back to article Network Solutions games net domain biz

Network Solutions is front running domain name registrations, temporarily preventing competitors from selling domains that web users show interest in. But the popular registrar insists this is merely a way of preventing others from front running. As originally noted by the URL-obsessed webbies at DomainState - a message board …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Dazed and Confused

    So much for competition

    So if you try and get a quote for a domain from Network Solutions and then a couple of other registrars you're stuffed!

  2. Kevin Rudd

    Back off!

    Back off everyone, for the next four days I've got dibs on this one-


  3. Lou Gosselin

    Just a thought

    What kind of fee does NS itself have to pay if it registers a domain?

    It seems to me that if enough people register millions of long nonsensical domains, then NS would become crippled by this behavior.

    How about registering millions of ""

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Network Solutions

    Blimey! I didn't realise people still used that expensive site to search for domains ... but having read this article and finding that really has been registered ... I'll certainly think twice about using their site!

  5. Ed
    Thumb Down

    Time to get the torches and pitchforks

    Network Solutions needs to have its privileges revoked by ICANN, period. This isn't the first time they've tried to pull a stunt like this and it won't be the last.

  6. Morely Dotes

    Oh, they are going to HATE me

    Does anyone remember how to search for "network-solutions-*" in Whois?

  7. Wyrmhole

    Network Solutions are a bunch of axxwipes

    They have made their site such that you *have* to make a domain search to see their prices. And soon all other registrars will follow suit to protect their respective "customers".

    And for that matter why anyone would pay $35 for a domain when they could get one for less than one third of that is beyond me.

  8. Donn Bly

    Anti-consumer policies are nothing new for Network Solutions

    I noticed this policy change earlier this week, when I was informed of another Network Solutions’ “policy”, that being that they now automatically lock all domain names to prevent transfer, even if you have unlocked the domain name, the domain name is automatically re-locked after 14 days.

    A representative named “Susan” tried to tell me that not only was this Network Solutions’ policy, but that it had always been Network Solutions’ policy since day one.

    Since they had just caused a domain transfer to fail and cost me time and money, I took the time read through their entire policy to see where it was written – and found that it wasn’t. I then went into the admin interface and re-unlocked the domain, paying very close attention to all of the prompts and messages, and low and behold, even in there it does not say anything about re-locking the domain after you have explicitly told them that you want the domain unlocked.

    Now I’ve been registering domain names since the old days of NIC handles and email templates, before there was even a web-based interface to register domain names, and I can tell you that historically Network Solutions has never been a customer-friendly provider. They routinely and as an apparent matter policy deliberately lie to customers and potential customers, go out of their way to prevent people from managing their own domain names, overcharge for their services, and go out of their way to prevent people from transferring their domain names to other, more user-friendly and less expensive registrars. Almost every change to contacts and handles, security policies, etc. that they have ever implemented (without it being forced down their throats by ICANN) have very clearly been blatant attempts to prevent competition and lock their customers into undesired, over-expensive services.

    ICANN should have split the domain registration and GTLD management functions a long time ago, and made it a matter of policy that the same organization that manages the COM, NET, or any other GTLD zone be explicitly banned from selling any registrations on that GTLD to prevent conflicts of interest and reduce the amount of outright FRAUD that Network Solutions engages.

  9. Morely Dotes

    This is normal business practice for NetSol

    In other words: Network Solutions has a long history of unethical, but legal to-the-letter-of-the-law, practices.

    Which is why my employer has moved all our domains elsewhere, and why I have never used NetSol for my own domains, nor for those of any of my consulting customers.

  10. Yes Me Silver badge

    Watch this space is "under construction and coming soon". That's good to know. I *do* hope naughty people ignore the suggestion to search on millions of "" things. It would be awful if NetSol had to fill their disks with millions of "under construction" redirects. Fortunately, their profits from fencing off the commons would pay for it.

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  12. Andrew Yeomans

    *Doesn't* protect the customer

    Network Solutions *doesn't* protect the customer that was interested in the name. Anyone else can buy the domain name, but only from Network Solutions. So the only beneficiary is themselves.

    They also put an "under construction" site on the domain. Great if you want to start a rumour - see for example. (And if you want to buy that, be Network Solution's guest.)

