Which Registrar to use?

I’m looking to buy a domain for hosting a few services (really only Jellyfin for now), but don’t know the best one? Does it matter? I’ve looked at gandi.net. Is there anything I need to know special before buying or special steps when setting up the registration? Thanks!

No experience of gandi.net personally but …

I’m in the process of moving from 123Reg (yuck) to Namecheap who I’ve heard plenty of positive things about, and they are cheap… for domain names… which I suppose is obvious :roll_eyes:

Why yuck?

I’ve used 123 for years, probably well over a decade at this point and haven’t had any real issues with them?

I’ve found them expensive every time I’ve compared a TLD with other registrars, their website functions a bit flaky, their support scripty sounding and the one time I tried to remove some card details they didn’t allow it (though I don’t remember now if that was because I was trying to remove the only card on file, which would be understandable).

Edit: having just checked there is an option to remove payment method, and the site was okay navigating to that page so perhaps all of my opinion is now based in historical observations but either way I’m still switching to Namecheap.

I have to admit I’ve never compared their pricing to other services, because the majority of the names I’ve bought from them have all been about £10-£15 per year, which is cheap enough for me :slight_smile:

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I have no affiliation but I moved from GoDaddy way back in the day to Namecheap and have been happy with them. They offer a lot beyond name registration as well so it’s a good company for internet things in general.

I personally use njalla. It looks like it may be designed for advanced users but I have no experience to compare it to. It has worked well for me for the past couple of months that I have been using it. Their primary focus is privacy so it will be more expensive than other options.

What privacy options vs something like Namecheap (since that seems to be the most recommended other registrar)? What do I give up privacy-wise registering my own anyways?

I don’t have experience with gandi. I personally use https://www.hover.com/. They’ve been great to use. They don’t try to upsell you on add-ons etc.and you’re able to reach someone for support if needed.

I have been happy with Namecheap as they have great customer service where you can chat with anyone 24 hours a day, and they also include free Dynamic DNS service which I use.

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What is the benefit of dynamic DNS if you’re registering your own site?

I am definitely not comfortable with this arrangement. You don’t own your domain, they do. ICANN manages all registrars who in turn sell domain registrations as a service. This company is a middle man who buys and owns the domain on your behalf. I guess if you had some legitimate concern about being associated with a domain you could see this as a positive but I have seen too many people held hostage by a third party who owns their domain.

From their FAQ:

You are required to provide your full name, address, phone number and email per ICANN policy. If you falsify information and there is ever a dispute they can (and most likely will) take the domain away. If you don’t want this information to be made public you can you use a proxy service to hide it. Namecheap offers WhoisGuard as a free service to mask your identity however they (Namecheap) obviously know who you are. I personally don’t have an issue with this and do use WhoisGuard so I don’t get spammed when I register new domains.

Dynamic DNS is used when the IP address associated with a hostname or domain is not static and thus can change randomly. When your device’s public IP changes, it notifies the dynamic DNS service of the new IP so it can resolve properly.

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Thank you so much for going in depth with all of that. If end up with a Digital Ocean droplet, it would be unlikely that IP address would change, right? Or am I mistaken there?

Also, since you seem to know a lot about this, is there a resource you have used in the past when setting up a domain? Thanks!

My pleasure! It’s something I happen to know a lot about so I’m happy to share my knowledge. Your DO IP will not change unless you want it to so you won’t need dynamic DNS. I don’t have a guide off hand since I’ve been doing this for so many years. I can try to find something for you or you are welcome to ask questions. Let me know.

Thanks for the thorough argument. I personally value easy privacy protections more than control over a specific domain (even my username is just a short sequence of random letters; I would not be too upset about losing it). Also, any domains I “purchase” are just for personal experience and therefore do not require much control. Despite this, I understand others may not be in the same boat as I am. Thank you for pointing that out.

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Actually there were changes made in 2018 from ICAAN which the information is no longer publicly listed anymore. In fact there is not even a method for contact the owner via email.

https://www.lathropgpm.com/newsletter-71333.html

The Namecheap new “Whoisguard” actually allows you to put in contact information if you wish.

https://www.namecheap.com/security/whoisguard/

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I have been using Hover for several years now. The fact that they do not push a bunch of add-ons and confusing mumbo-jumbo into the process, give their clients privacy protection in whois by default (not an add-on) are big wins for the customer experience. Their dashboard is clean and easy to navigate for the management of your domains as well.

Another plus for Hover is that they are a Tucows company. Tucows properties have had a good history of being for net neutrality, simple billings, and pro-consumer rights. Many community members may have heard of another property, Ting.

Another vote for gandi here. I have used all manner of registrars over the last 20 years. gandi is the only one I’d recommend.

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I have used Namecheap for many years now. I dont remember when I moved to them but they have pretty good prices and they also provide WhoIs privacy for FREE which is a very nice bonus.

There are some other options but I think Namecheap is quite good for domains. They arent stellar for hosting but their domains service is solid.

If you do decide to use Namecheap then be sure to use my affiliate link for them :smiley:

https://destinationlinux.network/namecheap

Also they offer coupons for new registrations and transfers so be sure to use one of those on checkout after you use the link above for giving me affiliate credit. :smiley:

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Not sure how I haven’t come across them before but I’m going to give them a try. I don’t dislike Namecheap but it’s always a good idea to have an alternative.