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Tell HN: Never search for domains on Godaddy.com
1656 points by wasteme 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 729 comments
searched a few days ago for felons.io, looked for unique names for simple game didn't know if I wanted it or not

guess godaddy decided for me: 1 days old Created on 2020-09-16 by GoDaddy.com, LLC

just a warning if you have a special name do not use godaddy to check if its available





Ted from Namecheap here.

I cannot speak to GoDaddy's practices. However, I can say that for Namecheap, this is not something we would ever even consider doing.

In my experience though, lookups are more complex than most think. We are querying so many different sources to give you availability status, some of which are less reliable than others. For example, with smaller TLDs like .ai or .is, lookups may be less reliable than a well-oiled machine like Verisign, which operates the .com and .net TLDs, among others. As a result, sometimes with a less reliable registry, there can be false positives, resulting in the registrar showing a domain as "available" when it is actually registered.

In addition to registry connection reliability, there are also many different aftermarket sources that registrars often pull from. You know when you see a Premium domain (registered and usually higher priced) in search? That could be coming from any number of 3rd party aftermarket platforms, which also can have varying reliability and/or stale listings.

Lastly, you have to consider that some registrars handle the "drop window" differently than others. If a domain deletes and is removed from the zone, ergo, becoming available again, some registrars have a buffer period before they show it as available again.

It does not appear that Felons.io had ever been registered before, which makes this case pretty strange.


Namecheap is so much better than godaddy.

Interface : just give me the records. I don't want to buy more stuff. Somehow namecheap lets me but the same extras like email, without badgering me. Godaddy is just ads ads ads and interfaces to sell stuff to people who aren't tech savvy.

Squatting: this definitely happens with godaddy, like the OP says. Never use them, it's a disgusting practice.

I use namecheap for dozens of domains. I only used godaddy once because I couldn't get the tld on namecheap.


Another very satisfied namecheap customer. It's so nice to not have to feel like you need to take a shower after visiting your DNS control panel.


What do you mean by that? I use Gandi and I think their UI is excellent. Their "DNS control panel" is top notch, straight to the point, can do anything you want, easily. It is intuitive, no bullshit.


I'm pretty sure the shower comment is a ding on GoDaddy.

I use Gandi too and am very satisfied


I use Namecheap for domain registration and then Cloudflare for evrything else.


+1 to this.

I finally tried Namecheap after 10 years of 1and1 for my personal site, and various free DDNS services for my home router. Namecheap is easy, and has guides for just about everything you’d want to do. Now my routers public IP has an easy FQDN, which cost me less than $20 for 3 years and I can update with a cURL one-liner to Namecheap’s API.


Was it an easy transfer from 1and1 to Namecheap?


Yes- although with 1and1 I hosting services and domain registration as a bundle. Now I point Namecheap at Vultr, DO and my bare metal rig.


I've actually always used Godaddy for searching and Namecheap for registering, simply because Godaddy's search interface is faster and more stable but Namecheap is great for not hassling you and way easier to configure. Fix the search Namecheap, and I will no longer use Godaddy again!


Try our new Beast Mode tool for searching: https://www.namecheap.com/domains/registration/results/?doma...


I've been on Namecheap for 7-8 years and while I am satisfied, I have to say that Namecheap's search interface is unusably broken.

It's been so bad for a few years that I've actually wondered if it's a sign of decline at the company... if you want very specific complaints about the UI I am happy to elaborate.


You want hover, best of both worlds. Amazing search experience, no misogynistic customer-hostile company (GoDaddy, not namecheap) behind it.


Misogynistic? How so?


I guess you never saw the superbowl ads of years past.


Sure, your feedback is welcome. Thank you.


Feedback on beast mode: it's super slow with bulk keywords (100s). It makes a separate request per keyword, and gets stuck in a minute. You should be doing the splitting server-side.


It's usually quite fast. It's using web sockets so it's full duplex. You may have hit a rate limit. Rate limits (albeit generous) are in place to prevent abuse.


I think I had nearly 5k keywords. I know it's a lot, but the form/page specifically mentions that I can go up to 5000 keywords.


Beast mode has been great. I want a python cli for it and heaven.


Try http://instantdomainsearch.com/

(No affiliation, just a happy user)


I'm more a fan of https://tld-list.com


Fan of https://domcomp.com && https://tld-list.com checking in.


I use this one too https://www.domainhamper.com/


Who is affiliated with it, if anyone?


I made Instant Domain Search.


https://domainr.com is a great way to search for domains super fast


This is my go-to for workshopping potential domain names.


> I only used godaddy once because I couldn't get the tld on namecheap.

Interesting... I'd love to get a .as domain, but Namecheap don't offer that. Does GoDaddy have more TLDs or where would you suggest to look for obscure TLDs?


we haven't seen a lot of demand for .as but if there are other folks on here that want it, we could consider onboarding it! Just upvote this comment to +1 ;)


How about making sure you have all the countries? I think it was .it that I couldn't find.


We'd love that! Although, some are trickier to support than others.


.lt (lithuania) for me!


Can you do .gs as well please?! I moved almost all my remaining domains from GoDaddy to you guys a few years back, but you don't take .gs - so I'm still lumbered with GoDaddy for those!


Consider my upvote that I'd be interested in buying .as domains on Namecheap.


+1 for .it


.ke anytime?


+1 for .it


Can I recommend gandi.net as a way to check your domains? It's just what I'm using, and their whois interface is really nice imho


Gandi is great. I, and a couple of my friends have been satisfied customers for years.


Namecheap’s interface for domain verification is very unintuitive, you have to jump through hoops to actually get a dns record you need to add, in order for you to verify your domain.


Sadly I still have few domains with them, after disgrunted ex-employee claimed few domains via chat (knowing company details) and namecheap put our domains into 2 weeks suspension (loss of about $250,000 of revenue) until we finally get them back and it wasn't about providing some additional evidence of who's the real owner, it was more of a pushing hard thru chat to the point majority of their Eastern European-based only chat crew knew my company by name.

But I still get some weird error messages, empty red alert boxes that doesnt say anything, and general burps time to time when trying to navigate their GUI. At least GoDaddy GUI is much more intuitive but yet they try to sell more - an obvious goal of any for-profit company.

