Domain Registration Done Right

I was turned on to easyDNS through TidBITS and Adam Engst, its publisher and my friend. I, like most right-thinking people, have been dissatisfied with Network Solutions since 1994. They have never seemed to master the most basic Web technologies: Web-based interfaces, passwords, self-service, databases, etc. It was beyond me that in 1996, they seemed to manage everything through email that was manually entered into databases. It's beyond me in 2002 that you can't seem to get them to perform a single transfer correctly, partly because they rely on a complicated system that involves email.

I've tried other domain registrars and been left cold. I won't mention them because none of them demonstrate the incompetence of Network Solutions, but rather just don't quite get it right. I've read a number of articles lately about how Network Solutions has allegedly tried to delay domain registrar transfers to frustrate users when their renewal fees are up.

easyDNS is a breath of fresh air. Their site is well-designed and easy to use. They immediately want you to create a single Web-based account accessed over SSL that you use to manage all of your contact information, domains, and payment. They also throw in more for a low fee than many registrars, including some limited DNS and mail record settings. You can park with them as well.

Their pricing isn't cheap, but they appear to deliver. After a few weeks of using them, changing records, dealing with their fast and accurate customer service, and trying to yet again get Network Solutions to update my email address in my GF41 handle on their system, I finally snapped. I checked and it's a simple procedure to transfer domains to easyDNS. You have to pay for a year in advance (at a discounted rate), but you have that year extended by however long was left on your current registration. This is brilliant on their part.

To transfer a domain, you login into your account, click the button to add domains, select transfer, and enter your domain name. You walk through a simple set of options to choose the new service and settings, and approve it. I set up six transfers, and then used their payment page to pay for all of them at once.

I immediately received third-party transfer agreements that required that I click a URL and enter a password provided in email; this method confirmed my email address was valid without having to send email back from it, which is Network Solutions stupid solution to most problems. The verification of transfer was quick and simple. Shortly after that, I received email from Network Solutions. Of course, their first link in the email was a way to stop the transfer. But the second was a subject line to be pastd in to reply email to confirm the transfer. Yup, that dratted email again.

A couple days have passed, and everything went swimmingly. My domains are transferred. I'm out of the clutches (mostly) of Network Solutions. Sure, I paid $25 per domain to transfer, but now I don't have to renew most of them for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years. In the meantime, all my settings are accessible via the Web, so if I need to change a nameserver pointer or update contact information, I'm not dependent on a system that's been more or less broken for eight years.

easyDNS also offers an affiliate program: the link at the head of this article includes my affiliate information. So far, I have received 1,300 points: 100 points equals $1 (or perhaps some other trade-in), which means that as people sign up via my link (which I also have on my home page; do you know how many people ask me for a good domain registrar?), my future fees will be discounted as well.