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Gandi.net will contribute $1 per inbound transfer to EFF until Jan 15th (gandi.net)
179 points by mrcalzone on Dec 29, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

I am a huge fan of Gandi. Yes, they are slightly more expensive than other services, but I find their user interface not just good, but really quite amazing.

One simple but obvious feature they have is the ability to create DNS presets and apply those for new domains, it's really useful. (other people probably offer this)

Gandi also has fantastic support; it is slightly sad that they do not have a telephone number, but I get the vibe that Gandi is a real technology company and they believe they can offer premium support with support email. I agree, but I'd still like a telephone number for burning issues.

My only real complaint is that they have an unbelievably stupid login system where you log in not with a username, nor with an email address, but with an entirely random username. Mine is: PC5669-GANDI. It's infuriating if you ever need to use Gandi on a different computer. Why they saw it suitable to put their company name at the end of every login is puzzling.

Honestly though, its a minor criticism, and I love their "no bullshit" policy: http://www.gandi.net/no-bullshit

In my experience it is true.

Agreed on the "stupid login system" part.

I accidentally found out that you can actually cut out everything after and including the hyphen and it will still work.

I'm not certain, but I have a feeling this is some crazy French law. The other French company I work with on a regular basis (OVH) do this also.

This is called a NIC handle : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NIC_handle

This is not some crazy French law; Gandi has been in the registrar business for quite a long time and OVH loves standards :-)

Good spot, thanks :) Never even occurred to me it would be registrar related, as I don't use OVH as a registrar - they must apply the same standard to all their customers.

I also use Gandi. I moved away from godaddy some years ago, and I am happy with the change. Good customer support, clean interface. If only they changed their brain-dead login system, and made their web work with something other than firefox, they'd be awesome.

Does their DNS management interface support all of the major RR types? Ie, A, AAAA, MX, TXT, CNAME, NS, SRV? Most don't seem to support AAAA and SRV.

Also, do they support DNSSEC? Ie, can I use their web interface to upload DS records to my domains parent zone?

Not sure about individual record types, but Gandi allows you to upload raw zone files.

I've had a great experience with their VPS service as well. I chose it just because it was the cheapest one I found when I briefly looked around, but I've had 100% uptime for the entire 6 months I've had it.

The username thing is indeed very annoying though.

One trick I use if I forget my login is to whois my domain. The handle should be under one of the three domain contacts.

Gandi.net has revocation polices similar to GoDaddy where they can impose their own morality at revoking your domain.

As does NameCheap and pretty much every other registrar.

Here is the relevant text for NameCheap:

Namecheap may also cancel the registration of a domain name, after thirty (30) days, if that name is being used, as determined by Namecheap in its sole discretion, in association with spam or morally objectionable activities.

Morally objectionable activities will include, but not be limited to 1) activities designed to defame, embarrass, harm, abuse, threaten, slander or harass third parties; 2) activities prohibited by the laws of the United States and/or foreign territories in which you conduct business; 3) activities designed to encourage unlawful behavior by others, such as hate crimes, terrorism and child pornography; 4) activities that are tortious, vulgar, obscene, invasive of the privacy of a third party, racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable; activities designed to impersonate the identity of a third party; 5) and activities designed to harm or use unethically minors in any way.

Worth noting that Gandi is not a US company and has no telephone number to call in case you need real, live support.

Gandi might not have a US number for support but they are incorporated in the US.

The owner and publisher of this website is Gandi SAS, a simplified joint-stock company registered under French law with a capital of 37,000 Euros.

Registered with the Paris RCS – French Trade Registry - under number 423 093 459. Intracommunal VAT number FR81423093459

Headquarters: 63-65 boulevard Massena, Paris (75013), France Telephone: +33.(1) Fax: +33.(1)

US office: Gandi US Inc. 124 Lakefront Drive Hunt Valley, MD 21030 Fax: +1.410-449-4499

Is that for material you host under their hosting services, or does that really include sites that only use their domain registration, and host the content elsewhere?

Care to elaborate a bit more on this?

From their blog:

> "For example, Gandi does not tolerate activity that is morally objectionable or that poses a threat to public order" [1]

From their domain registration terms:

> "Consequently, You commit Yourself to assuring that Our services are used in a licit manner and in conformity to Our Ethical standards" [2]

> "You commit Yourself to choosing and using Your domain name and Our services in a way that constantly respects the rights of third parties (intellectual property laws, personality rights, image rights, and the respect of private life, trademarks, etc.)"

