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Ask HN: Which domain registrar do you recommend?
25 points by xlii 43 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 71 comments
I've been using GoDaddy for a long time (as probably it was one of the first international registrar that would take my local credit card) but after recent news and pointing out different issues with them I'd like to move out.

Since I own some regional domains that I'd like to move not all registrars are possible as a destination (I know, for instance, that Namecheap won't work due to the lack of .SE support).

What are some reputable domain registrars where I could move my domains to?

Very happy with Namecheap [1]. I have 3 domains registered with them, one of them going back a long time. Never had problems with anything from search to payment.

They have 2FA support that works with the open source TOTP apps too.

[1]: https://www.namecheap.com

Namecheap is expensive when you go to renew. I switched all my domains to Porkbun - cheaper, and a cleaner/simpler UI.

Which TLD did they increase on renew?

+1, I've been a happy user for a few years now

Namecheap, all the way.

They support U2F as well now - works great.

Gandi[1] and Namecheap[2] are the only ones that I trust.

[1]: https://www.gandi.net/

[2]: https://www.namecheap.com/

Gandi's systems are incapable of handling a legal name change. You have to create a brand new account, individually transfer ownership of every single domain to the new account one by one, and then manually update all four contacts for each domain one at a time. It actually would have been faster and easier for me to transfer to a new registrar.


Gandi is made for you if : - you need several (internal or external) users to have rights on your domains - you need to control your domains with an API - you need to be able to register domains for any customer or partner

If you have many domains, that you need to handle manually, any operation on all domain will take time, as it would likely take time with any other registrar.

I don't like Namecheap because they really rip you off when the time comes for annual renewal. Much more expensive than others to the point where if you are certain that you will need the domain for longer than a year it is better to go elsewhere.

Here is how you can test it (using .io or .me domains): Search for domain on Namecheap, they usually have good prices for the 1st year. Add it to cart and then change it to 3 years and watch the price zoom up, not to 3x but more like 6-8x in cost. Now go to a different registrar and do the same. In my experience for 3 years Namecheap are always more expensive.

Doesn't appear to affect their DNS but VM hosting service. Kind of embarrassing but is it relevant?

I wasn't aware of this but shit happens. I don't use their cloud (have some e-mail boxes that forward to my own so I have copies), but I can see how something like that can be an issue with people.

Also this is just another example of how Twitter shouldn't be used for any serious type of communication.

Different service. They got most of the data back in the end. And you should always have backups somewhere else. I'm not sure why this is relevant.

Yeah, at the time they got a lot of bad press for their abysmal support responses. Things like saying that their backup solution was not a backup solution, blaming the customer, etc etc.

Saying that people should have geographically diversified backups is like saying you should always read the T&Cs of every website you interact with. Yes, you definitely should. But many people would rather just trust the brand, and a trust broken is not easily fixed.

And understandably, that broken trust has a knock-on effect for other services in the same brand.

I regularly use three different providers depending on needs.

- Gandi for general usage, free and hassle-free https://www.gandi.net/

- Njalla when my privacy is needed and don't want to risk the domain from being taken over/down because of moral/ethical issues (nothing illegal, but for "frowned upon" websites) https://njal.la/

- dnsimple when needing absolute control over as much as possible, flexibility in using APIs for controlling the zone and for really important domains, costs 5 USD per month minimum though https://dnsimple.com/

Thanks for this comment, I didn't know about Njalla before this.

If anyone is interested there is a previous thread on HN on Njalla[1] and according to a torrentfreak article from 2017 the site was founded by tpb founder [2]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14177597

[2] https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-launches-anonymo...

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET is the registrar I use. They're a web hosting company, so domain registration is not their only service, but they have an excellent company philosophy and customer-friendly policy set.

I've been using them for about 10 years now, and they have been extremely reliable, zero-maintenance; and the web-interface is very easy to use and logically organised. (no javascript!)

Their prices aren't too bad either, since domain registration isn't their main priority.

Only downside is that they don't support all domain types, only the legacy GTLDs and a small list of new ones: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/services/domains

I love NearlyFreeSpeech! I've been using them for hosting for many years. I used to use WebFaction as well back in their glory days, but since they were bought by GoDaddy (ugh!) I've been migrating the few sites I had there over to NFS. The only straggler is one WordPress site I maintain for a friend, and I will move that one over shortly.

I had no idea that NFS also handled domain registration. I use Gandi for all my domains, especially since they have so many TLDs available and like NFS have a clean and simple business model. The only exception is a .to domain that seems to be available only through tonic.to. Ah well.

But thanks for mentioning that NFS also offers domain registration - I will have to check this out.

I've been using Cloudflare Registrar[1] for a year now for all .com domains. No nonsense or extra fees. Gandhi[2] for exotic TLDs (best price). For EU domain TLDs I stick to Vimexx[3] (in Dutch).

[1] https://www.cloudflare.com/products/registrar/

[2] https://www.gandi.net/

[2] https://vimexx.eu/

They don't support buying new domains right? You need to buy elsewhere and transfer to CloudFlare.

