It's been a long time since I've had to register a new domain.

What registrar is considered geek and sysadmin friendly?

I've heard that godaddy will screw you 10 ways to Sunday, and a lot of the other ones basically only lease you the domain. So if I want to own the domain and not get screwed, who's the best these days, and why?

  • Product and service recommendations are off topic per the FAQ.
    – sysadmin1138
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 23:51

23 Answers 23


I've used Namecheap for many years and haven't had any trouble. Good prompt service when a registry somehow deleted a name from existence, they helped me get it working again right away (they did all the dealings with the registry).

  • Agree. I also like them. Though they tend to put ads on your inactive domains.
    – Mastermind
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 11:08
  • +1, namecheap is great. Especially after I came to them from registerfly :)
    – Karolis T.
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 13:26
  • I only had one problem with Namecheap. They let my domain expire without notifying me so I lost it to a squatter.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 14, 2009 at 22:17

Not sure what you've heard about GoDaddy, but I use them for about 200 of my domains and have been really happy. I've registered, transfered in and out, used their DNS, domain parking, etc., and not had any problems.

I've also transfered several domains there for my clients who were having (bad) problems elsewhere, and they've been very happy.

I think the trick is not to use them for ANYTHING except the registration/transfer/dns/pointing related services. All their other services I have tried kind of sucked. Definitely wouldn't do the hosting again, or the email, etc.

When you are checking out, just look carefully for the buttons that say "no crap for me, just proceed to checkout." They are usually tiny, gray, and next to the huge red buttons that say "sell me crap!"


About their phone support, I don't use it much, but have had mostly good experiences.

There have been a couple times when I got idiots who knew less than I do about their services, but usually, their people are fairly pleasant and competent. When I get someone like that, I just hang up and call back.

Edit Again:

I also like their 80% revenue parking. I used to get about 3 - 5 cents per click with Sedo, and I now get between .20 cents and a dollar per click with GoDaddy, so their cashparking is pretty good, at least compared to my previous experiences.

  • Agreed, it's a jungle when registering domains there - but other than that it's rock stable service and low prices.
    – pauska
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 8:14
  • 3
    I've been with GoDaddy for several years now and recently moved my hosting there and have had no complaints. As said before, just make sure to ignore all the add on services they want to sell you when you register, and you'll be set.
    – Dillie-O
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 17:09
  • I second GoDaddy... their prices are cheap and it has been solid for the last year or so.
    – sucuri
    Commented Jun 30, 2009 at 21:06
  • I got double billed by them once and was unable to get it corrected, but they're so cheap that I still saved money with them despite that. I use them for e-mail as well as DNS and it's been solid. Heard lots of horror stories from other people, but I imagine an registrar will be like that. Commented Jul 14, 2009 at 12:49
  • GoDaddy expressly disallows internationalized domain names, like http://☃.net Commented Dec 5, 2009 at 16:53

Gandi is an awesome registrar !

  • 2
    I agree. Gandi is cheap and is very professional. Furthermore they have a really light and functional website, ad free.
    – Benoit
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 8:15

Look at dyndns.com, which is all about DNS. These guys know their stuff. They don't just do dynamic DNS, they also do static as well. Their nameservers are geographically dispersed, they're fully redundant, and their web interface is straightforward. They claim only a single outage in years and years of service.

They will gladly register your domain for you as part of their service.

And you control your domain, not them.

  • 3
    While I haven't registered any permanent domains with them, they've offered me fast, free, rock-stable dyndns domains for 5+ years now. From that perspective, highly recommended!
    – w00t
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 11:45
  • 1
    I also have been using them for 5+ yeas for many domains - customdns - they have been very solid - and their support has been fantastic
    – aSkywalker
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 11:56
  • 1
    I have used their custom dns for about 8 years now, without any problem. Highly recommended!
    – some
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 22:25
  • I use their enterprise side (dynect) for work DNS, but they don't accept .uk transfers, so we use daily.co.uk for registrations. I do use them for my personal domains, though, and they're excellent. Also, read their blog: dyn.com/open-dialogue/dynamic-discourse/… is funny. Commented May 14, 2011 at 14:55

I use and recommend Nearly Free Speech

Their domains are fairly priced at $8.59 per year and as a geek I like their philosophy.

Domains page: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/services/domains.php

Philosophy: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/background.php

NOTE: Dreamhost should probably be moved into another answer.

I also use Dreamhost but recently the maximum term you can register or renew is 2 years so I am moving most of my domains to NFS in the near future.


I've used PairNIC for a number of years. The service is absolutely utterly rock solid, the web site is no-nonsense, and if you have a question a real live US-based human answers with a useful answer. They concentrate on providing a good service rather than being famous for annoying advertising like a certain other registrar.

They aren't the cheapest out there, but IMO they're really top-notch. If your domain isn't worth 13 bucks a year to do things right, you have much bigger problems.


I'm in Canada and use Webnames. They are the company that grew out of the original .CA registry, so they've been around a long time.

CON: They don't offer any big discounts on name registration, just small ones for multiple years.

