Who's watching my domain name searches?
February 22, 2008 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I looked up a domain name at networksolutions on February 19, 2008. The .com and the rest of the suffixes (suffi?) were available. I checked back today to find that the .com version had been purchased on the same day that I researched it. It's now hosted at "reserveddomains". 1. Who bought it? Network Solutions? 2. Whatta the odds?
posted by Kibbutz to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Network Solutions has a "feature" by which they register, for 5 days I believe, *every* domain that is looked up using their system. Read about it here:

posted by crickets at 1:35 PM on February 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

This is becoming very common.
posted by tdischino at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2008

Network Solutions is not your friend. Really.
posted by mumkin at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2008

I always use whois.net for this and I have never had a name stolen, and I have about 100 or so registered. Network Solutions is a biatch.
posted by jesirose at 2:03 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

As per the other answers, the odds are actually about 100% right now because of shadiness being done by Network Solutions (and other registrars I imagine...) That said, like crickets mentioned it should come free in a few days b/c at that point they'd have to start paying for it.
posted by inigo2 at 2:03 PM on February 22, 2008

There were a lot of complaints when this started.
posted by TheDukeofLancaster at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2008

Usually they float the purchase for something like 10-30 days. If there's no sign of it being profitable, it will return to the open market before they *actually* have to pay money for it. (Sorry, I forget the exact float period by which they have to pay or surrender the name.) So your best bet is to leave it be and check it again in a month.
posted by raconteur at 2:39 PM on February 22, 2008

Yeah, what they said. FWIW, I only do "whois" from the command line (I'm not even sure if that protects me) and if it's a domain name I'm remotely interested in, I register it immediately.
posted by adamrice at 2:39 PM on February 22, 2008

You are much better off doing a "whois" from the command line to check availability, IMHO.

The practice is called "Domain Tasting" and it's nasty. Give it a couple days (5 days to be exact) and it will probably become available again.
posted by zuhl at 3:23 PM on February 22, 2008

Just one more thing (all the other answers are right on based on my knowledge): don't give the domain too many hits – any, if you can avoid it – while it's in Network Solutions' control. If you do, they might decide it's worth something and hang onto it for the advertising revenue, or just to extort more money from you with.

And in case you didn't catch on yet, Network Solutions is pure unmitigated evil.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:34 PM on February 22, 2008

This has happened to me several times before. I never thought that maybe there were temporary holds on the domains. Maybe I should go double-check some of the ones I wanted. Pisses me off.
posted by jdroth at 4:03 PM on February 22, 2008

I have always registered my domains with GoDaddy (a lot of people despise GoDaddy) and have never had this problem. I have checked a domain, came back a couple days later and purchased without issue.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 8:25 PM on February 22, 2008

Plus, there are always promo codes for domains at GoDaddy (never pay more than 6.99 for a domain).
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 8:26 PM on February 22, 2008

Fandango- no complaints with nic.com that I have seen yet.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:46 PM on February 22, 2008

In the future instantdomainsearch.com is not only your friend, it's friggin' awesome. It claims not to record your searches, and I've never had a domain poached after using it, not that I'm looking for anything exciting.
posted by delmoi at 12:19 AM on February 23, 2008

If not Network Solutions, with what company should we register domain names?

Register.com was one of their first major competitors. I purchased a couple names through them back in the late 90's. The domains were still $35/year though. I've used GoDaddy lately, and it works well, but the CEO once wrote an essay praising the Gitmo prison, so if I didn't already have a bunch of names there I wouldn't start using it. Yahoo actually has a domain registration service that's pretty cheap.
posted by delmoi at 12:23 AM on February 23, 2008

I moved all my domains from Godaddy to Dotster (recommended by a friend who runs a small ISP) after Bob Parsons wrote in praise of Gitmo.
posted by adamrice at 12:59 PM on February 23, 2008

I use pair.com for both registration and hosting and I've only had a problem once, and their support people were able to fix it inside of twenty minutes of me submitting the ticket.
posted by mephron at 7:40 AM on February 26, 2008

Yay, Dotster!
posted by Samizdata at 9:35 AM on February 26, 2008

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