I eventually routed most of my domains to dynadot that has much more safe chat and is US based only. No Easter European have access to my names, contacts, credit card info etc - God only knows what they can do with that info knowing an average salary in countries like Ukraine is $200 per month.

Sometimes when I read these comments like "Namecheap is the best domain provider ever" I chuckle a little - every company has an outstanding record until you test them in times when rubber truly hits the road. 99% of domain users never had any issues because ownership of domain is pretty straightforward business. So these folks than never have a problem are the last one you should be listening to when you pick a domain provider.

Just my 2c.

Edit: I don't have a dog in this race, I don't work for any domain provider and my business is entirely unrelated so I have no business in badmouthing namecheap other than personally having crappy experience with them. But I am sure for every me there is 100 people who got no issues, so that's that.


It is really sad that you had such a bad experience with their support but having such an option about a whole region of a continent just because the GDP is lower... Our salaries here in Europe's Eastern part are definitely lower than in Western Europe or in the US that definitely this does not mean we would steal to have more money. Honor is not related to how much money you earn...


Are you talking about verifying a domain (say for GSuite) with a TXT record? Unfortunately, there's no way to make this one-click since the TXT records provided are unique but we appreciate the feedback and will explore how we can make this use case more straightforward.


Would you consider the ability to export a zone file? I realize you may be withholding it because it aids transferring it out, but we often wish we could do that instead of taking screenshots or manually copying each record before we make a major DNS change.


Export a zone file? Namecheap can't even export a text or CSV file of all of my domains and their expiration dates. This is a long-standing open issue that Namecheap support has dodged several times with us. I'm still a customer right now, but I'm looking for another registrar.


Dodged? Just not currently a feature in our dashboard but it's straightforward and we know there's demand for it. We have some major updates in the works. Happy to manually provide an export for you in the meantime.


Yes, I was offered a manual export of my domain list. By "dodged", I mean that the request for an export feature in the same ticket was ignored, sort of a passive-aggressive "wontfix". I would have just scraped the HTML table, but at the time it just didn't work in Firefox/Chrome, and there was a weird interaction between filtering and showing more than 25 domains on a page. This might be fixed now, but was very frustrating at the time. I felt like support ignored all of that and just offered a manual export, without understanding how much more time it takes for me to write up a ticket (and wait for response) vs implementing a proper export feature.


> We have some major updates in the works.

Will one of those updates be the ability to export domains & expiration dates, from the dashboard?

If so, then say so; otherwise your response feels, well, dodgy. If not, why are you mentioning them in response to offmycloud's issue?

Past that, we appreciate your time here.

disclosure: I'm a 15 year Namecheap customer


Certainly something we can look into.


Thank you!


Also a very satisfied Namecheap customer. I do wish I didn't have to click so many things to modify DNS records though. But just a minor issue.

GoDaddy doesn't even sound like a professional service to me. The name itself wreaks of technical incompetence. I want round-the-clock network infra experts managing my domains, not some random dude's daddy.


+1 ... I bought 3 domains last month and have no particular affinity for provider.

The Namecheap interface and usability was very pleasing. I actually searched first on Godaddy before settling for Namecheap on all the domains.

Not least, but I got a lower price on Namecheap on all of them and yeah much lesser cross selling attempt which is nice for the DIY types :-)


Another long time Namecheap customer with good things to say. Only "complaint" is that discount codes are not more prolific :-).


[flagged]


Damn, not sure what's wrong with HN these days, but I think these kinds of things should be made known.


Parsons resigned as CEO 6+ years ago.


Ah Namecheap, the first and only domain registrar I've ever used, first used them to get a name for a Minecraft server I hosted almost a decade ago :)

Definitely would recommend. Haven't used Godaddy myself, but i've heard horror stories from others


A decade! Thank you for that.


I used to use goDaddy like 15 years ago... than moved to namecheap. namecheap is so much better. I needed the godaddy support few times, it was always a terrible experience. And the UI was always bloated with unnecessary crap.


Same here. Been on Namecheap for as long as I can remember with quite a few domains.


Hi Ted - can you speak to Namecheap's stance on bulk spam domain registrations and the fact that Namecheap does nothing to stop it?

There has been (at least in the Bay Area) a large increase in text spam. They all have a very similar format, e.g. pretending you missed a delivery, and try to get you to click on a link, usually a .info domain.

They are all hosted on Alibaba Cloud, but they are registered in bulk via Namecheap. Your legal and abuse team says they have no obligation to prevent such registrations, but to instead take it up with the FTC or the hosting, both of which do nothing either.

Here's a recent article about the problem with bulk registrations and spam: https://www.spamhaus.org/news/article/795/weaponizing-domain...

edit: I highly recommend reading the article for more context on why bulk domain registration is problematic. Note the DOJ filed a temporary restraining order again Namecheap, and the office of the NY AG also contacted them due to their role in spam and scams.

To address some of the questions and comments below:

> A registrar is simple: request a domain, they check you match the requirement for said domain rules, take your money and register the domain for you. Very simple, very stupid, very non-opiniated.

Where do you draw the line on this? How do you feel about registering hate speech in a domain name, or someone else's trademark? Clearly there needs to be some level of regulation.

> do they have any obligation to investigate the purouse people want to use the domains for

Do domain hosts have any obligation to investigate what people are hosting? Does Google have an obligation to remove results from search? There are clearly multiple parties to hosting content on the web, and it's a shared responsibility to keep folks doing the right thing

> Are you asking Namecheap to take unilateral action against domain registrations with no due process?

No - what makes you think that's what I was asking?


You really, really don't want registrars to enter that game.

A registrar is simple: request a domain, they check you match the requirement for said domain rules, take your money and register the domain for you. Very simple, very stupid, very non-opiniated.

If registrars start deciding who is worthy of domains, what arbitrary set of rules they want you to follow on top of the real ones, what set of laws they act as judge for ... Things would go wrong insanely quickly.

If the price of that is that they let abusers through too then fine, they're not the justice department either way and if they apply the judicial decision once those abusers are caught, that's all we should ask from them.