Plus, their TLD coverage isn't great.

They actually do now. Not great TLD coverage is true though

Very happy with Porkbun ( https://porkbun.com/ ). Newer registrar, but their console is clean, nice looking, and it's easy to update settings.

It's haram.

didnt expect to see the word 'haram' in HN forum with an international audience :)


As it hasn't been mentioned yet, I use namesilo.com.

What originally drew me to their service was 2FA, no additional services bullshit (i.e. I'm never going to buy "web hosting" from a domain registrar, I don't want the current-customer-spam they all use to cross-sell) and decent prices.

They've recently started selling "web hosting" but so far it hasn't really been pushed, and their focus seems to be very much on domains still.

A lot of the .se registrars are in Sweden, but if you're just using it as a name hack then your options may be more limited (eNom/Tucows, Name.com, and Dyn (which was acquired by Oracle and then subsequently by name.com)).

Maybe try Hover? Based out of Canada, provided by Tucows.

You might have to use more than one registrar to get coverage on all your regional domains, depending on how many you have.

In The Netherlands, I use openprovider (https://openprovider.com/). They are actually a reseller solution for agencies and such, but it works equally well for personal domain registration needs. Pricing is competitive, service is excellent, and they are small enough to pick up the phone if necessary.

I also like to think that a registrar with a support desk that operates in my local language (Dutch) reduces the attack vector for social engineering.

Been using them for 5+ years now. Both as reseller and private. I can attest to them being very good. Pricing is real good, but does depend on your volume. At some point it becomes interesting to get a subscription for which you get most domains at cost-price. Their service is indeed outstanding, often sameday reply on mail with actual solutions.

I wouldn't call them small though, they are in the top 50 domain registrars in the world, and I guess the biggest in NL.

I've migrated a few dozen domains from Godaddy to Namecheap, for various reasons, mostly because Godaddy absolutely sucks.

Namecheap tech support is great. Loving their dynamic DNS application too since I'm taking advantage of my 500mbit up/down running a server at home. I've had no problems with Namecheap since I started using them a few years ago and finally migrated everything over to them a few months ago.

Goodbye Godaddy!! Good riddance!

A little tangent, but I have ~ 50 domains I've bought from... many different places over the years. I've been meaning to develop my ideas with them, but they've been ending up just.. idle. I recently created a small tool to manage my un-used domains better


Hopefully, those who are in a similar situtation can also find it useful.

I've been very happy with PorkBun.

[1]: https://porkbun.com/

I always use the French company OVH (https://www.ovh.com/fr/domaines/). It's very reliable. They have a lot of extensions, including the ".SE" that you want, and they offer 10 Mo to host your own mini site and an e-mail account of 5 Go with every domain.

Dynadot, because it allows domain tasting. If you impulsively buy a domain you later regret, they'll buy it back.

Reminds me of a blog post I wrote on why we buy bad domain names: https://medium.com/@jasoncomely/why-i-buy-bad-domain-names-e...

Correction: Why _you_ buy bad domain names. It's even in the URL and title on medium.com ;)

I got a ton of domains as well, but it's largely having a positive effect on me. Once I have the domain for a project I'm working on, I always end up at least shipping a MVP, as otherwise I feel like I'm spending money on something I'm not using. If I didn't get the domain, I'd probably end up releasing nothing, instead of something. Some projects survives longer than that.

Gandi has been working well for me. It just chugs along. Good UI. Doesn't try to upsell me anything or be my friend. All the mails I received in 5+ years were purely transactional: payments and notifications for expiring domains where I don't have auto-renewal enabled.

Surely that is true for other registrars as well, but I've had no reason to look further.

I prefer Dynadot https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24507331

But I don’t know if they support .SE though.

For .SE domains, Frobbit seems reliable, but I haven’t tested them myself https://frobbit.se/

Dynadot are crooks - big warning to people, see my reply above.

InternetWorx - inwx.net


I moved mine to google because it's pretty much zero stupid. I do sometimes feel captured by the borg.

I am using Google domains. Haven't had any complaints, neither from friends nor from here at HN.

Ranking the domain providers I've used: 1. Google Domains (Simple and easy) 2. Namecheap (Pretty decent) 3. Gandi.net. Perfectly fine. 4. Godaddy (cheap/ubiqutous, a bit of a hassle) 5. Oneandone. Spammed me constantly.

I've been using easydns. They have very good support and have lots of nice features (including lots of experimental new DNS stuff.) The owners of the company have principles I agree with and the site is easy to use.

I use iwantmyname both for myself and my company and they have always been excellent. Loads of domains (I've never had a problem with something not being supported), good support, system works really well for me too.

I’ve used iwantmyname.com for years and am very happy with them. I’ve got around 50 domains in there but have managed as many as 150 through them before. Good support when I’ve needed it and simple but powerful interface.

Honorable mention: https://njal.la/

It's great if you don't like giving away your personal data. They accept payments with cryptocurrencies as well.

