Is the domain registrar 1and1 reliable?
February 17, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

This is the absolutely LAST time I will ever use the word "domain" in an AskMeFi post, I promise...
Can I trust 1and1 to register my domains?
I got the three-year-free package and they don't have my debit card number yet. I'm registered by godaddy with $8.95 renewals ($7.95 promotion only for new .coms), and 1and1 gets in my face with an offer for 49-cents-a-month ($5.88/year). I don't feel good about doing monthly payments for this, but saving 3 dollars on a dozen domains will save me enough to buy more domains! And, even though I've specified "shut me down before you charge me for overages" to 1and1, I'm still worried about getting hit by surprise charges if they have my debit card number. Whadyathink?
posted by wendell to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
wendell, I think you don't need any more domains. Seriously.
posted by seanyboy at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2004

I know of one person who ran over their monthly *specified*data limit by a small amount and then got the account suspended. He was able to locate a cust serv number in the US and after some gentle persuasion, they dropped their demand for a credit card account number as payment for the $0.22 data fee owed to 1&1.

Take that as anecdotal evidence that they aren't bastards, at least not yet...
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:04 PM on February 17, 2004

Moving the domains will be an issue. With GoDaddy if you need to change the info/DNS for the domain you can just log in and do it. With 1and1 you'll have to send in some sort of trouble ticket and hope and pray they handle it in a timely manner. And since you'd probably only change the DNS if you switched hosts they may not have much motivation to give you good service.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:05 PM on February 17, 2004

Also, many people seem to have some suspicions about 1and1's business model. What if they go out of business? How will you get your domains back?

My point is that it seems to me that control is worth a few more bucks when it comes to domain names.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:08 PM on February 17, 2004

1&1 is a large and well established web host over in yurp. That speaks to their financial reliability, though I'm not sure if the US venture is a seperate corp entity or an indivisible part of the established web host operation.

But you raise an interesting question. Is there any history of a host going under and domain holders losing control over their domains?
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:14 PM on February 17, 2004

My point is that it seems to me that control is worth a few more bucks when it comes to domain names.

I'm currently hosting with 1&1, but either way I'm happy our DNS is independent of the host. When we first got a domain, everything was through our host and that made things uncomfortably difficult when it came time to change. It's a probably more expensive, but we have the DNS through Network Solutions which gives us a nice control panel (as GoDaddy apparently does as well). It's a piece of mind thing.
posted by yerfatma at 1:35 PM on February 17, 2004

we have the DNS through Network Solutions...

It's a piece of mind thing.

spelling aside, using the terms "peace of mind" and "network solutions" together is an incredible oxymoron. where have you been since 1994?
posted by quonsar at 1:57 PM on February 17, 2004

If only 1&1 would provide some decent technical support. Sigh.

(Though I suppose I'm getting what I paid for.)
posted by five fresh fish at 2:09 PM on February 17, 2004

Wendell, don't do it. Seriously. Check out their reputation on domain issues at

Pay the extra couple of bucks.
posted by answergrape at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2004

"any history of a host going under and domain holders losing control over their domains?"

I can't find the posts now, but over the last year or so I've read several posts on another forum about this, and there was one here in AskMe as well. I personally have lost a domain when I bailed on a hosting company. I was getting such lousy support that the idea of jumping through hoops to figure out how to get the domain transferred into my name seemed pointless.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:00 PM on February 17, 2004

Interesting that you ask that today.

I'm currently having an argument over billing with 1and1, about a $5.99 domain name -- they say I never paid for it and have locked me out of my 'free' webspace, I say I did pay for it, and and can prove it with a copy of my credit card bill. Trouble is, I can't find anyone at 1and1 who is sentient enough to help me, and the toll free number they listed as the proper number to call for this billing dispute comes up as "dee Dee DEE ... we're sorry, the number you called is not in service". My website has been down for over a week because of it ... not a big deal, as I don't get much traffic, but a frustrating and annoying experience as now they're threatening to send the account to a debt collection agency -- after a mere 15 days.

Don't do it.
posted by anastasiav at 4:11 PM on February 17, 2004

You're like some e-old maid or e-pat rack with all that garbage in their attic.
posted by xmutex at 4:31 PM on February 17, 2004

I can certainly see moving an existing domain, or a new one registered elsewhere, to 1and1 hosting (it's hard to beat the price... free) but I think you gotta be out of your tree to give the DNS control to them.

Fork over the eight or nine bucks to GoDaddy, do the DNS yourself, and keep backups. Switching hosts is no big deal, fighting over a disputed domain is a nightmare -- then again, it probably wouldn't hurt you to lose a few (dozen).
posted by cedar at 4:40 PM on February 17, 2004

Response by poster: e-pat rack???
Hey, that'd make a pretty good doma..... nevermind.