Registrars already deal with abuse complaints (and have done so since the 90s.) GoDaddy, eNom and other large registrars are happy to suspend domains with proof of network abuse.


Thanks for the question. I can assure you that our legal and abuse team do their very best to address bad actors. In fact, they are one of the hardest working teams in the company. We put a lot of time and due diligence into each case and do not takedown domains without sufficient evidence. We believe that taking domains down without proper cause can be a slippery slope.


I reported a spam domain to namecheap, including a police case file, full emails, and basically everything except a bank statement after my elderly parent was taken for a (several thousand dollar) scam.

Namecheap never resolved it or even responded back beyond the precanned message.


Legal requests should go through Legal channels. You can have all the evidence you want, but do you really want the justice system involved to be administered by a registrar? No. You don't. You want it to go through the actual Justice system.

If you should be upset with anyone, it's your local police who didn't escalate the case further.


I had exactly the same experience recently with Namecheap too, I guess this is why the scammers use them.


As a counterpoint to that a few weeks ago I reported a Bitcoin giveaway scam site to Namecheap and it was NXDOMAIN later that day.


Isn't it the police's job to be seizing property from criminals to prevent crime? Not individual victims. If the police won't demand Namecheap remove it, then sorry? They don't have to. It's not like Namecheap committed the fraud any more than a carmaker robbed a bank because the robber drove away in their car.


Your local police department doesn't have any authority over namecheap. In scams, we do open a case file with them so that they can monitor problems, to create a verified paperwork trail and if issues such as stolen identity arise.

Namecheap does have a duty when they are informed with reasonable evidence to not be an accessory to a crime. Prior to being informed, Namecheap is in the clear. Once they're given clear evidence (and in my case it was blatantly obvious because it was a crappy scam) then they do have a duty to act.

It's the difference between Ford selling a car which happens to be used in a bank robbery, and Ford knowingly selling a fleet of armored vans after being told that their client is a known bank robber.


If Tesla is aware that a certain car is stolen, and they have the ability to remotely disable it, should they?

And if they’re aware that the car will be imminently used for a terrorist attack, does that change the equation?


And if we trusted Tesla to make that determination, that would be an interesting question. But counterpoint: Do you want Tesla to remotely kill your car because someone decided to tell them that it was stolen? I can think of some "fun" ways for that to blow up...


Tesla can do that at government instruction. They have no business doing that if private individual asks for it even if it is world ending nuclear threat terrorist attack.

Same for namecheap. They cannot be the judge of what is spam and not. they should not be asked to gatekeep for the justice system


Contrariwise, should they be permitted that ability, when what it will actually be used for is someone to disable their abused partner's car?


Usually if someone is using your property for crime, you have an obligation to stop it.

Don't know if it applies in this particular case though. Clearly the government didn't think so.


This is the very reason that Safe Harbor laws are in place for these industries.


Safe harbor laws only apply when you reasonably don't know or couldn't know about the illegal behavior. Once you become aware of it then safe harbor no longer applies.


> How do you feel about registering hate speech in a domain name, or someone else's trademark?

In the US, all kinds of speech is "awful but lawful", including hate speech. I don't think registrars should be policing legal speech.

If there's trademark infringement going on, there are legal processes to which the injured parties can avail themselves.

If there's more serious criminality afoot, law enforcement should generally lead.

I don't like the idea of unpopular but legal speech being scrubbed from the public internet because people object loudly to it. I think domain registrars (and other infrastructure vendors) are qualitatively different than social media properties, etc, in this regard.


It's not a legal requirement for them (AFAIK) to make decisions on allowing someone to register a domain or not. They're a private business, so my argument is it's (probably) in their best interest to not upset their customers and partners. There are plenty of examples of limits on almost all registrars, and I was curious why they have such a hands-off stance on bulk registrations very clearly being used for illegal activities. Ted's answer gives me partial insight, but my takeaway is not enough damage, legal risk, or people complaining to say no to the money.


Yeah, let's make the domain registries another walled garden! Then start whining when they suspend your supid game or whatever they don't like about your website/business(i.e an abusive DMCA report)


The trouble with free speech is that it hurts people who get hit by it (e.g., scams, defamation/slander/libel, intrusive advertising).

The trouble with regulating speech is that the regulators have become a type of autocratic judge presiding over the decision.

The only cure to allow regulation AND autocracy would require some level of distribution of power. We've seen councils of industry leaders before, and this may be a good chance for an enterprising NPOer (NPOneur? NPOinator?).


Well, do they have any obligation to investigate the purouse people want to use the domains for?


I’m interested to hear a response to this too instead of a sales pitch.


I'm somewhat surprised AlibabaCloud wouldn't act on it. The others, not so much - nor do I think namecheap has an obligation to do so.


Are you asking Namecheap to take unilateral action against domain registrations with no due process? As a Namecheap customer, I do not support such behavior, nor is it their mandate as a registrar.

If the problem is with mobile provider spam filtering and where the sites are hosted, that is where the abuse issue should be dealt with, with continued complaints to regulatory bodies (ie, the FTC and the FCC).


I'm getting a lot of text spam from what look like hacked cell phones. Someone in the phone industry should get off their bottoms and do something about customers sending out unusual volumes of SMS.


I've been using Namecheap for domains and domain searches since at least 2009. I haven't used any of their other services, besides their WHOISGuard offerings.

I have never had issues with them stealing domains after searches or any other problems w/ my account.


Thank you for being a longtime customer. We appreciate you!


Me too!


Same, I have a few local tld's I have to buy elsewhere but after moving away from Gandi some five years ago I haven't had the need to look back. Namecheap doesn't upsell like godaddy and it's affordable, if not the cheapest for many tld's. It's also a breeze to config dns rules with them.


Hello Ted. A bit off-topic but I was wondering if you were aware of the massive amount of malicious sites that use NameCheap?

And do you have a better way of going about flagging these sites other than the “abuse” email that shows when doing a WhoIs lookup?


Abuse@namecheap.com is indeed the best channel. Our Twitter reps are quite responsive too. The abuse team reviews every case. In some cases, it can also be effective to reach out to the "host" too.


