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Searching for the best Domain Registrar
reviewing Namescout
by Rick Smith (August 10, 2004)

Introduction
Domain the Net
Domains to be Seen
Namescout
Wooho / RGNames
Conclusion

ICANN information

Registrar Name: AusRegistry
Whois Server: whois.g.ausregistry.net
Language: English
Location: Bridgetown, Barbados

Unique features

Namescout utilizes a "contact record" that can be used for all the domains within your account which allows for rapid changes.

Another unique feature of Namescout is that they include "privacy" as part of the package -- the ability to have your email address change automatically on a monthly or quarterly basis. All mail is transferred to your "real" email address and there is no spam detection. The thought is that frequent email address changes will leave a majority of the spammers in the dust. It takes awhile for the process to start, so your original domain entry could be compromised.

Support

Namescout Corporation provides their physical (street) address, telephone and fax number on their site, along with email addresses for technical/customer support, information, comments and sales. Their posted hours of operation are 7 AM to 10 PM EST, Monday to Friday. They also provide a searchable 151 answer database.

Account information

With Namescout's name record, you simply change one record and then all of the domains that utilize that record will be automatically changed. To chose the proper record, you are provided a list of name, company name and email address. These records can be deleted if desired. Unfortunately, a contact record is not used for the registrant, so you need to type this in manually for each domain.

You can easily view all the information for a single domain on a single screen without having to attempt a change. Unfortunately, the zip code edit field is too small to see the entire 9 digit US zip code. An organization name is also required (I guess individuals can't own a domain in their eyes. I simply use a dash to defeat this requirement since it looks better in the Whois than seeing two lines showing your name repeated.)

The database entry is straightforward, but requires a company name. The actual registrant name can be changed easily. An unusual feature is that two email addresses can be entered for each contact (owner/registrant, administrative, technical and billing). The owner/registrant email address provided is not displayed on the public Whois record.

Email change process

Changing my email address on each domain required two changes. While this gets cumbersome with multiple domains, their "contact record" concept was far better than many registrars.

Name Servers

Space for ten nameservers are provided -- it's not the maximum allowable (13), but far better than most registrars.

Pricing

Namescout.com's base yearly rate (August 2004) is $25 US. Since some registrars/resellers charge $18.95 for email address security, if you want this, Namescout could be a reasonable value. Domain forwarding and parking is also included, but web site and email services are extra. Email and phone support is provided Monday-Friday 7AM - 10PM EST. Phone support is provided via a 613 phone number. Their lowest pricing for a ten year registration is $18.75 per year.

Renewal Notification

Namescout first warns you at about 60 days before domain expiration and then send weekly reminders (that you can turn off if desired.) This is very useful, since too many registrars and resellers wait to the last minute and feel that they have done a wonderful job of warning by only sending a single email message.

Transfers

Transfers away from Namescout are automatically acknowledged after 5 days, without any notice to the domain owner, but it took a few days longer for my domain to transfer. (Therefore, be sure to keep your domain locked here.)

You are allowed to move domain names between accounts. I did not attempted this function as I was in the midst of transferring this domain when I uncovered this feature.

Pros

  • Use of name records for quick entry/changes
  • Good expiring domain notification
  • Good data display
  • 10 nameserver listing (sufficient for most)
  • Free privacy (cloaked email address)

    Cons

  • No required approval of transfers away - Dangerous
  • No support for full 13 nameservers

    Wooho / RGNames

    Domains to be Seen

    Copyright 2004 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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