Why is Network Solutions urging me to renew stuff I didn't buy?
November 5, 2021 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Why is Network Solutions urgently bugging me to "Renew your services today"? These are services/products I don't recall purchasing. And if I did, I obviously didn't give the purchases much thought. The relevant domain is [domain I do own].com. The renewals are for three products associated with it: domain.online - private-registration - web forwarding. My assumption is that this is just Network Solutions being slimy, playing to my ignorance, trying to suck more money out of me. Am I missing something important here?
posted by philip-random to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They may have given you a year of those services in your initial purchase and now expect you to just renew them without thinking about it?

I don't use Network Solutions, but I assume private-registration means your domain WHOIS registration doesn't have your name in it so you don't get spammed and they instead put their contact info there. Web forwarding probably lets you use a management UI they maintain to do simple URL forwarding (like something.somethingelse.com redirects to somethingelse.com, etc.). I have no idea what "domain.online" might be. Maybe an advanced management UI for your domain or DNS or something.
posted by cmm at 9:07 AM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Private registration is useful - it keeps your actual address and name out of the public WHOIS record for your domain. Not sure why it'd need to cost $10, though. But NetSol tends to be expensive. (For comparison, the domains I have at gandi.net just have it baked into the cost as far as I can tell and NearlyFreeSpeech charges around $3.30/yr for it, but they also forward email and stuff sometimes.) I can't imagine why you'd want to add or renew forwarding if you weren't already using it (it's pretty useless to have forwarding/parking if you've got stuff hosted at your domain already). But are they really maybe trying to get you to buy a domain at [domain you own].online and then add forwarding and privacy to it? .online is a valid TLD now.
posted by mrg at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2021

Best answer: You do not mention if you are a legit customer of Network Solutions. I can infer that you did use them to register a domain, and they are your registrar.

As a former Network Solutions customer - run away as fast as you can. Any effort you spend trying to deal with a customer service issues with Network Solutions will be 10x more difficult than transferring out to a registrar that doesn't treat their customers like garbage. I suggest hover.com.
posted by sol at 9:10 AM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: hmmm? So I guess the question I should've asked is, what's the best alternative to Network Solutions these days?
posted by philip-random at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2021

Namecheap is where I just moved my domains to. It's no frills and works flawlessly. NS is super slimy about add-ons from previous dealings.
posted by deezil at 9:18 AM on November 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Namecheap is good & they give you private registration for free. I've been using them for years with no problems.
posted by belladonna at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2021

I use pair.com and have for years. Reasonable prices and great services. Strongly recommend.
posted by purplesludge at 9:48 AM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Seconding Pair.com. I hosted my blog there for a decade and used them as my domain registrar as well.
posted by briank at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2021

Best answer: I researched domain registrars a few years ago and it came down to a toss-up between namecheap and gandi. I went with Gandi as they had a better reputation for being strict about security and so far have been very happy with them.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:22 AM on November 5, 2021

Best answer: For low cost no BS dns registration, Google Domains and Cloudflare are my two go-go spots right now.

Google Domains is good if you have a few domains you need to manage and/or want to also use GSuite for email and collaboration. Whois privacy registration is standard and included, as well as ssl based redirects at the domain or subdomain level, and email forwarding. Pricing is reasonable at $12/yr for a standard .com and I have not seem them bump the price up for renewals.

Cloudlfare is a "no markup" registrar, so about $9/yr or so for a .com. They make $0 on the registration and don't play games. It is also good if you also want to use them for website protection. Even their free tier is good enough for most sites. As a bonus, Cloudflare supports cnames at the root of the domain. That makes life a lot easier if you are hosting your site at a company that likes to hand out cnames and not static IP's.

Both have no-non nonsense pricing and I've never seen either of them try and upsell me on anything.
posted by SegFaultCoreDump at 10:38 AM on November 5, 2021

Best answer: I moved a domain from Network Solutions to another registrar (Bluehost) a month ago. It's a pain in the butt to get NS to cooperate but its worth it. First you have to get an "authorization code" from NS. Then you tell your new registrar the code and they contact NS for the transfer. Then NS waits something like two weeks while they consider whether or not to "approve" the transfer. In the meantime they bombard you with dire warnings. Just don't respond. Finally, it happens and you are out of their clutches.
They are a sleazeball co and play every dirty trick they can to keep you forking over money.
posted by mono blanco at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

I use namecheap also.
posted by cmm at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2021

Best answer: I use GSuite on my domain for apps/mail but would never put the DNS records there simultaneously. Google has this thing about sometimes locking people out for reasons and you can never recover. If the DNS records were trapped inside it would be fatal.

I use DirectNic, but would also recommend Pair.com.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2021

Response by poster: thank you all. Trust that I'll be extracting myself from Network Solutions soon.
posted by philip-random at 9:11 AM on November 6, 2021

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