General Question

bolwerk's avatar

Network Solutions is evil. What domain registrar do you recommend and why?

Asked by bolwerk (10322points) June 23rd, 2012

I have some clients who use Network Solutions, and have for a decade or more. Every once in a while a domain they park or even regularly use expires because they didn’t notice the renewal e-mail. (I half-suspect NetSol doesn’t make these very obvious!) So, anyway, for as long as I can remember, renewing was no big deal if an expiration happened by accident. Now, suddenly, NetSol is charging a “reinstatement fee” for renewals after the registration period has lapsed. This is disingenuous for at least two reasons: (1) registering a new domain is less than the fee plus the renewal and (2) it seems very unlikely it costs NetSol a penny to renew a domain.

NetSol costs more than other registrars and offers terrible service. The only reason I stayed as long as I did is they were convenient and moving seemed like a drag. Well, I’m beyond the point where I care to stay any longer. They’re just awful. If the above isn’t bad enough, when it comes time to renew, you have to say no to numerous services they hawk at you. Everything about them just seems arduous. So, I’d like to be done with NetSol – between my personal problems with them and all the other evil they do, I don’t see any point in giving them more money than I have to (which will still be some, since they wholesale dot-com and others out). I have a few clients using them, perhaps totaling a dozen or so domains. Ideally, I’d like them all to go to the same new registrar at my recommendation. I have other clients using register.com and godaddy.com, and both services seem fine to me – but then, I don’t deal with the nitty-gritty of these two either.

If you want to skip the above rant and get to the point: Any thoughts on a decent registrar? Transfer pitfalls? Fine print I should look out for? Other nefarious practices? Poor corporate-social responsibility on the part of anyone? (You’ll note I link to a BBC article where a right-wing Dutch politician complains about NetSol bungling some complaints about a domain that was intended to market his anti-Islamic film. While I don’t think I would find the film agreeable, I don’t like the idea of a company, which in this case should be a common carrier, that seems willing to commit a blatant act of censorship either. I would prefer to put my money towards a company that doesn’t exhibit such behavior.)

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16 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I like godaddy.com, I guess. I have never used anyone else but I have never really “shopped around” or compared one service to another either. I just use godaddy.

jrpowell's avatar

I use http://www.namecheap.com/ for DNS and Linode for hosting.

Namecheap was painless. No bullshit upselling on every click like godaddy. The control panel is easy and fast. After the SOPA crap I switched all mine off godaddy to namecheap.

I haven’t even had to think about it since I switched.

lillycoyote's avatar

@johnpowell How is namecheap’s customer service? I have found godaddy’s customer service to be, relatively, pretty good. I always get a friendly, helpful, actual human on the line in a few minutes.

jrpowell's avatar

I have never had to use the customer service at namecheap. If it makes you feel any better Fluther uses name cheap too.

lillycoyote's avatar

@johnpowell I didn’t feel bad to begin with, but thanks. :-)

bolwerk's avatar

@lillycoyote: Well, you sound like you’re on GoDaddy for the same reason I have clients with dozens of names on NetSol! At least a few of them were there back when NetSol was the only option.

@johnpowell: I had forgotten about the SOPA crap. Thank you for reminding me. Yes, that was definitely quite evil too. Still, GoDaddy is looking downright saintly next to NetSol right now.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. Obviously, none of these companies are likely to be perfect. NetSol just seems over the top. I definitely want to move, but would like to see what people have to say about different registrars. All told, I’m likely moving about $1200/year in business from NetSol plus wayward “reinstatement fees,” which they can stick where the sun don’t shine.

lillycoyote's avatar

@bolwerk I’m not big user. I don’t buy a lot of domain names and I don’t buy them for business purposes; just for personal reasons. Godaddy works fine for me. That’s all I’ve got. I’ve never had a problem with them and godaddy works fine for me. Other people may have other and more complicated and more specific needs and wants than I do.

bolwerk's avatar

@lillycoyote: that’s fine. Obviously, “no problems” is useful information too!

silverfly's avatar

Godaddy not only offers domains, you can now get porn there too!

funkdaddy's avatar

For the most part I’d say just register with whoever you host with. It makes it easiest.

The exceptions would be GoDaddy and Network Solutions. Network Solutions you’ve found out about. I’d actually deal with them before GoDaddy.

This could be pages on why, but the days worth of time I’ve wasted in trying to get support from GoDaddy, only to have them repeatedly try to upsell me to something I really don’t need is the biggest issue. Support people are sales people and I don’t know if they’re ever trained on anything beyond what the buttons in the GoDaddy admin panels do and what upgrades to push when people call in. I don’t blame them individually, but that’s the culture of GoDaddy, the only way they help is when you buy something more. If that doesn’t fix the problem, maybe you should buy something else?

Most people are there either because it’s the only host they know, or the price seems nice. But if you have to buy upgrades for things that should be included, suddenly that price isn’t so great.

I don’t want to be the crazy internet ranter so I’ll just summarize like this. When a customer already has GoDaddy hosting and wants me to build them a site, I offer to split the costs of their first year of hosting somewhere else if they’ll switch.

I’d rather spend the time and money on the transfer than deal with GoDaddy when something goes wrong. Spending hours and days waiting for support that never materializes make me look bad and it’s happened often enough that I can’t dismiss it as a bad experience.

For alternatives, people love NameCheap, I do all my simple hosting with DreamHost so I just handle my registrations there too. The pricing is similar between most of them.

phaedryx's avatar

I agree that Network Solutions is evil, and I’ll never use GoDaddy again (I think their site is frustrating, their upsells are annoying, their SOPA stance is awful, the whole “go daddy girl” thing is sexist, etc.)

The top two that my friends use are namecheap and gandi.

bolwerk's avatar

@funkdaddy: I can’t register who I host with, since my clients tend to self-host on wholesaled bandwidth or at least use data center bandwidth. Plus, I can see where that would be a can of worms at some companies. But I will keep GoDaddy’s evil in mind.

Anyway, thanks @funkdaddy and @phaedryx

General FYI I should have mentioned in the original question: I’m not hosting on any of these, and I think I never will. I just need the domain registration, and a few of my clients use the built-in DNS service because the effort of maintaining a DNS server these days is hardly worth it. So terrible hosting is not a dealbreaker, though I’m happy to avoid GoDaddy’s evil as cheerfully as I’d avoid NetSol’s.

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