Does the abuse team always reply to abuse reports? I've had one open since the 5th with no activity and I'm unsure if it is just being ignored.


I have reported a large amount of phishing domains and never received a reply, they also never got taken down.


There is a backlog. Like I said, they're a very busy team and are quite thorough in their review. Feel free to ping @namecheap on Twitter with the ticket number and they may be able to help escalate, depending on the severity of the case.


Probably because they've got great service, I guess.


I would love to hear some objective arguments to use Namecheap instead of Gandi (which I'm currently using). The only reason I'm still using Gandi it's because it works and I never had any troubles with them (although my requirements are super simple). Would anyone recommend me to switch?


My experience with Namecheap, Dynadot, Godaddy, Hexonet is, in current times, I prefer Dynadot, then Namecheap, then Hexonet & never Godaddy.

I found Dynadot prices very competitive, Namecheap is not shoving ads but dns management is not easy, & is expensive. Hexonet offers way more tlds, have robust search, & retains domains in cart for months if you are not ready. Dynadot record manager is better. Hexonet is expensive.

Godaddy used to be my choice in around 2012-2016, but not any more.

Shameless plug, one of my total three blog posts is about my journey of Domains https://davinder.net/my-journey-with-domains/


We are good friends with the folks over at Dynadot!


I found namecheap to be way cheaper in most cases.

I was gonna use google's new domain product since I'm a huge Google fanboy, but it ended up being 10x pricier in some cases and the interface isn't as powerful (maybe for the better, but ymmv).


Out of maybe total 10-15 domains I own now, most are .com .net .in .us & a single .one. Com renewal at dynadot is 9, at Namecheap it is 13. transfers are same, around 9.

Net renewal is again $11/15 at Dyna/Namecheap. Transfers are same, $11.

.in renewals are $7/$12, transfers same $7.

I mostly prefers renewals because of inertia of moving nameservers and or other DNS records. I sometime transfer between namecheap and Dynadot. Most of my purchases are multi year.

*All prices rounded roughly to nearest dollar.

+1 for having same experience at Google, living in Google verse 24/7, but google.domains is expensive.


Thanks for that. I've moved all my domains to you guys during one of the other go daddy fiascos (pick one) and never looked back. You guys are great. Thanks!


Right on!


Hi Ted! It’s good to hear you won’t be stealing domains. It would be even better to hear that Namecheap starts enforcing their TOS and doing something about your registrar being used for hundreds of thousands of SMS scams in Australia by the same botnet.


I use Namecheap and I'm happy. However, this is known behavior from GoDaddy. You can't really say a lot because you're a competitor, but I can because I've seen them do it and many other shady things to customers.


Lately I've noticed websites dynamically changing price for domain names using AI to determine how valuable that name is? I don't like that practice, it used to be same price for all domains names of certain kind (.org, .in, .com etc) but now not just the TLD but also what name you pick can dramatically increase the price.


A happy namecheap customer here. Moved from Godaddy to namecheap because they revealed me as the owner of a domain I was using for activism. Caused me a lot of harassment.


Here’s a HNer claiming Namecheap dumped his personal info without even informing him of having done so: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18063667


Glad to hear you're happy. Always willing to help if you ever need anything: ted [at] namecheap.com


Yeesh, that’s terrible.


Unrelated but I have reported phishing domains to Namecheap and they have completely ignored all abuse tickets for over a month now. How should I proceed here?


Exactly the same boat! Namecheap offshores all their abuse to their “legal” department - underpaid level one support in Eastern Europe.

Namecheap is abused to prop up the largest SMS phishing scam in Australia and they do not care to enforce their TOS to stop it.


See my post above: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24509104

This is a skilled in-house team that is working hard on these cases. We absolutely do enforce our ToS but we do not takedown domains without due diligence.


Yea namecheap USED to be my go to place for domain names, but too many times have your interface crap out on me. Or even some my DNS records reverted/lost their info. Like how do you "loose" my dns entries !? I now use porkbun.com - what a pleasure to use !


I once forgot to renew a domain name and was so late that it had dropped from my interface. Namecheap went ahead and renewed it for me since it hadn't gone into the pool yet—for no extra cost.

Been using you for 15 years now, really happy. Even though I wish the website were faster :)


<3

We're working really hard to make the site faster. While there are still areas where there's room for improvement, we're regularly deploying performance updates (e.g. search, and most recently the cart).


I've loved Namecheap for as long as I've had it. I only switched to Google Domains because that gives me auto-verification in GCP.


How can we win you back?!


Not the parent but I specifically transferred away from namecheap because you attempted to increase my renewal on a .club domain by 15x, claiming my previously-registered domain was now a premium domain. Google Domains charged me the regular price.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23292774


Highly doubt this was intentional. We get pricing from the registry. What likely happened here is that the registry reclassified this as a premium and our support wrongly quoted the new tier to you even though it wasn't relevant since it was a renewal. Sorry you had this experience. It was likely an honest mistake.


The price was increased in my auto-renewal notice - I spoke with support after receiving the email.


Hi Ted, for what it's worth, this is the first time I've heard of you all, and based on your responses here alone, you converted a sale away from Google Domains today. I look forward to being yet another happy customer!


Well, when .dev came out, there was a scramble and Google Domains was being slow af and you guys weren't, so I have my .dev on a 10 year with you. So I guess the answer for what worked in the past is: you let me register when I could.

The reasons I transferred to Google Domains are:

* I found the interface easier to use: fewer clicks to DNS, email, etc.

* The features are easily visible

* Auto-verification in GCP

I understand, of course, if you can't deal with or prioritize any of these. Hope the feedback helps.


I can't speak to any plans re: auto-verification but we are always looking at improving our dashboard UX. Big things coming there. I should also add that we have direct relationships with almost all of our registry partners now. Even Google Domains, Route53, and Cloudflare don't support a lot of TLDs and/or resell some core TLDs through resellers, not directly through the registries. It's important for many reasons.


Hi Ted, I've been a name cheap customer for something like 10 years, although recently I've been moving some of my domains to Cloudfare DNS. I am moving because they offer API access which lets Acme's certbot renew certificates automatically.