  13. jon

    @Donn Bly - ICANN did just that (eventually)

    Network Solutions was sold off by Verisign in late 2003 because ICANN (eventually) forced them to choose between running the .com registry and being a registrar. Being relatively sane people, they chose the .com registry which as a business is pretty close to a licence to print money.

    There are no gTLD registries at this point which also own/control registrars, although some registries are at least part-owned by registrars. Afilias (.info), for example, is owned by a consortium of registrars and Neulevel (.biz) was for a while 10% owned by Melbourne IT.

    That said, I agree that Network Solutions have a long history of anti-customer behaviour. Personally, I hope this issue becomes an enormous own goal for them as it's no more than they deserve. Many top global companies continue to use NSI for their primary .com domain, regardless of who they're actually paying to manage their names. I can't see that continuing any longer...

  14. David Harper

    An excellent party game

    whois -h


    This Domain is available at

    13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300

    HERNDON, VA 20171




    This Domain is Available - Register it Now!

    600,000 domain names are registered daily! Don't delay; there's no guarantee

    that a domain name you see today will still be here tomorrow!

    Register it Now at


    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:

    Network Solutions, LLC

    13681 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300

    HERNDON, VA 20171


    1-888-642-9675 fax: 571-434-4620

    Record expires on 11-Jan-2009.

    Record created on 11-Jan-2008.

    Database last updated on 11-Jan-2008 05:00:37 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think someone is at least putting some keywork filters in

    I just tried a couple dodgy ones, and AFAIK they didn't take.

    Having said that, NS has never really struck me as very ethically inclined so I can't say I'm surprised. They got very fat on overcharging customers, and once you have that feeding habit, slimming down is hard. They rather convince their customers that fat is better then change diet, which is why someone like GoDaddy runs rings round them.

    May they be starved of customers soon.

  16. David Harper

    Re I think someone is at least putting some keywork filters in

    "I just tried a couple dodgy ones, and AFAIK they didn't take."

    I put into NS's "Find A Domain" a few minutes ago, and now it shows up on NS's whois server.

    You just have to be patient. It takes a few minutes for NS's weasels to update their whois database.

    Mind you, they *will* eventually notice that people are "searching" for a lot of uncomplimentary domain names, and put in a filter.

    So have fun while you still can.

  17. craig

    registering useless domains wont cost NS anything

    People here are fighting a losing battle, registering hundreds of non-sensical domains by using the NS search doesnt cost them a penny, as they can return the domains after 4 days for a full refund.

  18. Jorge Olguin Avalos

    "Front-run"? what about "I've runned out everyone else"

    It's been pointed right above...

    The name is taken so no OTHER registrar can take the name before you... another user still would be able to purchase the name that you just checked minutes ago... if the other user finds the name (the same) pre-registered, then it will be very clear that the name he is after, has been checked in the last 4 days too, so perhaps leaving the first user "behind the race".

    I can imaging the real state companies, prepurchasing the houses they are just showing of... on the other side... the good'ol grocery store in the corner, still have to purchase the grocery up front so then he can re-sell it... oh God.... I Love This Game

  19. Stew Wilson
    Thumb Down

    Worse than the article states

    These domains don't show up on Whois until they're registered. NS have made it *easier* for front-runners. All they have to do is scrape Whois for domains registered with Network Solutions for four days, and then register those domains immediately as they expire.

    Domain hijackers are going to love NS for this.

  20. Feargal Reilly

    Spammer friendly too

    A very basic check pretty much all mailservers preform is to check DNS to ensure that the sender domain exists. This now gives spammers an easy tool to create their own functioning domain to stick in their outgoing address, at no cost to them.

    Good ol' Network Solutions.


  21. Jeff Dickey

    One useful step

    is to explain to clients why .com is well and truly phuct as a level playing field, and recommend they register domains with other TLDs. Anybody doing ANY activity with .com is just putting money in NetSol's and spammers' pockets, as Feargal notes.

    And Feargal.... I forget what the Gaelic for 'redundant' is, but calling NetSol 'scumbags' definitely qualifies.

  22. Iain


    Domain hijackers are going to HATE NS if that's what they've been doing. This story has been all over /. and several other sites at the same time El Reg printed it - they stand to go bankrupt in 4 days time if they lay out for every single one of the mass of 'test' domains people have been automating to taste.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022