What Is Domain Privacy
It’s a well-know thing that, when we register a domain, we have to provide our contact information like email id, phone number, residential or office address (whatever applicable) to the domain registrar. A customer hands in this information basically to prove his or her authenticity but at the same time this contact information is also used by the service provider from time to time to contact the client. In case of domain theft, service provider has nothing but to use this contact information to determine the genuine and authentic owner of the domain.
When a domain is registered, your registrar has to pass all the necessary information of the registered domain to ICANN, which is a non-profit body which keeps and co-ordinates the database of registered domains across the world, and ultimately your information is added to a public databse called WHOIS database. WHOIS database is in public domain and literally anybody can access to ownership details such as email, phone number and address of any registered domain.
Now comes the grey story into play. This information can be exploited for a number of unwanted reasons. Spammers, marketing agencies and hackers can take advantages of these large security gaps and use this information for their interest, which you’d definitely not approve of. One of the worst scenarios is hackers can hack your registered email and steal your domain. Spammers can flood your inbox of email and phone with spamming content.
Whenever I register a domain and don’t bother to use a privacy guard, After a few hours or one or two days I am making a beeline for the privacy guard. Why? Spam emails, SMS start arriving in bulk. Sometimes I get phone calls too. These calls and messages are generally concerned with website design and web hosting. I ask myself, where is my privacy, where is my peace of mind?
Now something had to be done. Domain registrars have finally come up with a solution to get rid of this breach of privacy. Domain registrars mask contact information of a domain with their own contact information. In other words, if someone wants to contact a domain registrant legally, he would have to contact through the email id provided by the domain registrar. It keeps spammers and hackers at bay and the domain owner is prevented from undue and irritating emails, calls and even loss of domain. But there’s a catch here. Alert : No free lunch. The thing is, domain registrars charge for this service separately, which means, to secure your privacy you have to spend some extra dollars, an unnecessary burden.
Hang on, every cloud has a silver lining. There are some registrars that offer lifetime free domain privacy. Let’s find out.
First name that comes to mind is Namecheap. Incidentally, Namecheap is the second largest domain registrar and is only second to GoDaddy when it comes to hosting a large number of domains. As far as security and privacy is concerned, in my opinion, Namecheap is a more secure and reliable domain registrar and it comes in second just because it does not have alluring offers to rope in the customers such as one dollar domain offer.
Previously Namecheap offered the domain privacy protection free only for one year and the next year for continuation of the service you were required to buy it. But at the moment it has changed the offer for the better. Namecheap now comes with lifetime free domain privacy (whoisguard) offer. In simpler words, as long as you are with Namecheap, you don’t have to bother about privacy protection or extra charge for privacy protection.
As Namecheap is a big and renowned domain registrar, its lifetime free privacy protection offer will not go unnoticed and unless other domain registrars follow suit, they should be ready to face a decrease in their sales. Especially GoDaddy and Bigrock will have to give serious thought to free domain privacy protection.
1and1 is a Germany-based company, which provides many services like domain registration and web hosting services. 1and1 provides free domain privacy service and for once you can take a sigh of relief as you are not charged separately for its domain privacy service. But to tell the truth, the way 1and1 manages its services, it leaves a lot to be desired.
1and1 service control panel is a faulty and very complicated panel. It can take a lot of time to get the hang of it and most likely you’ll be tearing your hair out. Another thing that may get on your nerves is its payment method. Once you have purchased a domain from 1and1, it may look like a wild goose chase how to remove a credit card, which you added for the purchase. Sometimes the option to cancel the service becomes impossible to find. To cape it all, if you want to contact customer care service, you come to know it is lousy. 1and1 provides only email and phone customer care service and it seems there’s no provision for live chat and support ticket system. It can take more than 24 hours before you get a reply via email.
It is a Canadian domain registrar company, which like Namecheap and 1and1, provides free domain privacy service. But the customer feedback of this company is also not very promising. When we reviewed its domain registration service, we were disappointed to find that it was not a very reliable domain registrar and customers had a large number of different things to complain about its domain registration service.