Really? Because Namecheap recently lost one of my domains due to an API error on your side, resulting in SEDO picking it up. Namecheap has absolutely refused to help recover the domain even though it's 100% in your court.


Sedo is not a registrar. Do you mean that you tried to renew the domain via API and it failed, resulting the domain being deleted?


No. I renewed through the normal Namecheap checkout process and the renewal failed somewhere inside Namecheap. I guess there isn't any sort of process to catch a successful order where the renewal date doesn't change.

As a result of Namecheap not doing their due diligence as a registrar my domain got deleted and picked up by SEDO.


Thanks for chiming in, Ted! Another happy customer here. Namecheap has been my registrar of choice, too, and I have slowly moved most of my domain names to it. I also believe that Namecheap is not involved in any shady practices.

In the light of this thread, I've shared my experience with domain names search and how to perform it securely without worrying that someone will grab your name https://stanbright.com/domain-name-search/


I currently use namecheap. Ironically it's actually one of their biggest mistakes that convinced me to stay with them. When namecheap rolled out its custom 2fa authenticator app thing I started to look for alternatives but stuck it out long enough for them to switch to u2f and reading the 'we took the wrong turn' kind of explanation post they made was enough for me to have a bit of faith that they listen to their users AND act on it.


We definitely made a mistake here but glad to hear you're happy now. 2FA support has been a huge focus for us in the last couple years.


Can you tell us how does the potential reservation impact the availability? I started a checkout for a .com.au domain on namecheap. When I restarted it a day later, the domain was marked as unavailable. After contacting namecheap support, it turns out I could buy it after all.

To be honest, my initial reaction was "I've been godaddy'd" since the messages don't indicate anything different.


Unfortunately, .com.au is one of the very few TLDs where we don't have a direct relationship with the registry. This was likely the cause, since we have to rely on an another provider to sell these domains. Sorry about your experience though!


You need to fix your support for ipv4+ipv6 glue records. There's really no excuse for not letting me configure this via the web interface.


Frankly I think what GoDaddy does here should be illegal, because it causes an unethical inflation of prices and undercuts other domain searchers and registrars, causing them to need to compete on a price-gouging scheme. Maybe NameCheap should investigate a lawsuit or lobby Congress for some ethical practices here that don't cause artificial pricing and spending.


I have used namecheap as my first and only registrar since I made my first website in 2013. Those free .me domains in the GitHub student pack paid off for you guys in my case.

Always had great service, including quick resolution when I tried to register .id shortly after they allowed international registration (and encountered a few speedbumps).

Thanks for the good work!


Hey Ted! Been my favorite registrar for over a decade. Just registered a genius domain that I thought of the other night !:)


We need to introduce some sort of "lifer" discount code for these decade+ customers! Thank you for your business!


I switched to Namecheap what feels like pretty recently; 2007! ;)


I support this idea!!!


Just to highlight this a little bit more! I've used Namecheap for years (a lot of) and moved all domains my company owns over three years ago, and there is a lot of them. All went flawlessly and I have nothing but praise for the service it's amazing.

Only problem in the company settings is multiple users but other than that no issues.


Namecheap blocks you from logging in if you are connected to some VPNs. Attempting to log in returns an error saying that the username/password is incorrect, and you won't be able to interact with Namecheap until you turn off the VPN. If you are using one of these VPNs, Namecheap is simply not a feasible option.

There are less expensive options than both GoDaddy and Namecheap that do not have any of these issues. The renewal rate for a .com domain is $17.99/year at GoDaddy, $8.88/year at Namecheap, $8.56/year at Porkbun, and $8.03/year at Cloudflare.

https://www.cloudflare.com/products/registrar/

https://porkbun.com/products/domains


A bit understandable from an anti-fraud point of view.

Seems a bit strange that someone would be willing to hand over their Name, Address and payment for a domain, but not willing to show up not behind a VPN.


I am not aware of any other domain registrar that blocks VPNs, so the fact that Namecheap does is a drawback that is particular to Namecheap.

It's inconvenient to turn off a VPN just to use Namecheap. Although Namecheap already has my information, if I have more than one browser tab open and need to do something on another site while interacting with Namecheap, I would be exposed to an unprotected connection with not only Namecheap but also the other site. This is unacceptable considering that other registrars don't have anti-VPN restrictions.


It’s more intended to protect against hackers hacking your account.


Hey Ted,

Is there a way to migrate a bunch of domain names from Godaddy to Namecheap ? We own about 200 domain names and I would like nothing more than to drop Godaddy for Namecheap, but I cannot justify the manpower (basically just me) required to migrate domains one by one.

Thanks.


Yes, we have a concierge service. If you shoot me an email, I'll help kick off the process for you: ted [at] namecheap.com.


subscribed - Same issue here.


Just so you know, this is a complete lie and total slander of GoDaddy. https://domaininvesting.com/godaddy-still-not-frontrunning-d...

The whois information is masked, because that's what we do to protect customer privacy.

https://domaininvesting.com/godaddy-whois-records-no-more-co...

It's registered to someone in New York, not to GoDaddy.

Registrant Organization: Registrant State/Province: New York Registrant Country: US


Are you sure about that? I feel like I may have had an issue with this with Name Cheap in the past. At least, the 2 day window thing. And I'm pretty sure eNom did this and namecheap used to be an eNom reseller.


I have switched to Namecheap from GoDaddy, and it's been great. I've been using Namecheap for a few years now, and never had an issue.

Just wanted to add my opinion to the thread and thank you guys for a very good service.


It's funny, I don't even remember why I moved to Namecheap, but I remember years ago getting angry at Godaddy, and then transferring everything. You guys have a great service. No regrets since the move.


Might have been because of the Godaddy CEO killing elephants or something. I vaguely recall some drama about that.


I switched from GoDaddy to namecheap because GoDaddy was supporting SOPA (stop online privacy act)

https://www.zdnet.com/article/wikipedia-is-leaving-go-daddy-...


Thank you for joining the discussion.

Any chance Namecheap can provide catch-all mailboxes?

