31 votes

Good domain registrars?

Looking to pick up a domain name for a personal site and was wondering if anyone could recommend a good registrar. The whole domain name industry always feels more than a bit shady, so I'm wary of most of the providers.

40 comments

  1. [8]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Back during the SOPA fiasco I remember GoDaddy was in favor of the law. Presumably because the main anti-piracy mechanism the law proposed would be domain name take-downs. Once your domain's taken...

    Back during the SOPA fiasco I remember GoDaddy was in favor of the law. Presumably because the main anti-piracy mechanism the law proposed would be domain name take-downs. Once your domain's taken down you'll need to buy a new one to keep operating, so GoDaddy was certainly on board.

    Namecheap on the other hand opposed the bill. They also were the first major registrar to accept Bitcoin back in one of the old hype waves. I don't know if their record is spotless but they've earned my business.

    21 votes
    1. [6]
      cwagner
      Link Parent
      GoDaddy is generally a really bad provider, just google them, tons of horror stories.

      GoDaddy is generally a really bad provider, just google them, tons of horror stories.

      21 votes
      1. [5]
        balooga
        Link Parent
        Many many years ago, I experienced a case of domain name front running by GoDaddy. I used their site to search for the availability of a domain, which was available but I didn't register it. I...

        Many many years ago, I experienced a case of domain name front running by GoDaddy. I used their site to search for the availability of a domain, which was available but I didn't register it. I hadn't spoken about the domain to anyone, and it was an improbable combination of words unlikely to arise randomly. It existed only in my head, and the GoDaddy WHOIS search. The very next day it was unavailable, and a landing page informed me that I could buy it from the new owners for an exorbitant fee.

        Sure enough, I did nothing and after the five-day "trial period" elapsed the domain was available again. I never used GoDaddy again after that. Registrars flatly deny front running domains but it's undeniably what happened in my situation. It made my blood boil. In those days we didn't have a name for it, and it still lives in the realm of conjecture today; I have no idea if GoDaddy's still up to these shenanigans now but I don't care to find out. Whenever I'm curious about a domain name now it's strictly CLI for me.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          krg
          Link Parent
          Do you just ping or traceroute a domain to see if it's available, or is there some other CLI tool you use?

          Do you just ping or traceroute a domain to see if it's available, or is there some other CLI tool you use?

          1. Diff
            Link Parent
            The whois command is what you need. Ping will tell you whether a server behind the domain is online and responding, but it won't tell you who/if anyone currently owns it. whois on the other hand...

            The whois command is what you need. Ping will tell you whether a server behind the domain is online and responding, but it won't tell you who/if anyone currently owns it. whois on the other hand digs into the registration information.

            3 votes
          2. balooga
            Link Parent
            Generally just whois. Sometimes I'll dig if I'm curious to know more.

            Generally just whois. Sometimes I'll dig if I'm curious to know more.

            1 vote
        2. cwagner
          Link Parent
          Yeah, it’s commonly reported for GoDaddy.

          Yeah, it’s commonly reported for GoDaddy.

    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      Correct. They only changed their minds after people stopped using their service over it. $$$

      Back during the SOPA fiasco I remember GoDaddy was in favor of the law.

      Correct. They only changed their minds after people stopped using their service over it.

      $$$

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    stu2b50
    Link
    I use namecheap for domains. To be fair, I honestly don't keep track of the domain registrar industry besides 10 minutes every year to refresh them, but nothing bad, or good I guess, has really...

    I use namecheap for domains. To be fair, I honestly don't keep track of the domain registrar industry besides 10 minutes every year to refresh them, but nothing bad, or good I guess, has really happened in the past 4 years. Which is what you want from a domain registrar, I guess.

    20 votes
    1. suspended
      Link Parent
      Same here. Best one in my opinion.

      I use namecheap for domains.

      Same here. Best one in my opinion.

      4 votes
  3. [3]
    0lpbm
    Link
    I'm waiting for Drew DeVault to launch his registrar. He has been teasing it as a part of source hut for about 3-4 months and even though I'm not entirely sure it's not somehow tied into it...

    I'm waiting for Drew DeVault to launch his registrar.

    He has been teasing it as a part of source hut for about 3-4 months and even though I'm not entirely sure it's not somehow tied into it exclusively - ie, can't use the domains if not attached to custom source hut installations - I can hope it's not.

    10 votes
    1. cos
      Link Parent
      Looks like we're in the same boat! I bought my domain, cosmo.red, from Gandi before transferring it to Cloudflare. Once names.sr.ht launches, I think I'll finally be able to settle down for good.

      Looks like we're in the same boat! I bought my domain, cosmo.red, from Gandi before transferring it to Cloudflare. Once names.sr.ht launches, I think I'll finally be able to settle down for good.

      2 votes
    2. acdw
      Link Parent
      I didn't know he was working on a registrar. I'll have to check it out too, when it launches.

