam and never get upsell offers....they only send notices when the domains are about to expire.

Side note, I use zoneedit.com for DNS administration...5 free zones....pretty snazzy.

posted by AltReality at 3:25 PM on January 1, 2009

I second NearlyFreeSpeech.NET
posted by ttyn at 3:26 PM on January 1, 2009

Seconding GKG.net. I've got 7 or 8 domains with them and have never had a problem. I host all my web sites with them too.
posted by COD at 3:31 PM on January 1, 2009

Another vote for gandi.net - I have several domains registered with them, and they've always offered a good price and excellent service. I've also used GoDaddy and NetSol in the past, and these guys are like angels in comparison.
posted by adrianhon at 3:59 PM on January 1, 2009

All of my "important" domains are at Dotster.

The rest are at GoDaddy (because its cheaper).
posted by mrbill at 4:04 PM on January 1, 2009

Nthing gandi.
posted by box at 4:49 PM on January 1, 2009

namecheap!!! I've never gotten any email from them, apart from the required ones. Everything is extremely fast with them too; DNS updates happen within a few hours, unlike the day or so both GKG.net and GoDaddy took. I think you'd be extremely happy with NameCheap.. Everyone I know who has registered with them has been beyond happy.
posted by majikstreet at 4:50 PM on January 1, 2009

Seconding PairNIC. I've been with them for years.
posted by Joleta at 6:25 PM on January 1, 2009

To be fair, pace majikstreet, GoDaddy's DNS manager does have a way to turn down the refresh on your zones so that changes propagate faster.
posted by rhizome at 7:01 PM on January 1, 2009

I've used Gandi for ten years and about that many domains and it's always been great, even a few times I had semi-sticky issues. I never get upsold and I can manage all the DNS for my domains.
posted by jessamyn at 7:05 PM on January 1, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to all for so many great answers!

(Now if you'll excuse me, I've got lots of registrar sites to read...)
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:06 PM on January 1, 2009

Yet another vote for GKG.net.
posted by Xuff at 7:06 PM on January 1, 2009

Another vote for Gandi.net. They have been highly professional, ethical, reliable and consistent for the six years everyone in this house has used them. And I've never had anything beyond renewal mails from them. Plus I like the no-nonsense UI.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:59 PM on January 1, 2009

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