I don't care to have 10 different mailboxes, I was stuck with GoDaddy and now with Wild West Domains just because the have "catch-all", so I can register to services with different email addresses (e.g. paypal55@mydomain.com, ebay44@mydomain.com) so I can also track who got hacked/sold my email ;)

If you do provide it, since I don't see "catch-all" on your three email options (Starter-Pro-Ultimate). If you do offer it, can you please consider adding it to the key specs?


I have only one domain on namecheap, but since a few month I cannot access it any more. There is a captcha service (hcaptcha) before it which totally locks me out.


You might be using a VPN that is blocked by Namecheap. Try turning off the VPN and then logging in. If this is inconvenient, you can transfer the domain to a registrar that does not block VPNs. As far as I am aware, Namecheap is the only one that does.


But can you please start handling .name domains? I have one last domain I want to transfer from Gandi. Your support agent spent five minutes trying to convince me that I didn't own a domain in xxx.yyy.name format, and that the reason it wasn't transfering is because I should be using yyy.name, before talking to a supervisor and finding out that you don't handle them anyway.


Why are people moving from Gandi?

Just wondering if I should be aware of something...

If I do move, Namecheap it will be, given this discussion.


We have always liked and respected the folks over at Gandi. They were recently acquired by private equity so not sure what their plans are. Regardless, we'd be happy to have you.


Ok, the acquisition is good to know.

Steady as she goes right now, but I know where to go should things change.


Their moral policies in their TOS are... interesting.


Can you elaborate?


Worth combing through this thread:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22001822

Algolia will have more.


Extremely curiously, the first comment for this article link is about... what do you know, Gandi possibly doing the same thing as the OP's experience, albeit less provably / over a longer time period.


We do support .name now.


Really? Because when I try to transfer xxx.yyy.name, it says: "Uh-oh! Your domain yyy.name is not eligible for transfer to us." I don't own yyy.name. I own xxx.yyy.name.

(Of course xxx and yyy are placeholders here.)

Edit: xxx.yyy.name comes from the .name registry, just like xxx.co.uk comes from the .uk registry.


If ".name" works the typical TLD way, you don't own anything. You merely have a business relationship with the owner of "ellis.name". That owner could transfer "ellis.name", but you don't own anything transferable.

Of course, ".name" might not work in the expected way, but it seems a likely explanation for the issue you report.


The owner of yyy.name is the .name registry. That's just how they work. The intention was that people register first.last.name, and that multiple people could register under the same last.name.


Then it sounds like the .name registry is also in the business of selling subdomains, i.e. they're the owner of yyy.name. In other words, it's not possible for Namecheap to rent you xxx.yyy.name, because to do that they'd have to be the owner of yyy.name, and they're not.

Sounds like the tech support agent and supervisor got it basically right.


They're not really subdomains. If you try to do a whois against e.g. smith.name you'll see it's not a registerable domain. Only the second level can be registered, xxxx.smith.name. Similarly if you had xxxx.co.uk, you own a domain because co.uk isn't registerable. The only quirk about .name is that common names can't be registered at the top level, but uncommon ones can.


> it's not possible for Namecheap to rent you xxx.yyy.name

I'm sure they could if they wanted to. Gandi will happily do it for $15/year. I can only assume they've decided it's not worth their time to do so.


Early on (nearly 20 years ago) it was possible to register a yyy.name by itself. For example, I own the domain for my last name.


Only the owner of yyy.name can do those kind of transfers.

Your xxx.yyy.name is a subdomain of yyy.name and thus beholden to it. Unless it's something like a .co.uk domain, which with you mentioning .name isn't the case.


Who is the owner of yyy.name, though? I'd say that's the registry itself.


I don't think you can transfer because the domain doesn't belong to you. yyy.name is the domain, you're "renting" from whoever owns that domain name.


I understand that domains are just rented and not owned, but in common parlance it's usual to talk about owning a domain.


But you don't even own a domain

Whom do you pay for xxx.yyy.name?


Like I said in my first post, I pay Gandi.

Look, you can register one yourself: https://imgur.com/tIESzRr

You're surely familiar with domains like foo.co.uk? You don't have to own co.uk to own or transfer foo.co.uk, even though it's the uk registry, not the co.uk registry.


I can speak to GoDaddy's practices. This exact same thing happened to me. I've never searched another domain through them again.


I love namecheap. Been a satisfied customer for close to a decade. I have to thank Drew Houston for this.

Many many years ago, when YC was newish - I read a blog post featuring Drew. He registered the first Dropbox domain (getdropbox.com I think) on Namecheap. That's when I decided to give Namecheap a try, and I'm so glad I did.

Haven't been disappointed since. Thank you!


I actually didn't know that Drew had registered getdropbox.com with us! That's awesome. Thanks for being a customer.


The problem I have with Namecheap is that I can't make purchases with Indian debit cards while with Godaddy, Bank transfer, UPI and Indian Debit cards are accepted. I have a few domains which I really want to switch to another provider and checked out Namecheap twice but had payment issues. I even tried Paypal which didn't work either.


Not aware of this issue but I'll have the team look into it. Have you tried adding account funds? https://ap.www.namecheap.com/profile/billing/Topup


Thats weird - I've been using PayPal for years with Namecheap Perhaps try loading your wallet first and then paying from your balance. (Not ideal i know, but it may work)


Namecheap is awesome. I switched from godaddy's predatory practices to namecheap, couldn't be happier.

To be honest most providers suck. Another common scam these guys run is skinning you for renewals, its just messed up that sometimes i have to pay double to triple the price of buying the domain for renewals.


I've been super happy with Namecheap's domain services. After 15 years, I've no plans to go anywhere else.

I've been less happy with Namecheap's abuse responses, unfortunately. I quit trying to report NC registered domains (or NC hosting), that were being used for clearly malicious activity.


I’ve used a fair share of registrars, and Namecheap is the best!

I just miss .SE domains, I have quite a few of them and would really like to move them over to Namecheap. Keep up the great service, it’s really unique among registrars to be user friendly, cheap, well documented and without bloat and ads. Love it!


Who else wants .se? ;) Upvote and I'll see what I can do.