We have been using https://www.domaininfo.com/ for a long time and have been satisfied with them. They are based in Sweden.

gandi.net has been ok for me.

I agree, I've experimented with maybe 15 over the last 20 years and Gandi is the best in my experience.

Most of the large cloud services companies have registrar arms: AWS, Google Cloud, etc. I currently use Gandi.net but am considering a transfer to my AWS account to simplify my security posture.

I asked this exact question about a week ago:


Porkbun & Namesilo is what I ended up with over many years.

Dynadot has been my preference for some time. I migrated everything from Godaddy a few years ago. It offers Who Is privacy as standard and don't spam me every day.

I have used Dynadot 3x over past few years. Right now I have dispute for a domain I transferred to them this week.

#1 Needed to edit the email on account. There form on account info is crippled preventing users from changing account email! Never thought there was problem with them until discovering them. And it turns out from searching online this problem has existed for years and part of a scam. I have an actual email reply from a Rep stating that the 'site was unstable' and that form was fixed. Well, it is isn't I have captured video demo and screens on it, logged in right now and nope. Lies.

They do this as part a scam long story short and you can search 'dynadot scam' and see same story dating back years. In 9/2020 I attempted their phone support -> no answer, voicemail. Website contact form > broken. Chat - rep ip banned me!. Again I took screenshot.

Attempted immediate transfer to Namecheap. Transfer would not go through. Finally got a direct email address, threatened them. Rep straight out lied and said their was the 60-day lock. Dynadot violates ICANN regulation where all domain providers must offer opt-in/opt-out or by default it's obviously opt out and they cannot simply implement the restriction to prevent transfer-out. Dynadot said it was locked and they cannot change it. After citing regulation and threat within hour it was released. Next since immediately cancelling and transferring out, requested refund - nightmare of lies, denying the transfer purchase from 4 days ago!

Gave them paypal transaction # and their own invoice and order #. Of course I have the invoice pdf and receipt. 3 agents lied. I retained email of total deceit and lies.

Again you can search online and fine a laundry of incidents. Also on my web account, which I am logged in right now, saw this, signed up on this site for a first post to warn people, they have zero records on the account of the purchase or any previous invoices! However there is a section clearly showing 3 former domains (a record legally required for ICANN) including the transfer out for a couple days ago. LIES. And of course there are paypal records.

Nightmare dispute - search for dynadot scam - it is shocking how long this is going on. Dynadot needs to lose the ICANN accreditation for several violation of the regulation and any consciousable developer need to boycott them and push this. This has gone for years. Even I never caught on due the fact I never needed to change the email on account, or perform a quick transfer in/out for a client.

Dynadot operates criminally, deceptively and in violation of ICANN rules, yet they are still accredited and nothing is changing. We need grassroots support to have ICANN discredit them.


The other domain name providers I still have on my list are Namecheap (who are not perfect, but do have rapid customer support - hit or miss with first-line support people, but there ARE adept supervisors over there). The other Name.com, which I have not used in a while.

But DYNADOT = SCAM ARTISTS. Crippled design, forms and tactics to force unopted locks, with worse scenario steal domain names and various internet and actual US law violations. Again, research the last decade of complaints for my exact issue, extortion attempts and domain name theft.

Boycott. Hope this saves people a nightmare. I have lost many hours over this, still dealing with it to-date - no refund, no account deletion. And I had to transfer to Namecheap and deal with an attempt by the on top of all the other issues to block my transfer out. Out of 20 years of dealing with domains regularly for personal and clients - Dynadot = crooks, officially worst registrar ever.

ALSO Dynadot does NOT offer the good privacy third-party like namecheap. They offer and route the email through their OWN!!

PROOF https://www.whois.com/whois/superprivacyservice.com

superprivacyservice - their own.. On my attempt to immediately cancel and transfer out, the domain was not being released because there own "superprivacyservice" shady criminal middleman did not route the contact email to namecheap.

Please someone with push at ICANN cancel them. any lawyers?? if you can contact me here, please do.


1. No questions asked 48 hour cancellation 2. Free WHOIS 3. Cheapest in most TLDs 4. Most user friendly Dashboard and processes 5. Plethora of payment options (crypto included)

Namecheap.com And maybe still.. Name.com although not cheap.

Dynadot = crooks. Research. Search and see my extended reply/post below. Nightmare scenario.

NameSilo is very good and been using it for years

Well, you basically started with the worst one, so things are looking up for you!

For my defense it was probably more than 20 years ago. Lazyness is always a good excuse.

It’s hard to convey over text, but I definitely intended to be lighthearted about it!

I know I was once a GoDaddy customer, too. For the time, they were fine.

For personal projects I use Gandi, for work I use AWS Route53 Domains.

I've always used Gandi and have no complains

how about domain.google?

They've automatically deleted domains based on user generated content without any real support to contact. They might be the worst.

I use joker.com.


I have my domains somewhere else, but iwantmyname their domain buy page is definitely one of my favourites, all those TLDs!

I'm surprised to don't see more mentions about iwantmyname. I'm very happy with their service.

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