      I didn't know he was working on a registrar. I'll have to check it out too, when it launches.

      2 votes
  4. [7]
    bhrgunatha
    Link
    I've used Gandi in the past though not currently. Not the cheapest but reliable, established and trustworthy in my experience.

    I've used Gandi in the past though not currently. Not the cheapest but reliable, established and trustworthy in my experience.

    8 votes
    1. pvik
      Link Parent
      I have personally not used Gandi, but I think their recent fiasco with losing customer data was handled very poorly by them [1].

      I have personally not used Gandi, but I think their recent fiasco with losing customer data was handled very poorly by them [1].

      6 votes
    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      I really appreciated their philosophy page. Seems like a good company if they follow that. https://www.gandi.net/en/no-bullshit

      I really appreciated their philosophy page. Seems like a good company if they follow that.

      https://www.gandi.net/en/no-bullshit

      5 votes
    3. [2]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      Gandi is fantastic for one reason: They seamlessly allow you to register pretty much every single TLD, no matter the crazy requirements. I don't know of a single TLD they don't support. You'd...

      Gandi is fantastic for one reason: They seamlessly allow you to register pretty much every single TLD, no matter the crazy requirements. I don't know of a single TLD they don't support.

      You'd think it wouldn't matter that much, that most registrars will do most of the common TLDs, but… not so. I've used .com/.net/.org but also .ch, .us, .gr, .info and .gg. Most registrars lack support for one or the other (for example, Google Domains doesn't support .ch).

      4 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I wanted to make a Czech joke here, but .ch is a Swiss goddamn TLD. :(

        (for example, Google Domains doesn't support .ch)

        I wanted to make a Czech joke here, but .ch is a Swiss goddamn TLD. :(

    4. tomf
      Link Parent
      Gandi is great for some domains that require you to be a citizen of that country. This used to be the case with .es and others. Back when I was getting my first .es, they were one of only a...

      Gandi is great for some domains that require you to be a citizen of that country. This used to be the case with .es and others. Back when I was getting my first .es, they were one of only a handful of providers who could manage this.

      3 votes
    5. kemosabe
      Link Parent
      I also use Gandi. They're solid.

      I also use Gandi. They're solid.

      1 vote
  5. [3]
    acdw
    Link
    I use NearlyFreeSpeech for hosting, they do registering too. I like them. It turns out they're a little more expensive but I already use them for hosting so. If you do that (and they're a great...

    I use NearlyFreeSpeech for hosting, they do registering too. I like them. It turns out they're a little more expensive but I already use them for hosting so. If you do that (and they're a great deal on hosting) I'd recommend.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      cptcobalt
      Link Parent
      +1 for NearlyFreeSpeech for hosting. I haven't had a single issue with them, I trust them immensely, and I appreciate that all of their documentation treats you like a knowledgeable user, not a...

      +1 for NearlyFreeSpeech for hosting. I haven't had a single issue with them, I trust them immensely, and I appreciate that all of their documentation treats you like a knowledgeable user, not a baby—this probably puts a lot of people off, but I love it. (NFS's hosting also handled a recent gigantic traffic spike on one of my sites without so much of a stutter on their end.)

      I don't have experience with them as a domain registrar, though—they're reselling through an external vendor while they're trying to set up their own registrar services.

      3 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        I didn't know that about the registrar thing, thanks for the info. At this point with the domains I have I think the transfer cost would be more than it's worth, but it's good to keep in mind for...

        I didn't know that about the registrar thing, thanks for the info. At this point with the domains I have I think the transfer cost would be more than it's worth, but it's good to keep in mind for future domains.

  6. SkewedSideburn
    Link
    I used GoDaddy in the past, since it seemed cheaper, but found them a bit unpleasant, and the price is lower only for the first year, usually. Now I use Hover, haven't had a problem yet.

    I used GoDaddy in the past, since it seemed cheaper, but found them a bit unpleasant, and the price is lower only for the first year, usually. Now I use Hover, haven't had a problem yet.

    5 votes
  7. [2]
    Sybil_Fleming
    Link
    I use Njalla to register and manage my personal domains. It was founded by one of The Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde, and here's what he had to say: Of course, since it promises anonymity there...

    I use Njalla to register and manage my personal domains. It was founded by one of The Pirate Bay founders, Peter Sunde, and here's what he had to say:

    “Njalla is needed because we’re going the wrong way in society regarding people’s right to be anonymous. With social media pressuring us to be less anonymous and services being centralized, we need alternatives,”
    ...
    “All key parts of the Internet need to have options for anonymity, and the domain name area is something which was never really protected. At best you can buy a domain name using ‘privacy by proxy’ services, which are aimed more at limiting spam than actually protecting your privacy.”

    Of course, since it promises anonymity there are some questionable users and the Njalla blog is full of the same childish humor that TPB used to have. Therefore, one may want to avoid Njalla for its profile-raising nature.