Thanks, I'll give GoDaddy a few more bucks, but, and will be released within a few days...

And as for the garbage in my attic, that's why they prescribed prozac...
posted by wendell at 6:06 PM on February 17, 2004

Is it really worth the risk and hassle to save a whopping three bucks a year? I know that doesn't accurately answer your question, but is already pretty cheap, gives you actual ownership of the name, and is a real registrar. Having your host register on your behalf is always an invitation for trouble, even if the trouble never comes, and for a couple of bucks a year I wouldn't bother.

I've also "heard stories" about 1&1 being a little reluctant to hand you control of the zone if you choose to do something else with it later.
posted by majick at 6:49 PM on February 17, 2004

Dotster is $15 and has been very reliable for my domains.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:02 PM on February 17, 2004

I made the mistake of registering a domain with 1&1 and when I was unhappy with their service they would not let me change the DNS there so the money spent registering was a complete waste as I now have to pay another registrar to move to a service that has a normal DNS policy (ie, absolutely anyone else on the planet). In my opinion 1&1 sucks major ass. Don't waste your money. (I'm still cursing johnny for recommending them on the blue. :)

I use godaddy for my domains.
posted by dobbs at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2004

Response by poster: I've gonedaddy.
AskMeFi done good.

(no, I don't have any idea what I just wrote either)
posted by wendell at 7:47 PM on February 17, 2004

A related question -- maybe I should start my own AskMe FPP. But how easy is it to switch registrars? Specifically, I have been having trouble getting my domain-mapping set up properly and want to switch my domain from DomainMonger to GoDaddy. Thoughts?
posted by Vidiot at 7:52 PM on February 17, 2004

i had to switch a domain for the company i used to work for (from verisign! ARRGGHGHHH!H!!). It was not a particularly fun process. If I recall correctly, there was a 2 week delay, I had to snail-mail them some letterhead BS, and multiple phone calls were required.

however, i think that the processes vary in between registrars. the first step would to be see what sort of policy you have with domainmonger for transfers, second step is to see what godaddy charges for a transfer (i believe when I transferred we had to pay as though we were regging a domain.)
posted by fishfucker at 10:15 PM on February 17, 2004

1and1 will let you pay for the domain all at once I believe. Regardless, good decision not going with them. I'm fine with unsupported webspace that I'll use on the side, but giving them control over your domain with my few experiences with them wouldn't be a smart move. (I'll skip the details since you've maid your choice.)

But how easy is it to switch registrars?

Its not hard, but can be confusing. Some tips:

1)Make sure your contact info is up to date with your current registrar. The registrar you are taking your domain from will send you an email to your contact address for you to confirm your wishes. If you don't, it won't go through.

2)There are a few rules about timing. For one, you can't transfer a domain within 60 days of registering it. So you can't transfer to 1and1 for 2 years for the cheap price and then turn around and transfer it to godaddy because you prefer it. You'd have to wait 60 days to then transfer it to godaddy.

There is also a minium amt. of days before a domain expires that you can transfer a domain. I think its 10 days most places. So if my domain expires in 3 days I couldn't transfer it. I'd have to buy another year at my current registrar and then wait 60 days to transfer it again.

3)Make sure everything is taken care of before the transfer. If something goes wrong and the domain transfer is rejected for some reason some registrars will not refund your money. You'll have CREDIT with them, however. I believe godaddy advertises that they will REFUND your money however.

4)Some registrars require the signing of papers. Godaddy does not.

5)Lastly, many registrars offer 'locking' of your domain to prevent any transfers to happen. Some lock your domains by default, or you could have locked your domain and forgotten. So make sure your domain is in 'unlocked' status before you transfer the domain.

6)Many registrars offer a lower transfer fee than their normal 'register for another year' fee. Its usually a coupple of bucks lower. Example: Godaddy offers transfers for 7.95. If you then add a year at godaddy later it goes up to their regular registration price: 8.95.

And remember, when you transfer your domain your adding a year to the registration. You don't lose what time you have left at your old registration.

Good luck!
posted by justgary at 12:15 AM on February 18, 2004

spelling aside, using the terms "peace of mind" and "network solutions" together is an incredible oxymoron. where have you been since 1994?

Much like yourself, in a deep, dark cave. I tend to type what I hear, but thanks for pointing that out to me. What I was getting at was why we had the DNS and hosting separate, not my personal opinion on NetSol, O Rater of All Things Croporate. You could, of course, have gotten that from the context.
posted by yerfatma at 4:32 AM on February 18, 2004

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