From their general conditions of service:

> "By accepting Our Contracts and using Our services, You agree to abide to Our code of ethics which consists, in particular, of protecting and respecting minors, human dignity, public order and good moral standards, not infringing on the rights of third parties (private life, image, honor and reputation, trademarks, designs and models, copyrights, etc.) or the security of persons, property, the government, or the good working order of public institutions, and to help in the fight against abusive and/or deviant uses of the Internet (spamming, phishing, hacking, cracking, or attempts at hacking or cracking), or any other infraction as cited in the Penal Code." [3]

So Gandi reserves the right to revoke your domain name if it determines you violate one of their "good moral standards", or anyone makes any copyright claim against you. They essentially gave themselves contractual power to police the content of the sites on domains purchased through them.

1: http://www.gandibar.net/post/2007/01/11/Gandi-fights-back-ag...

2: https://www.gandi.net/static/contracts/en/g1/pdf/domain_name...

3: https://www.gandi.net/static/contracts/en/g2/pdf/MSA-1.0-EN....

So much for "no bullshit."

My goodness.

So someone tell me, which registrar then actually has sensible terms & policies?


Though they only offer .org, .net, and .com and I believe the main form of payment is through paypal.

> NearlyFreeSpeech.NET reserves the right at any time and for any reason, including but not limited to your violation of these TACOS, to limit, suspend, or terminate your use of the Services and to discard any of your Content. Such termination of your use of the Services may be performed without prior notice, and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET may immediately deactivate or delete your Content and all related files relating to the Services and/or bar all access to the same. NearlyFreeSpeech.NET will not be liable to you or to any third party for any termination of your access to Services.


Nearly every provider has such a clause (including Nearlyfreespeech, Namecheap, and Gandi). I'd rather judge based on actions than on legalese.

Indeed, everyone has the "we're not liable if we terminate your service" legalese, but not everyone has the stated free speech mission statement on NFS's About Us page: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/

You're right in wanting to judge by actions rather than some CYA phrasing in a terms & conditions. NFS has a track record of backing up that free speech mission with action. And then there's Dynadot, who continue to host the wikileaks.org domain, and the DNS after EasyDNS dropped them. If Gandi has a similar track record, I'd love to hear it.

They do have a track record for supporting open soure, free culture and even environmental organizations: https://www.gandi.net/supports/

NFS.N also accepts major credit cards.

Ahhhh, I just transferred three domains there a couple of days ago! Sorry EFF! If I'd known they were going to do this, I'd have waited.

Guess I'll just have to donate directly...

Don't they have a term whereby they can take your domain if they want to (or rather, decide they could make more money that way)? ISTR that was why I avoided Gandi.net last time I bought a domain.

Hmm, yeah, you're right: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/05/googlesharing_cert_r...

Revoked SSL based on trademark and Whois information.

Although the article does provide an update which says:

The reason for the certificate being revoked was because of the inaccurate whois data. Certificates really are a seal of trust, but that cannot be based on falsified whois data. It was right to revoke the certificate for this reason, but not without being in contact with the customer. We have reviewed and changed our processes to rectify this.


Mr. Marlinspike bought a SSL certificate from Gandi by giving them wrong personal information. When Gandi revoked the certificate, the support guys first wrongly communicated that it was probaly due to a trademark dispute, but it was actually just about the wrong whois information.[1]

Ok, miscommunications happen, but what really irks me about Mr. Marlinspike is that he later went on to complain about how companies did not do enough to verify the whois information for SSL certificates.[2] Which was, as we know, the reason why his SSL certificate was revoked.

What do we learn from this: Give correct whois information and your domain will be fine. For trademark disputes there is the UDRP process[3] which not just Gandi but also most other registrars (including namecheap) have agreed to.

1: http://www.gandibar.net/post/2010/04/06/TheRegistercouk-comm...

2: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/11/state_of_ssl_analysi...

3: http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp.htm

I have skimmed the contract, and that does not appear to be the case. Of course I am not a lawyer, and I could have missed something.

Both their general service terms and domain registration terms include ethic/morality clauses.


I've been using gandi for a long time and they've always been good to me. I like their "no bullshit" philosophy and their respect for my rights as a domain owner.

At $15 for a .com, they're almost double what I'd pay at either Namecheap or Name.com.

I couldn't find it easily, but are there better prices for transfers?

It's $8/yr til the end of 2011.

I recently asked them why they charge more than competitors for, this was the response:

Thank you for contacting Gandi Customer Care. It is true, Gandi does charge slightly more for domains than some other registrars. We do feel that we are still affordable, however. The reason we need to charge a small premium is that we have a different business model than other, larger companies, and cannot get by on razor-thin margins. We are a commercial organization, certainly, and we do make money, but we also support the community of innovators in the hosting and domain name management space, and we do not advertise, but rely on word of mouth for our marketing. We do not buy market share with ads, and we do not make empty promises to capture customers. We also include some services (such as a free year of SSL certificates and the ability to obfuscate your whois data) that other registrars tend to charge incrementally for. This is because we believe that your data is yours. We will never sell your private information as some others do, and so we do not have that revenue stream.