I think it was within the last 2 years when I searched for domains on Namecheap. They were shown as registered and I was offered to buy them for a premium price. When I searched on another other provider, it was shown as available and I bought it there. Will never use Namecheap again.


Namecheap is best for domain register, no need more discussion, and their support is the best.

Some drawbacks of NC are some support need sharpen their skills and response more quickly, but in overall, I am really happy with everything namecheap did, and would love advise anyone try it.


Verisign is a well-oiled machine indeed. Remember this? https://www.cnet.com/news/suit-filed-over-verisign-domain-re...


Hey Ted, I currently use google domains and while I'm pretty happy with that one service I would like to switch away from Google entirely and that is one of the last services of theirs I use. What case can you make for why I should switch to namecheap?


I guess my main point here is: if shit hits the fan and you lose access to your DNS, your domain is hijacked, or there is some other urgent catastrophic event, who would be easier to reach to remedy your issue? I'm a senior executive posting here offering up my email and as an industry veteran, I frankly do not even know who runs Google Domains. We're a bootstrapped founder-run company with a 20-year track record and even after all those years, we're still passionate about making customers happy.


Every time I had to get in touch with support person at Namecheap I've had very good experience. No matter if I had a presales question or was asking for technical advice, there was a real person to talk to, via live chat or email.

I'm a very satisfied Namecheap customer :-)


I can’t tell you how much I recommend namecheap, the service you provide is excellent as a registrar. You’ve been my recommendation for 7+ years for hundreds of clients and as long as you continue in the path you’ve followed, will be for a long time.


That’s really good insight, thank you. I am curious why everything isn’t just tied into Whois since that is what I typically use to do quick lookups.

Also, will Namecheap ever add a second factor method that isn’t SMS? Security aside, logging in just feels clunky.


I'm using Google Authenticator. It looks like they also support U2F now: https://www.namecheap.com/security/2fa-two-factor-authentica....


That is correct. We support TOTP and U2F.


+1 for Namecheap - I've been using you guys for many years and across multiple businesses - I don't even consider using another registrar anymore.

On the flip side, when I hear GoDaddy used in any sentence - The hairs on the back of my neck stand up :(


Been using Namecheap for 2 years now. Love it.

Also Louis Rossman mentioned you in his latest video. That's what brought me here.

https://youtu.be/i05uGLFZe2Y


The best way to do this securely is to do a whois lookup on the domain via command line to see if it has a registered date or not. Only way to steal ideas then is if someone works for the icann lookup db


Command line is a great way to query whois. It actually doesn't even ever hit ICANN. The request goes straight to the whois server.


Moved all my domains and many of my friends' domains to namecheap a few years back. I'm always impressed by how quick and informed customer support is whenever I have an issue. Good job, guys.


Hi Ted, a query, I see godaddy registered domains being available on my O365's outlook custom domains for email, is it possible that namecheap would do something like that as well?


Not sure I fully understand. Can you elaborate? We don't currently sell O365.



I'm close to the 100 domain mark with Namecheap, and it's the registrar I use and recommend for both clients and myself. The UX, prices, and grace-periods are second to none.


100, nice! Have you inquired about special account pricing? Sometimes we offer this to big accounts with lots of domains.


It's not strange if it's their business to pre-register anything you might be remotely interested in, so that they can profit more when they "sell" it to you...


If a domain is unavailable, does the query on namecheap still go to third parties? Is it possible for third parties to snap up an available domain they know has just been queried?


When I say third parties, these are the registries (that operate each domain extension or TLD) that we query for availability. I've never heard of this happening and it's not likely that it would ever happen.


I went to register.com to renew some domains I had, register.com reported them as expired!

And then I remembered I had transferred them to namecheap a year ago. You guys are the best.


Namecheap is one of the best registrars ever. I am constantly transferring domains there because they're just so much better than the others.


Namecheap is the only registrar I can really recommend. Gets out of your way in most cases, has a very competent support for the other cases


Another customer extremelly satisfied with Namecheap. Your "beast mode" has saved me countless times.


Namecheap and Tucows/Hover/OpenSRS are the only folks I would trust with domain name registrations.


I recently bought a premium domain on Hover. A week later it was still showing a for-sale page and hadn't been transferred to my account. So I bought it again directly from the registrar that was advertising it, and I had control of it instantly.

A few days later I was contacted by Hover support saying they were unable to acquire it. I'm now in the process of transferring everything to Namecheap.


jip. I can say the same. namecheap has been excellent for the past few years. even though I do not spend a lot with them, i’ve used their live customer support in a few cases and has helped me out where needed. Kudos to the team!


A coworker of mine recommended you guys. The service is fantastic! Thank you so much.


I've used namecheap for over a decade, very happy customer :)


I did transfer my names from GD to NC last month :) :) :)


Not affiliated with namecheap but I only use namecheap.


and this is why Namecheap is awesome. Use them instead.


Are you considering support .dk domains anytime soon?


Not on our radar at the moment but I'll do what I did above. If there are another upvotes on this comment, we'll consider adding .dk to our onboarding queue.


I am very happy with the domains that I have purchased from namecheap. We host our own sites and email servers, so namecheap's fast ala-carte service has worked great for us for a few years.


If my domains primary users are from USA, i would definitely register at Namecheap, but my primary users are from india. My understanding is that its better to register with local registrar(not godadday ofcourse) to avoid DNS latency, To my knowledge Namecheap does not have servers in india. I am new to domain registering and would appreciate your take on this issue. Thanks


Dns is like a big phone book with domain & its host server's ip address, all dns servers around the world routinely & frequently copy each other's changes & updates, but the additions & changes originate in TLD Owner's zone file, a master phone book for that TLD, & then it propagates to other world.

A registrar takes your money & coordinates with TLD owner to add your domain to the master phone book. In about x time, minutes to hours to few days, all servers over the world has your domain's dns information. Most of the time registrar's job is done, & now hosting provider as well as dns servers come in picture.

Now, when a user types your domain, his internet provider or dns address server looks up the relevant ip & or ask around. Closest/fastest/reliable records are then used. Your registrar usually do not control or operate these servers, but Google 8.8.4.4, Cloud flare 1.1.1.1, your ISP & such operate these.