PRO: They're stable and reliable. As a registrar, they're always going to be there, and their hosting services are solid. If you have any questions, you are usually talking to a person on the phone within a minute. If you have any obscure problems or requests, they can deal with them. Their website is straightforward and even though they offer a bunch of hosting services, they don't push them on you.


I use GoDaddy, but only because thats who I chose years ago. I have never had any problems with them, but i feel like their site is purposefully misleading and confusing. It almost impossible to checkout without accidentally buying some crap that you dont need.

Also, although I have never had to call them, I have heard their customer service is horrible.

  • Agree. Their page is so obscured through all that additional crap that you fell you'd rather take shower now and then go somewhere else.
    – Mastermind
    Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 11:09
  • I've had to call them 2x, both times the agent knew what they were talking about and my issue was solved in under 10 minutes. Mind you both cases were nothing serious, but I didn't need to keep re-explaining it to them. Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 15:03
  • I am an expert at not buying extra crap at GoDaddy, it took me 5 years of training and I need a couple of hours a month of update training for when they change stuff. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 19:34
  • I agree with you JP. That will be my next in-service training topic: How to get out of the GdDaddy store without wiping out your budget.
    – cop1152
    Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 13:05

I've been very happy with EnomCentral. They are certainly more expensive than GoDaddy, but have solid nameservers.

  • Gotta be careful with EnomCentral. They are now called bulkregister and have a $99 yearly membership for "premium" features. Without the premium membership a 1 year .COM renewal will cost you $19.95, which is a bit expensive.
    – Greg Bray
    Commented Mar 15, 2010 at 4:45

I've been using NameSecure.com for many years now and they have always been great. Pretty much full zone file control and easy admin interface.


We have roughly 30 domains with Network Solutions, primarily because we have always used Network Solutions and changing existing domains is a pain. They are the "gold standard", having been around since the infancy of the internet.

1- The website is torturesome. It takes a many clicks and multiple screens to do anything, and their "order flow" interrupts repeatedly trying to trick you into adding services. IMHO this doesn't matter much is you are only dealing with a few domains.

2- They are expensive. That said, even expensive, registering domains is cheap.

a- They are rock-solid stable and absolutely not going away.

b- Their email reminders are timely and sensible.

One suggestion is to register with whoever will be doing the hosting. Then you only have "one throat to choke" to get the site running.

I registered a personal domain with GoDaddy via Google and it was smooth as silk. I also registered a personal domain with hosting at DreamHost and it went nicely.

  • I prefer godaddy's website to their's actually. Network solutions used to be good, but since they are so focused on selling you something now, I been switched to using godaddy. Figured since I have to put up with the marketing fluff anyway, might as well pay less. Commented Jun 25, 2009 at 15:05
  • Pre-GoDaddy, I had a bunch of domain names with Network Solutions. We moved because they just aren't worth the extra money. A lot more expensive, and they offer no advantages over the 'Daddy. Commented Jul 14, 2009 at 12:50

I very happy with TransIP. Especially because they have a very good DNS interface that allows things like TXT, SRV and AAAA records. Also their DNS editor gives an error if you try to define something that is not allowed by the specifications. Thus avoiding many unexpected issues.

Only drawback for many of you (not for me): Their site is in Dutch. As of 2014 they have an international site up at transip.eu.


Gradwell.com has geek/sys admin-friendly tech support


Here in .au, various organisations I've worked with have always had good results from Enetica.


NameBargain.com is Register.com's low-cost subsidiary. It is plain and simple with all the stuff a geek needs at a good price. I've been using them for many years and still very happy.

I did try GoDaddy a while back and generally they were OK. The major problem at the time was that they didn't support IDNs (internationalized domain names) - don't know if they do this now. And their checkout process was really annoying - it was almost impossible to get through it without buying all kinds of extras.


I personally use gkg.net, which has turned out to be pretty great. I just use them for registration, though. I use afraid.org for DNS, which is, in my opinion, an awesome free DNS service.


I used 1and1.com and GoDaddy. I have been using 1and1 since 2004, without a hitch. Last company I worked for they had over 5,000 domains with GoDaddy.


I used 1and1 and Godaddy as well. Godaddy support is in US. 1and1 customer support is offshore and if you require advanced help it takes more than a week. Both support is equally bad.


I've been using DomainsAtCost and everything has been great, though I don't have many domain names.


I've been using register4less.com and am pretty happy with them. Free whois privacy, so your name/address is not plastered all over whois records, plus simple and usable web interface.


I've used and liked Directnic.com for years. They're famous for being one of the only datacenters to be online during Katrina. The Livejournal diary is the best account of IT business continuity you'll ever read.


Yes, I'm a johnny-come-lately to this thread, but I was shocked that noone said Tucows.com (also known as OpenSRS.net). We've always used this registrar at my place of work, and I've been very happy with using them, especially lately. You can register any of the big TLDs and registering .ca domains is just as easy.

Also, they're not total boneheads. Their site is nice and clean and well laid-out. They let you do what you want with the domain, rather than the other way around.


name.com and networksolution.com

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