We appreciate your willingness to consider Gandi as an ethical, no-bullshit alternative to GoDaddy. Right now a lot of domains are available at $8/yr through the end of 2011. We hope you will join us.

If they don't advertise, shouldn't their costs be lower? Also, I'd rather they charge incrementally for services. Charging more for forced bundling of unwanted services only benefits them.

Since they don't advertise, they don't have as much volume. So, if you assume a similar cost to provide services, they require a higher margin.

I don't know about transfers but new domains get one year free one domain SSL certificates too. I have most of my domains with Gandi and their management website is a breeze.

How is such a small amount of money even a concern for most tech companies and people? This is an honest question.

I don't like mentality like you represent in this post, not everyone who buys domains is a funded tech company or anything like that. In the end if a company is offering the same service at a lower price why would you not go with that one? What makes you think Gandi.net is worth more than Namecheap? They seem to offer the same service and ethics as Gandi. And the difference is a take out meal where I live, I'll take the sandwich and domain if you give me the choice.

I don't like the mentality you represent in this post, not everyone who buys domains has the time to haggle over $5. The time saved not worrying about $5 could be used to get a take out meal where I live. ;)

Why would I pay $15 when I can pay $10 and get great service?

Does Gandi offer something that others don't?

As for the amount, I'll admit that it isn't a great deal, but while $5 won't break me, it's a matter of scale. I've been transitioning from GoDaddy for awhile now, but at the moment, I still have about 20 domains hosted with them.

20 x $5 is $100, which means I can be free of GoDaddy for $x with Name.com, for $x + 100 with Gandi. Again, why would I pay more when there are known good options for less?

Can anybody tell me how to transfer domains + DNS to Gandi without downtime?

I'm pretty sure the right way to go about it is to move DNS first, but it seems Gandi does not support this (unlike Namecheap).

My DNS is hosted with the current registrar which, shall we say, is not terribly pleased with people leaving. So I would not put it past them to cut off my DNS service.

I use gandi.net for all my domains. A tiny bit pricier than namecheap, but excellent service and management.

Me too, been using gandi for many years. It isn't the cheapest, but the service has always been great, and they would never be on the wrong side of something like SOPA.

I've used Gandi for two years now, and my advice can be summed in one word: avoid. Absolutely atrocious, horrible support. No live chat. No phone number. And it took them THREE full days and two "reminder" emails to respond to me on a system critical issue. This is not acceptable - and it quite frankly goes against their "slogan." On the flip side, I've found Namecheap support and value to be far greater. So I support them wholeheartedly.

I previously supported GoDaddy because they were based out of the US and had local US support.

Same reason I recently switched to NameCheap during the whole 'GoDaddy supports SOPA' affair.

Gandi.net headquarters is based out of Paris, France (although they do have a US office).

One thing to bear in mind.

You have to keep in mind that the location of the registar doesn't matter since SOPA lets the US government go directly to Verisign.

Verisign is still vulnerable to alternative DNS regimes.

Few days I tried to move my GoDaddy domain to Gandi.net, and GoDaddy denied my request because apparently the domain is registered privately. Why should I expose my name just to transfer?

You should have asked yourself that question before you registered at Godaddy. If you do not want your name to be associated with your domain, you are now locked in forever. To be honest, I don't even know if other registrars do it any different. (I only know that Nearlyfreespeech.net does not lock you in that way, but not about others like namecheap.)

Gandi.net does not offer full whois privacy by the way, so your name will always be revealed.

Note though that it is just your name and not other associated information.

Privacy can be expensive. If you are in the US, you could try getting a PO box. Post offices around me have them for as low as $42/year. That is about three years of domain registration, but if you have multiple domains or want to keep your home address off the Internet, the cost can be worth it. Plus, now you have a different address for things and it's a locked box that's difficult to break into.

On a related note, does anybody here use Gandi's VPS services? The pricing seems interesting but I don't know how reliable they are.

I used them for a while and performance was better than Linode (I used baltimore datacentre) but what made me stop was the lack of automatic billing.

After that I switched to slicehost who's equivalent VM performs even better however I don't think you can sign up for that anymore now they've been assimilated by Rackspace.

Didn't have any unscheduled downtime over 6 months on Gandi.

If only they were doing this a few days ago when I transfered a handfull...

and if you're a programmer we will donate $5 if you solve our programming puzzle on http://fightsopa.org

I like gandi.net, but struggled and failed to justify using them for domains at work.

The third word on their site is an expletive. This made it too difficult to justify in a Powerpoint presentation.

Don't put their slogan on a Powerpoint presentation then. Also, your corporate culture could use some lightening up (you may not have the power to do this, just saying.)

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