The geographic closeness to hosting servers is preferred, but I think geographic closeness to register doesn't matter much.


This is a common misconception but not correct. Namecheap offers free DNS services with your registration and there’s nothing wrong with them, but due to my individual requirements, cost and perf considerations I have my domains registered with namecheap but the nameservers are hosted on cloudflare. It’s really easy to separate the two.


> My understanding is that its better to register with local registrar(not godadday ofcourse) to avoid DNS latency, ...

Your understanding is incorrect.

There are no issues with registering a domain via Namecheap when your users are in India (or anywhere else).

Once you've registered a domain, you can use any nameservers that you like -- regardless of their geographical location. You could use the free DNS service Namecheap includes with your domain registration, nameservers from the provider of your choice in India, or something like AWS Route 53, Cloudflare, or Google DNS, which all use anycast and have DNS servers around the globe (I don't know which of them, if any, have servers specifically in India, however).


Buying a domain is not the same as hosting the DNS for that domain.


My two cents. You can use any registrar you like. Just need to update the nameservers to a DNS provider close to your user base (e.g. AWS Route 53 in India).


I used NameCheap for around 10 years, until they bungled up an order I made.

I renewed a .com for an additional 9 years. When the order processed, it turns out domains can only be extended out to a maximum of 10 years, and this domain was still a few years away from expiry.

The order didn't go through and I wasn't charged.

The next day I got an email from NameCheap saying that they had manually charged me $80ish, renewed the domain for 3 years, and put the rest in the NameCheap wallet. None of which I asked for.

I went back and forth a couple times with support saying they would cancel my domain if I wanted the money refunded, when all I wanted was for this transaction I didn't ask for to be undone.

After they "made an exception" I transferred everything to PorkBun, which works just as nicely.


So you made a mistake, namecheap made an exception because they understood mistakes happen, and then you moved to a different registrar... where you wouldn't make that mistake? Agree it's not a good look to let the customer think the order was failed and then it proceeding anyways, but I can think of a situation where it was a desired outcome - like you wanted to extend the domain and they moved to do that.


Since you're here answering questions, what do you have to say about your policy of selling certain unregistered domains as premium offerings for a higher price simply because their names are considered more marketable? I know that this is far from unique to namecheap and at least you disclose it as a practice (albeit in a somewhat roundabout manner) but it seems to me as a sort of abuse of registrar privilege. In other words, if a domain is not yet registered to any buyer, should it not be available for a standard price like other unclaimed offerings?


I think what you're describing are Registry Premium domains. This is typically unregistered inventory that the registry withholds and sells at a higher price point. They are usually higher quality keywords. We don't set the price on these. Our registry partners do.


Strikes me as a bullshit practice though


Not our practice. Registry partners set our pricing and we try to give you the best price possible.


I still dislike the practice, but my apologies for the more curt earlier comment. My assumption was that the practice was indeed your own. I had maybe confounded registry with registrar. That said, in general terms, who would these registry partners be for unclaimed domains, who then set elevated "premium" prices?


The underlying TLD holder.

Usually all dictionary words, domains below 3chars, domains below 4chars, etc.


Right, I meant on their part


They are a bigtime scammers. Recently was assisting a friend to get access to a domain name which was registered in godaddy. They scammed him for a couple of hundred dollars for contacting the domain owner to get a deal on the domain and eventually nothing happened. Not even a mail was sent on behalf the scammed money as we found that the domain was owned by another friend and eventually got it transferred. He confirmed that he has not received any mail from godaddy's domain buy service since the contact was under privacy protection. Another scamming method to siphon money from people.

To make it more clear, if you need a domain which is registered in godaddy and has privacy protection enabled, please do not pay money to godaddy to broker a deal on behalf of you with the existing domain owner. They take huge sum of money, do nothing and stop responding. It's like giving your hard earned money for free to these godaddy scammers. One of the worst registrars and I don't want to open another can of worms with their really really bad service (hosting, emailing and all such services!)


If the domain was a a gTLD or new gTLD (more than 2 characters on the TLD), they could get sanctioned by the ICANN, if you decided to report them.

If it was a ccTLD (2 characters on the TLD), they could also be sanctioned, depending on the rules of the extension.

The sanction can range from a (huge) fee, to a revocation of their accreditation, so it's not nothing.


Why would they be sanctioned? If GoDaddy is the registrar for a domain, GoDaddy knows who the real owner is. They have to, per ICANN rules.

And if GoDaddy reaches out to that customer on behalf of another customer, they don't reveal any private information. Each customer only sees their own interaction with GoDaddy. They don't see each others' info.


The ICANN states that you must provide a way to directly contact a domain's owner. If I'm correct, the contact info must be freely available in the whole, whether it's an email address, an obfuscated email address, or a contact form on the website of the registrar.

Charging for this is really shady, but not contacting the domain owner when requested is a registrar agreement violation.

Note that it's also the responsibility of the registrar to ensure that contact information of their registrants are correct.


I don't think he means sanctioned for contacting the domain owner but sanctioned for taking money without actually doing anything.


They would be sanctioned because they’re a bunch of scammers that take your money without providing a service?


FWIW - I remember reading about the founder of Baremetrics being able to buy Baremetrics.com via this service. Impressive because Baremetrics (which used to be on baremetrics.io) had received a $500K funding by the time he wanted to buy the .com for his company name. GoDaddy seems to have brokered the deal for $616.

Source - https://baremetrics.com/blog/scored-baremetrics-dot-com


I'm not defending GoDaddy here and agree it's a bad service. I do want to add my own anecdote that I had an unused .com domain behind privacy protection with them and GoDaddy contacted me that someone wanted to buy it off of me.

I said yes and their process was extremely fast in the transfer and getting paid.

I use Google Domains now for my stuff.


I hope you charged back the money.


> To make it more clear, if you need a domain which is registered in godaddy and has privacy protection enabled, please do not pay money to godaddy to broker a deal on behalf of you with the existing domain owner.

Thanks for the heads up! Any recommendations for alternative methods for accomplishing this?


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