    4 votes
    1. HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      Oh my god that blog page is too funny. Especially the NYtimes one.

      Oh my god that blog page is too funny. Especially the NYtimes one.

      1 vote
  8. krg
    Link
    I use DynaDot. They seem to be pretty reasonable and not affiliated with shady practices (last I checked). There's also Google Domains. Google may be shady, but probably not in the domain...

    I use DynaDot. They seem to be pretty reasonable and not affiliated with shady practices (last I checked). There's also Google Domains. Google may be shady, but probably not in the domain registrar business.

    3 votes
  9. rmgr
    Link
    I have about four domains (I tend to cycle through a variety of silly names depending on what's cheap at the time) through Namecheap and they've never messed me about. They also mask your WHOIS...

    I have about four domains (I tend to cycle through a variety of silly names depending on what's cheap at the time) through Namecheap and they've never messed me about. They also mask your WHOIS information by default which is nice

    3 votes
  10. guy
    (edited )
    Link
    I moved recently to Cloudflare. They guarantee your renewal price will be at cost. You get the added benefit of all the free Cloudflare services for your domain. I'm also fairly confident that...

    I moved recently to Cloudflare. They guarantee your renewal price will be at cost. You get the added benefit of all the free Cloudflare services for your domain. I'm also fairly confident that Cloudflare does domain security better than most registrars, given their existing business and talent pool.

    3 votes
  11. tomf
    Link
    I really like Porkbun.com. The pricing is almost always the best, free whois privacy, etc. I've got about four or five domains with them. Also, https://tld-list.com is handy. NameSilo and some...

    I really like Porkbun.com. The pricing is almost always the best, free whois privacy, etc. I've got about four or five domains with them.

    Also, https://tld-list.com is handy. NameSilo and some other common ones are so sketchy these days.

    2 votes
  12. Moonchild
    Link
    I used to use google domains, but they recently changed their UI and now I find it unusable. Namecheap and porkbun are both fine. Stay away from godaddy and gandi.

    I used to use google domains, but they recently changed their UI and now I find it unusable. Namecheap and porkbun are both fine. Stay away from godaddy and gandi.

    2 votes
  13. cyanide
    Link
    Used Namecheap for a long time. Now I use Cloudflare.

    Used Namecheap for a long time. Now I use Cloudflare.

    1 vote
  14. ffmike
    Link
    I've been using Pair Domains for decades and remain a very happy customer. Good feature set, reasonable prices, easy self-management tools, and on the rare occasions when I've needed customer...

    I've been using Pair Domains for decades and remain a very happy customer. Good feature set, reasonable prices, easy self-management tools, and on the rare occasions when I've needed customer service their response has been fast, friendly, and on-point.

    1 vote
  15. vorotato
    Link
    I use domain.com . I don't know if they're good but they're probably better than godaddy...

    I use domain.com . I don't know if they're good but they're probably better than godaddy...

    1 vote
  16. cptcobalt
    Link
    I use hover.com—the stereotypical podcast domain registrar. They did help me port in most of my domains without issue, years ago, and I just continue to buy silly domains with them all the time....

    I use hover.com—the stereotypical podcast domain registrar. They did help me port in most of my domains without issue, years ago, and I just continue to buy silly domains with them all the time. They're probably not the best value, but also probably aren't that far off. I do think they have some of the best coverage in the new TLD space, though.

    1 vote
  17. dblohm7
    Link
    I previously used joker but a few years ago changed over to namecheap. I also use baremetal for my .ca domains. I am wanting to register a .rs domain, so if anybody has any experience with such a...

    I previously used joker but a few years ago changed over to namecheap. I also use baremetal for my .ca domains.

    I am wanting to register a .rs domain, so if anybody has any experience with such a registrar, I’d appreciate some advice!

    1 vote
  18. diode
    Link
    As a domain registrar Gandi has been good. I think the EFF uses it.

    As a domain registrar Gandi has been good. I think the EFF uses it.

    1 vote
  19. mjb
    Link
    I've been satisfied using joker.com for over 20 years since seeing it recommended by DNS & infosec expert Daniel J. Bernstein (djb).

    I've been satisfied using joker.com for over 20 years since seeing it recommended by DNS & infosec expert Daniel J. Bernstein (djb).

  20. runningskull
    Link
    I’ve been very happy with iwantmyname.com - they have an awesome search interface that I use all the time (searches all tld’s at once) and a simple/elegant admin panel. I’ve only had to interact...

    I’ve been very happy with iwantmyname.com - they have an awesome search interface that I use all the time (searches all tld’s at once) and a simple/elegant admin panel. I’ve only had to interact with their support once, but they were fast, friendly, and helpful.

    👍👍 will buy from them again.

  21. aphoenix
    Link
    I use a combination of Amazon and Rebel. I've had no problems with either.

    I use a combination of Amazon and Rebel. I've had no problems with either.