This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Network Solutions are crooks

Network Solutions Inc. (NSI) are, amongst other things, a domain registry for this new fangled interweb. When you want to buy a domain name, you do a "whois" lookup to see if it's available, then you buy it if it's available and you really want it.

The trouble is, NSI are registering domains that are looked up using their whois server... So, if you check to see if a domain is available using their server, but want to register the domain with another company, you can't because NSI have helpfully registered the domain, forcing you to buy it from them... This is apparently known as "front-running".

The helpful people at slashdot have a number of potential solutions to this problem (other than not using NSI in the first place)
including looking up (and hence making NSI register) a bunch of random domain names using a perl script. An alternative is to do a whois on a number of interesting domain names which include registered trademarks as part of the name - and then hope that a Cease and Desist letter is sent to NSI for trademark infringements...

What's really quite funny is their excuse for this practice...

"During this reservation period, the name is not active and we do not monetize the traffic on these domains."


Of course, they are monetizing the domain, since during this period you can only buy the domain from NSI...

In effect they're saying: "We're front-running to protect you (our customers) from front-running"

4 comments:

CalumCarr said...

Thanks for this info.

This is sharp practice to say the least. If ever I am registering a domian I'll steer well clear of this shower.

Where money is involved ethics count for less and less - sorry nothing.

wanderlander said...

Too bad because the search was pretty good. They got me but a week later it was freed up again - don't know if it was my whining or if it is just reserved for that short a time.

fun fun! said...

I just wonder why icann.org allowed networksolutions to stay on bussines with this practices, why do bussines with expensive network solutions when you can get cheap and reliable domains and hosting with companys like godaddy.com, hostgator etc

games said...

I wonder why people keep buying netsol services when we have lots of other much better hosting services like: godaddy, hostmonster, hostgator, and the list is endless of awsome hosting services, BBB no longer supports networksolutions if you go to their site on the bottom you will find that bbb is on silver to this page:
https://www.bbb.org/online/consumer/cks.aspx?ID=1051103102528