Still searching for a decent domain registrar – Mydomain.com and 1and1.com both suck in their own ways

December 30, 2010
By

Out of habit as much as anything, I had been using Mydomain.com for years for all my domains (I have dozens – don’t ask). They offer a decent set of features for the money, including email forwarding and DNS management. I have had various issues and outages over time with them and have been frustrated with them at times. In particular, the lack of control in the DNS administration and delays in updating their DNS servers had caused me to stop using the Mydomain.com DNS service for any domains hosting critical commercial services years ago, even for domains still registered with Mydomain.com.

But there is a lot of inertia in switching registrars. Transferring domains is a hassle. And how would I know things would be any better with a different service? However, after the major DNS outage that Mydomain.com had in July, where their servers were 100% down hard for many hours, I was finally pushed to take action. I started searching for another registrar and planned to move domains as they expire off of MyDomain.com.

Long story short, I moved some domains to 1and1.com based on various recommendations. What I can say is, I don’t think they’re really any better. Other than retaliation for Mydomain.com outages, I don’t think I’m better off at 1and1.com.

For Mydomain.com, the big problems are as noted above.  First, they just have random outages far too often.  If you use their DNS, their updates are really slow, where DNS changes can take days to appear on their own primary servers. And their admin interface is limited. You cannot create advanced kinds of records, like SRV, AAAA etc.

In terms of services and features, 1and1.com is even worse than mydomain.com. They provide even less management of DNS.  They have a single setting for “set your IP address” and that’s it.  As far as I can tell, this sets an A record for example.com and www.example.com and that’s all.  Unless there’s a hidden setting on their admin interface that I havent found yet, you cannot manage DNS at all with 1and1.com.

And neither company provides customer support that is worth anything. Their support is pretty much a complete waste of time and resources. In most cases you dont get an answer at all beyond the canned one to email requests, as if no one even read the message. And phone support is always a hair-pulling experience of never ending circular discussions that go nowhere. Essentially the support staff is under-trained, incompetent, and not empowered to fix anything anyway.

I use a fantastic DNS cloud service that I cannot recommend highly enough: nettica.com (Note I’m not affiliated with them in any way other than as a customer and I don’t get referral credits). They offer great DNS service at reasonable prices, with full advanced administration and instant updates. Nettica staff are technically competent and very responsive. Nettica also offers domain registration, but unfortunately they are three to five times as costly as services like mydomain.com and 1and1.com, especially if you use any of the extra cost add-ons like email-forwarding that usually come free with other providers.

In the end, moving domains from mydomain.com to 1and1.com may provide me some satisfaction in not giving mydomain.com any more of my money and therefore not supporting their bad behavior but it probably isn’t really giving me any better service or saving me any money.  I suppose the answer is to use a cheap service like 1and1.com for nothing other than domain registration and use other providers for everything else, like Nettica for DNS, perhaps Google for email, and your favorite cloud server or dedicated servers for your hosting.

If you have a domain registrar that you really like, please let me know who they are, what else you use them for if anything beyond registrations, and what’s good and bad about them.

One Response to Still searching for a decent domain registrar – Mydomain.com and 1and1.com both suck in their own ways

  1. March 20, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I’m a big fan of Namecheap, they have the best reputation out there, as far as I can tell. I have around 20 domains registered there for several years now. They let you add up to 5 nameservers, I personally use Linode’s nameservers now.

    I’ll check out Nettica now, sounds interesting.

Buy Me A Beer

css.php